Reviews, Rebates, Friends & Family

Chris McCabe will talk us through the kinds of suspensions he’s seeing hit his desk. Reviews Abuse is still as prevalent as a year ago – will Sellers never learn? Also the data Android phone apps capture and the link to friends and family.

  • Still dealing with as many suspended accounts per week for product review abuse as did a year ago
  • Why have sellers not figured out that Amazon are getting tougher and more aggressive on this

Against ToS

  • People still don’t realise just not asking for 5* or Positive reviews will not avoid a suspension
  • None of the Feedback messages sent by Sellers are compliant with ToS
  • You cannot filter responses or reduce the likelihood of a bad review
  • For this there are no grey areas with Amazon any more
  • Low-hanging fruit is that messages are not compliant

Amazon Mobile App – access to phone Contacts

  • This is something that Ivelin Demirov posted in his group – screengrab permissions granted with Android app to gain access to contacts and who you’ve called and network connections
  • This links to the friends and family connections
  • The frequency of touchpoints you have with these people
  • Interesting to see the access that Amazon can get to your data via Android
  • It was long ago prohibited to ask Friends & Family for reviews as they are more likely to be favourable

Product Review Teams

  • PRA people are being kept behind toll-walls
  • You are supposed to be able to report abuse to those teams but there has not been much response
  • Who are these guys – how do they operate – what is their SOP?
  • They are quite wise to competitors reporting each other
  • A lot of times they don’t do anything about it

Fake Good Reviews

  • Fake good reviews are delivered by a competitor on your listing and then you are reported to Amazon and suspended
  • Chris has tried to spot these and look at commonality of the wording (which gives some away)
  • Sellers that are eager to get more reviews and take the bait from a review service and it ends up backfiring and they get suspended for working in collusion
  • Amazon knows who the dodgy companies are – they can see the patterns in what your account / listing gets – IPs can be linked to black hat services and you are suspended

ASIN and Reviewer Blocks

  • The first type is an ASIN block
  • This exhibits where a large number of reviews arrive quickly or strange behaviours are exhibited on the ASIN
  • Sometimes it’s lifted quickly as a block
  • PRA teams are spending a lot of time on manual investigations
  • The second type is that the reviewer is blocked
  • Might be caused by a high number of reviews or tainted reviews from the same reviewer and this reviewer is then blocked by Amazon

Rebates suspensions

  • There have been 3rd Party services that do rebates
  • Amazon has these rebate services included in some Action Plans from suspended Sellers
  • They are now investigating more
  • They are fed up with all the negative reviews and bad press for this
  • Amazon are working hard to investigate and you run a risk of suspension if you’re using these

Vendor Central Abuse

  • It is common news now that lots of abuse is coming via Vendor Central Abuse and with Listings being changed and categories
  • There have been numerous different attacks like this
  • Amazon are working to close these down
  • Tools access is being changed to limit contributions

New Amazon Tools take time

  • Account Health dashboard never updates and this has been complained about by Sellers
  • IP complaints still show up there and even after they’ve been resolved
  • Takes a long time to build a new tool at Amazon
  • Build, test and teach them to investigators to roll out to Sellers does not happen overnight
  • Limited engineer resources at Amazon


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