Amazon’s global gross sales was recorded at around $239 billion in 2019 and accounts for over 13 percent of global online retail sales.
The site got over 37 billion mobile and desktop visits between February 2018 and April 2019. It is currently ranked as one of the most popular websites on Alexa.
60% of online shoppers start their product search on Amazon itself. Higher than that on Google, Facebook, eBay or anywhere else.
Let’s just say, the Amazon marketplace is HUGE.
But as they say, the bigger it gets, the messier it gets. So is the case with Amazon.
LOTS of inferior products, even counterfeits, hidden to a layman’s eye.
LOTS of vendors fighting the price war and engaging in blackhat tactics.
LOTS of confusion and frustration, and a bad shopping experience!
The promise of that “heavenly” one-stop shop is gone, right?
Now, what if there was someone who could make it easier for both the seller and the buyer?
Someone, sincere and trustworthy, with an OBJECTIVE OPINION.
He suggests whether a product is of high quality or not.
He suggests whether the product is overpriced or underpriced.
He suggests whether the buyer should buy a particular product or not.
With someone, knowledgeable and dependable enough, is now guiding the buyer by his hand, the marketplace becomes orderly and enjoyable again.
The seller with the genuine product wins over the one with the counterfeit item.
The buyer gets sufficient value for his money, and leaves another positive review in return.
Everyone is happy, finally.
Who makes all of these possible? An honest product reviewer.
Amazon knew it, and that’s why it launched the Amazon Vine program.
As per the Amazon website, “Amazon Vine is a program that enables a select group of Amazon customers to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers to make educated purchasing decisions.”
In simpler words, sellers give their products for free to willing reviewers and the reviewers post their reviews of the products in return.
Before Amazon changed its review policies in 2016, vendors could give away products for free or at a heavy discount in exchange of customer reviews. Unfortunately, it led to a lot of fake and dishonest reviews where even counterfeit products started getting good reviews.
No surprise there―the whole idea was “you give me incentives, I give you reviews.”
To curb this practice, Amazon brought out the Vine program whereby there is no direct interaction between the reviewer and the vendor.
Everything goes through and is supervised by Amazon, and the whole process is honest and unbiased to the maximum extent.
This is different from the Early Reviewer program that incentivizes an “early reviewer” to submit his feedback on his recently purchased product.
The seller joins the program and submits his product for review. It is entered into the monthly rolling list. The reviewer then picks the product that he is most knowledgeable about and intends to pick up for free, claims and receives it, and writes a review on it.
The review needs to be submitted within 30 days from the delivery date.
Amazon does not influence the review at all. The reviewer is allowed to submit even negative feedback on the product if any. The seller needs to act promptly on the negative feedback in response and try to rectify the mistake as soon as possible.
Each such review is marked as a “Vine Voice” on the Amazon product page. It is also marked whether the reviewer, regardless of being a Vine Voice, actually bought the product or got it for free in return for the review.
There is no monetary compensation for the review though except for the free product.
Smooth as hell, totally easy, peasy, right?
Well, not so much.
As much as we would like to deny it, the program poses a bucketload of problems for both vendors and reviewers.
However, in this article, we are going to focus on the problems faced by the reviewers.
The biggest challenge faced by a reviewer is, ironically, how to get selected as a reviewer in the first place.
That’s right―Amazon has no clear policies when it comes to selecting someone into their Vine program. Nobody knows what works. We can only take the suggestions of those who have been inducted into the program, follow the same methods and keep your fingers crossed.
Vine member Laura Knights says:
Does it not sound more like getting into Harvard rather than joining a simple product reviewing program?
Oh, even if you do decide to take on the challenge, do know that there is no science behind the selection process. For example, there are some ‘Hall of Fame’ independent reviewers who have over 88,000 votes and are still not invited to the program. Yet you will occasionally find Vine Voices that have merely around 4,000 votes (not a small amount but clearly lower than the Hall of Famers).
While this is the biggest challenge to be a Vice Voice (or not to be), something else has been making the rounds these days. Do you know that a few Vine members are getting death threats for their negative feedback? Not to mention some say that they receive downvotes just because their names are tagged as ‘Vine Voice’ above their review.
Logically speaking, if a potential buyer comes across your review and finds out that you submitted that glowing feedback in exchange for a free product, it does not leave too good an impression, right?
Last but not least, Amazon already suspended new enrollments to their Vine program due to COVID-19. Another Vine member commented on Reddit that a new member is invited to the program only when an existing member leaves it.
Tough life, isn’t it?
Well, what if we could offer you a better alternative instead?
For starters, Vamux is still taking in new reviewers at the moment. In fact, we are already expanding to the United Kingdom in the coming few months. We aim to grow our network in all the top-tier countries where Amazon operates. We currently hold a huge reviewer network in the United States and Canada.
Since we are a private network, your name will not be tagged as an “incentivized reviewer” while posting the review and thus, your review will come across as more genuine and helpful. (Like Amazon, we too want you to be totally honest in your feedback.)
There is no vague selection process behind the Vamux program. You click on the Reviewers’ Dashboard on the homepage of our website, sign up for a new account and you are in!
Here’s how the whole process works:
For more, submit a ticket at https://help.vamux.com/index.php. Our support executive will get in touch with you.