Misuse Of Sales Rank

Liran Hirschkorn is with us on misuse of sales rank and how Amazon ToS is vague on the wording but brushing, rebates and coupon codes might be leading to review manipulations and impacts to best seller ranking that Amazon will certainly frown upon.

  • Just back from talking on Amazon in Vegas
  • Attended the Rise25 Mastermind, the Prosper Show and talked at the A&D Trade Show on lessons learned from building 2 x Seven figure brands
  • Attending events results in more getting done with face to face than you can get done on-line
  • The misuse of sales rank or ToS says prohibited seller activities and actions
  • So many ways to dissect that one paragraph

Manipulation of Sales Rank

  • Amazon is purposefully vague in their language to let them use it more widely
  • Best Seller Rank :
  • Trying to rank your product and getting better organic reach for search results
  • History of BSR was to show consumers what the most popular products are – that’s why Bezos created it
  • When you are manipulating this for ranking, you are influencing where in the rankings you appear
  • You are not just manipulating BSR to get up the list
  • When you do ‘brushing’ – which is buying your own products (placing an order for your own products)
  • Amazon are clear that this is not allowed
  • It does not say you cannot use discount codes for the purpose of improving your reach for your products (but it doesn say you cannot compensate buyers)
  • Vague language – rebates are more risky than using discount coupons


  • Brushing is placing orders for your own products and is a misuse of sales rank as far as Amazon is concerned
  • People receiving products randomly that they didn’t order
  • Seller’s going ‘merchant fulfilled’ and then have multiple ways of buying their own products and then they ship an empty box
  • Brushing to buy own products to manipulate ranking and BSR
  • Against ToS for Amazon and clearly so

Rebates against ToS

  • Rebate equates to compensation which is against ToR
  • Rebate is a common legitimate marketing tool that companies use not just for misuse of sales rank on Amazon
  • Big companies do this as it helps cashflow, you pay but wait 60 days to get the money back
  • There is also a percentage of people that don’t claim the rebate and so helps big box seller margins
  • Doing it on Amazon has one purpose to drive ranking and get verified reviews
  • More risky than doing discount codes on Amazon
  • Rebates are outside of Amazon control
  • Can see Amazon having a problem with it
  • If a customer returns the product with a rebate then it can unravel for the seller
  • Concern is that it’s against terms of service
  • If you are using a rebate service then it’s more of a problem for you the Seller if Amazon go after it

Claim Codes and Review Manipulations

  • Claim codes for the purpose of manipulating sales rank is against ToS
  • You could argue that you’re doing it for manipulating your organic rank and BSR happens to be a by-product of that
  • Amazon are deliberately vague with this wording
  • If I was Amazon I would care more about rebates because of the reviews manipulations side of it than misuse of sales rank
  • This is why Amazon stopped giving ‘verified buyer’ for sales with deep discounts

Badges on Main Images

  • Having ‘customer choice’ or ‘best seller’ badges on your images is not a true claim
  • Best seller is changing all the time on Amazon
  • Using ‘best’ in your wording is against ToS


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