An open letter to Amazon sellers

In case you hadn’t heard, on October 3, 2016 Amazon updated their Terms of Service (TOS) rules to forbid reviewers who have purchased items with promotional codes from posting reviews on their platform (see TechCrunch’s article on the situation).

This was a very unfortunate decision by Amazon and I believe it will hurt many sellers. However, the rules are very clear on the matter.

You may hear that it’s still OK to write reviews on promotional products, but just change or delete the “I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review” disclaimer. Unfortunately that option violates the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) law, which has very stiff penalties.

I am no longer writing product reviews on Amazon.com for any product purchased with a promotional code prior to October 3, 2016. Doing so will put both my account and your account at risk for being deleted, and I am not willing to risk our accounts for a product review.

Products that I purchased using a promo code provided by you before this date can be shared on social media channels. I am willing to write a review on my blog, my Facebook page, my Instagram account, or my Twitter account.

If you are a seller who is looking for a review that I promised, please choose TWO of the above social media channels above and contact me with your request.

I am keeping an eye on how the situation changes and if an option for reviewing on the Amazon platform become available, I will once again start posting my reviews there.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter,
–Gianna

Gianna Pfister-LaPin

Gianna is a product reviewer and usability expert with 15+ years of real-world experience. She is happy to offer constructive advice and social media feedback to companies who want to make better products. When she's not trying out new products on herself or her family, Gianna plays with yarn and watches movies. She can also be bribed with stroopwafels.

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