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Are Fake Buyer Accounts Killing Your Amazon Product Launches?

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Leo Limin explains the impact of fake buyer accounts on product launches and why one launch fails while another succeeds but inexplicable reasons for an Amazon launch failure

  • Mexico hosting company
  • Amazon in 2015 and 7 figure seller
  • $1m seller group MDS

Artificial Intelligence

  • Amazon is changing fast
  • When you launch you need to look into the future
  • Algorithms are changing all the time – see reviews display and ranking – constant test
  • Personalising the algorithms for each buyer
  • They know your interests and are testing things against those
  • Not all buyers are the same or equal – fake buyer accounts exist
  • Need to know this when launching products

Accounts Using Promos

  • Testing with different accounts with same products but different promos on and ranking is very different
  • Don’t know much about Amazon and your product might be in a different algorithm than one that succeeded
  • Might be another buyer group that aren’t so well regarded by Amazon such as the fake buyer accounts
  • True that Amazon treats buyers differently
  • Launching a product is really hit or miss unless you can filter out the bad buyers

Filter out Buyers

  • Zonjump
  • Banning people and blacklisting them from their launch service to avoid fake buyer accounts
  • Analysed buyer activity – encourage MWSconnect to see details
  • Some buyers get kicked out of the system right away and others get kicked out later on
  • Huge difference in success using these tactics


  • Use a lot of Facebook
  • Filter out buyers for your launch based on the buyer activity
  • Lot of launches fail because bad actors suck up your promos and re-sell on eBay or even worse on your own listing
  • Using fake accounts to take advantage of the launch promos
  • If the launch fails but it’s not clear why…these bad actors might be the problem using fake buyer accounts
  • Hard to know who’s picking up your codes and then which accounts are buying
  • You want your product to go to good real customers

Bad Buyers

  • Amazon penalises bad buyers
  • Lot of sales to very new accounts you rank lower
  • Many purchases that are discounted purchases (more than 50%) then it’s a bad signal and mark
  • Buying only bad products or newly launched products
  • A buyer has to have bought of a number of sellers before Amazon qualifies him/her as a buyer
  • The buyers taking your launch products can be a key impact
  • Take all this into consideration on the buyers taking your promos

Tips to Overcome

  • New Sellers should research first
  • Give lower discounts as it’s better and keeps away the bad actors
  • Facebook launches and get good people into your manychat funnel
  • Get real people and not bad buyers

Data Leaks from Amazon

  • Data leaks from amazon seem to be getting into people’s hands
  • Chinese seller events openly talk about black hat tactics
  • Openly discuss what Amazon knows – coming from Amazon employees in China
  • Amazon have fired employees and are trying to stop it
  • A lot of info came out including how they treat buyers
  • ASIN detailed reports on Sellers being sourced as well for competitive advantage
  • More and more articles coming out on black hat techniques as well


  • 5% – 12% threshold and after that people can’t leave reviews
  • Depends on the product and category nodes
  • Some products get more reviews naturally
  • Not natural for some products to get more reviews
  • Review ban on products that get too many reviews
  • Black hat people are getting these bans removed
  • Don’t get too many reviews

Content-jacking of Listings

  • People using Vendor Central accounts to do this
  • One of the most common tactics
  • Get an old ASIN and change something in Vendor Central and join another ASIN and get all the reviews
  • Amazon for some reason merges the ASIN and lets it happen
  • If a bad actor changes your listing then it’s very hard to change it back

2019 and Beyond Algorithm

  • A lot of Amazon engineers come from Google
  • Seeing Amazon morph into Google more and more
  • Google’s algorithm got found out and then Google had to fix a lot
  • Brands are winning on Google
  • Amazon is going there
  • Brands get easier ride in Amazon, more than 1 year, in Amazon Exclusives and get it easier to rank
  • The long game now and planning is key
  • Come with a strong brand, product and something you can control

PPC for Launches

  • Complexities in the algorithm and tactics used for PPC
  • Shift in PPC this year was more focus on relevance, less keywords and less impression share
  • Brand new product in a brand new category in a new account – you got no impressions and had todo giveaways to drive impressions on the main keyword
  • You drive traffic to your PPC to get sales and then get a level of trust from Amazon
  • Go slowly and build the trust with Amazon
  • Some people can launch just using PPC
  • PPC for 300 units a day – forget it – but for 20-50/day then PPC can work especially on the longer tail

Quality Score

  • Quality score associated with an account, campaign and ad group
  • Some people rank quickly, others take longer
  • Based on account and campaign level – don’t kill off old campaigns
  • Some people get PPC results grandfathered to them – he sells well and has a solid back track record


  • Will not phase out
  • Amazon makes a lot of money out of it
  • They love the idea of Sellers paying for the products that are given away to bring in Buyers
  • Ranking fast is more difficult right now
  • Do some giveaway and some rebates to mix it up
  • Use google adwords and facebook ads to manychat sequences
  • Launch many products not just a single product to spread your risk
  • Big sellers launch again and again with new products
  • Big Sellers get bigger  and bigger
  • Small sellers sometimes get discouraged and walk away
  • Establish more and more relationships with Amazon
  • Big Sellers have direct relationships and gatings setup


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