Everything you need to know about Amazon Reviews

Today, I’m going to cover at length some very important questions for both Amazon buyers and sellers when we talk about reviews. These questions tend to slowly gnaw away at both buyers and sellers, and they keeping going in circles as a result, so I think it’s high time that we sit down and finally address questions like:

  • Are Amazon reviews fake?
  • Do these reviews drive sales?
  • Are the reviews even reliable?
  • Are the reviews paid for?

Now, I believe these topics have been covered before – in fact, if you do a quick Google search, you might find generic answers to them. However, I thought that it might be really helpful to look at each one of the above questions from an insider’s perspective and set the record straight once and for all to help buyers as well as sellers.

That insider happens to be me, Chris Turton – I’m the Managing Director here at eCommerce Intelligence. We are a full service Amazon agency offering the complete suite of Amazon marketing and advertising services. I myself have been selling on Amazon for 13+ years now and have worked with hundreds of Amazon sellers worldwide. Suffice it to say, my “insider” perspective can help you unravel things fast, so let’s get on with the first one:

Are amazon reviews fake?

Interestingly although unsurprisingly, the media has had an absolute field day with this question. So, what’s the answer?

Well, fake reviews definitely exist, let’s not beat about the bush. However, nobody knows how many fake reviews exists or how to identify them but I believe it’s a very minute number. The UK government reports the figure for fake reviews on ecommerce platforms to be around 11-15%.

The reason me and my team believe this number is relative small is due to the sheer amount of controls Amazon has in place in order to identify fake reviews and swiftly remove them. We have seen it happen firsthand.

It’s actually commendable how hard Amazon works to remove these fake reviews, even taking it a step further to close down the systems and Facebook groups behind them or the bad actors ‘performing’ on their platform to orchestrate these reviews. I have seen sellers getting their accounts closed as far back as 2015, because they were trying to build momentum around their listings through fake reviews. Amazon’s controls are always battling to clean up the system and these fake reviews are getting shut down all the time.

Now, with that said, we need to address an even bigger, more important question:

Why are the fake reviews even there on Amazon to begin with?

Well, it’s quite possible that it all boils down to the biggest “lie” many Amazon sellers happily believe and that’s review volume – “If I get hundreds of reviews, I’ll automatically sell more” – even if those reviews are fake.

Just…no! That’s a bad practice all around and we would never recommend any seller to do that.

The fact of the matter is it really isn’t review volume that helps sell more, yet you will see thousands of sellers STILL buying, fleecing, or manipulating reviews in the hopes of increasing their organic ranking – while neglecting product quality and the customer-centric business model – both of which have been the lifeblood of Amazon since its inception nearly 30 years ago.

Fun fact: High review counts do not influence organic ranking but then what does?

That would be sales velocity.

Do these reviews drive sales?

When you make consistent sales that generate more money for Amazon, and in doing so, sends signals of good customer experience and return on that category, Amazon happily pushes that product higher on their search engine results pages (SERPs) and improves the conversion rates (CVR%) of those products as buyers build trust, We have proven this time and time again, if you follow my LinkedIn posts!

It is that simple, really. So, the fact that you’ll automatically generate more sales volume by having hundreds of reviews – whether they are genuine or not – is complete nonsense. Throw it out the window, now.

I want to demonstrate this with solid proof and show you of a bestseller we received with just 5 reviews – and we have proven time and time again that this model works.

Here’s a #1 bestseller in the TV Stands category with just 5 reviews which we acquired for a client.

bestseller with low volume of reviews

This clearly shows that you DO NOT need to buy reviews or build up fake reviews or even incentivise them. It does nobody any good in the short or long run, and it’s against Amazon’s terms of service, so you do not want this on your hands, period.

Right, so this answers the question “Do the reviews drive sales?”


Are the reviews even reliable?

On the subject of reliability, there are a couple of red flags to look out for, and it’s more or less the same philosophy when it comes to the reliability of ads:

  • Don’t trust a product with a huge amount of reviews which are all 5-star; that looks suspicious and should definitely send alarm bells ringing in your head.
  • Don’t trust reviews with just 1 or 2 words in the review where no detail is mentioned.
  • Check if there are a huge amount of reviews within a single data period or time frame.
  • Finally, look at the reviewers profile to see how legitimate they are, if at all.

This brings us to our last question:

Are the reviews paid for?

Okay, so there’s a tool you need to be familiar with, it’s called Amazon Vine.

Vine helps sellers launch products and it is Amazon’s own internal tool which is open to request detailed reviewers with long histories of leaving reviews, to review your product. So, you’ll only be getting genuine and fully vetted reviews.

Your reviews will be from authentic sources only although don’t expect them to leave you beaming 5-star reviews only. They’ll be brutally honest and even critical with their feedback once they’ve had a chance to test the quality of your product, not to mention the price, and how it stacks up against other products on Amazon, in terms of quality, price, and more.

To make it really interesting, sellers submit products for reviews to anonymous Vine sellers so they are not able to incentivise, but this gives a great boost to product feedback only for new products. Any kind of paying for reviews on Amazon is against the terms and could get your seller account deleted permanently from the platform. Good luck getting your listing and your reputation back, because sellers who have had to deal with this unfortunate outcome rarely find themselves back on the platform.

So, find only genuine reviewers via Vine to review your products, doesn’t matter if those reviews are negative or positive, or whether it’s a total of 3-5 reviews or 20+ reviews – as long as they are genuine, Amazon will be happy, and potential buyers will also see that you’re a genuine seller.

I hope answering these four key questions has been helpful to you and shed some light on Amazon reviews. There are a few other things you also ought to know about reviews, which I’ve covered below:

Important: Common ways to get more reviews on Amazon

Enroll products in Amazon Vine

We discussed Amazon Vine briefly just a few moments ago although we didn’t shed a great deal of light on its importance.

One way of getting genuine reviews and plenty of them is to enrol your products in Vine. Apart from getting you lots of reviews, it will also boost your sales.

Vine is an invitation-only program, however, designed to acquire authentic and genuine reviews only from Amazon customers that are both trusted and experienced. They’re called Vine Voices, and it’s an exclusive club, so to speak, which is made up of Amazon’s most trusted customers.

You can use Vine to target specific reviewers who have a clear track record of providing detailed and insightful reviews on different products. Amazon provides free products to the reviewers through Vine, so this automatically incentivises them, meaning they will leave genuine and honest reviews only.

Offer discounts and promotions from time to time

People tend to buy from you the most when you price your product just right: neither too high nor too low. Even a £5 voucher can boost a customer’s oxytocin levels, making them feel happier. And that’s exactly how you can get people to leave a review!

You can even offer an introductory discount to email subscribers and once they purchase, you can request them to leave a review on Amazon.

Want to learn more about Amazon reviews? My team and I are only a phone call away: (+44) 01743 816191.

Chris is the managing director of Ecommerce Intelligence, a full service Amazon agency. He has over 13 years experience selling on Amazon and other marketplaces. Follow Chris on LinkedIn for daily tips and advice.
amazon spn
amazon verified partner
linnworks partner

Ecommerce Intelligence Ltd

Suite A, New Zealand House, Shrewsbury, SY2 6AL.

459 Columbus Ave #4035, New York, NY 10024


01743 816191

Privacy Policy

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart