Friday, January 29, 2016

Advice for New Reviewers (and Product Reviewing No-No's)

I am going to be posting links to the various reviewing websites I use in a post later today. I wanted to include some advice at the end of the post and it ended up being a lot, so I just decided to make a second post. Check out the links here once they go live!

Don't let any of this scare you. Reviewing is great, and I truly wish I knew about this years ago. These pieces of advice are just things I wish I was given a heads up about when I began reviewing.

I would suggest making a new email when signing up for these sites, not because of spam or anything like that, but to help keep all review offers and review related emails together and not lost by regular emails. Additionally, if you download the myMail app, you can get notifications for emails as they come in which will help you snag deals! If you have push notifications on your regular email box, you will get very quickly annoyed, if your email inbox is anything like mine, that is. You can turn push notifications on for just your review email and get each deal pushed to your phone as soon as it goes live!

We all start somewhere, even the sellers have to start somewhere, and sometimes codes may not work as intended. Be patient, if you get an error message that states that the code has not started yet, wait until after midnight and try again. If it still doesn't work, message the company or the website on which you obtained the code to see when the code will be able to be used. Another issue that can happen, which I knew how to resolve is a glitch that happens within Amazon's checkout. It will state that the promo code has been successfully applied, but the price will not drop. Just edit the shipping method, which will refresh the checkout, and it should drop the price. You can put the shipping method back to whichever shipping method you wish to use after and the price will stay down. For any other error codes or if the price does not reduce properly, message the company or website to resolve the issue.

Once you get your first items and submit your first reviews, make sure they are honest. Don't like a product? Be honest about that. These websites exist to provide companies with honest reviews of their products, not just positive ones so be honest about any issues. If you think you may have gotten a dud product, it is worth it to contact the company first, but if it is just a matter of poor quality or the item being unlike the description, put that in your review. If it is something you would like to know before purchasing an item, include that in your review.

Product Reviewing No-No's

  1.  Don't let a company try to convince you that Amazon has changed the rules and that they can no longer offer the product for free. This usually means the company used the free price tag to lure reviewers in to apply and now they are trying to see who will pay for it anyway. Report these types of sellers to help weed them out.
  2. NEVER EVER EVER accept an offer in which you pay the full price of the item and the seller reimburses you through PayPal or another method after you make your purchase. Even IF, and that's a very strong IF, the company actually reimburses your purchase, it is against Amazon's terms of service and will get you banned if you do this. It is definitely possible for a company to create a 100% off coupon code. I have used hundreds. I know it's possible.
  3. NEVER forget to put a disclosure. That is a good way to get banned. It is against the terms of service to not include a disclosure. Mine is as follows: "I received this product (for free/at a discount)* in exchange for my honest review. I would never positively review anything I didn’t genuinely like." I keep that sentence in a Google Document and copy and paste in to every review. * Make sure to edit this portion based on how the product was obtained. If you got it for free, put "free". If you paid a portion, put "at a discount".
  4. Do not listen to a company if they ask you to remove a negative review or change it to a positive one. You are there to provide honest reviews and to change them at the request of the company is against Amazon's terms of service.
  5. Do not just leave positive reviews on a product you didn't like just to keep a positive relationship with a company in order to get more products. It will make you look bad, people won't trust your reviews, and it can get you banned from reviewing websites and possibly even from reviewing anything on Amazon.
  6. Do not perform keyword searches for companies. For example, a company asks you to search, "Essential Oil Diffuser", scroll to page 2, and click on the item within the search results, and then proceed with your purchase. Getting to your product in this way impacts Amazon's search algorithms and is considered search manipulation. This is a good way to get your Amazon account wiped.

This is by no means a complete list of the dos and don'ts. I am still learning and I am sure more things will come up that I wish to share with all of you. I will edit this post as I learn more about reviewing and as I think of things I may have accidentally left out.


  1. Hi Megan, It is great to read your blog! Wonderful advice to new reviewers. The only thing you might want to clarify is on the disclaimers they need to be sure and differentiate between free and discounted. If you got it for free, it must say free. If you got it at a discount, it must say discount in your disclaimer.

    That differentiation has been what some reviewers who have lost their account think may be the cause, but on Amazon you never really know the cause and it is probably a mix of things, or nothing at all, just bad luck to get wiped.

    I am looking forward to reading more of your blog, thanks for sharing it!