Amazon Continues Tweaking Review Policies to Reduce Number Allowed

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A month ago, Amazon banned providing free review items (except for books). It didn’t work the way they intended. Now the same unscrupulous merchandisers trying to artificially inflate their product ratings are still giving away product, but they’re “requesting” that “reviewers” don’t include a disclaimer or disclosure that they got the item for free (which violates FTC guidelines, although the people who are shilling for free goods probably don’t care).

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, Amazon top reviewers got an email that said the following:

… we want you to be among the first to know about our review policy changes. Shoppers consistently tell us that they value reviews from other shoppers who they know have purchased the product on Amazon. As a result, we are introducing a policy change around customer reviews. Customers can now only submit a limited number of non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week…. Your ability to submit Amazon Verified Purchase reviews will not be impacted.

You have to visit their Community Guidelines page to find out that the number is 5. However, there’s an important caveat: The policy doesn’t apply to “reviews on digital and physical books, music, and video.” So I’m still not restricted, since most of what I review on Amazon are graphic novels.

It’s already been the case that you have to spend at least $50 on Amazon before you can leave reviews (and a Prime subscription doesn’t count). These two factors should ideally shut down the type of people who take as much free stuff as they can in return for leaving five-star reviews, because now they’re quota-limited and they have to shell out some of their own money to participate.

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