What is Amazon Vine?
Based on this page, Amazon describes its product review program - Amazon Vine - as the below:
"Amazon Vine invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions.”
This basically means that any person with an Amazon account can be invited to be a member to write reviews for products. It is the only official and genuine way for you to get free products from amazon to review. Amazon Vine reviewers are referred to as 'Vine Voices' and every member can choose to have the 'Vine Voice' badge appear next to the name on every review and on their profile page.
Can I join the programme?
Anybody can join Amazon Vine and become a Vine Voice. Vine Voices are selected based on several criteria, but primarily on the helpfulness of their reviews as judged by all other customers and by their demonstrated interest in the types of products that are featured in the programme - more here. Customers who consistently write helpful reviews and develop a reputation for expertise in specific product categories are most likely to be invited into the programme.
How are Vine Voices selected?
Amazon does not specify the exact conditions required to join Amazon Vine. It does state on its website that reviewers are invited to participate in the programme based on feedback from other customers, with the total overall helpfulness of their reviews. Below is a screenshot from an Amazon page:
As well as meeting the above criteria, amazon states that reviews demonstrating interest in products to those enrolled in the Vine programme are more likely to be picked. Luckily, we have another page dedicated to real reviews from products test on the Amazon Vine programme - check here to see whats popular!
How to join Amazon Vine?
To join Amazon Vine in order to get free stuff to review, you have to be invited by one of Amazon’s Vine programs that operate independently on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, and Amazon.ca. A separate Amazon webpage gives reviewers private access to the portal to get free products from Amazon, in exchange for a public review. Amazon Vine is invite only. There are no strict guidelines to get onto the program, but there are a few things that will increase your chances.
- Write in plain english with easy to understand terminology
- Be honest; think about what you would want to know about a product
- Include clear pictures
- Video reviews are even better
- Write lots of them, but over a long period of time
- Respond to other people’s comments on your reviews
- Be patient!
How to get free things on Amazon?
Once you have joined Vine, there is a short profiling survey which asks about your interests and hobbies, in the hope that products in these categories are profiled to you. Amazon provides a regularly update list of items in which you can pick from, which varies in product type. Items are listed for as long as their is still stock, with a countdown typically displayed when there is less than 10. Once you have chosen a product or products, you simply request it is delivered to your home address, and wait for the postman!
Do Vine Voices receive products before they are released?
Yes, sometimes vendors release products prior to official release to Vine Voices. This helps to generate quick and early reviews to a new product listing on Amazon. It also gives vendors an idea on how popular a product release will be and let's them estimate more appropriate costings and stock levels. Here is a recent example of a pre-released product to Vine Voices - UE Wonderboom
Are items exactly the same as if you buy them?
As above, sometimes products are not the complete, final version. This is mostly applicable to books, but sometimes products will come in unofficial or generic packaging.
Why does Amazon Vine exist?
Amazon Vine exists as a programme to allow companies to generate reviews for their products - it is no surprise that more reviews equals more sales. As Amazon Vine consists of a carefully selected group of reviewers, the chances are high that reviews will be well written and critically written, helping potential customers with their decision making.
Where does Amazon get the products?
Amazon works with well known brands and manufacturers to offer new and existing products to their Vine Voices. These free products for review are offered by the companies and distributed by Amazon. This helps build a series of reviews on the product listing pages, which drastically help with future sales.
Are Vine Voices expected to write only positive reviews?
No. Amazon stresses that Vine Voices can write whatever they like, be it positive or negative as long as it meets the guideline stated for any Amazon reviews. Many people who are not a Vine Voice believe that they are influenced to write great reviews, but this is not true; reviews can only be posted and edited by the Vine Voice themselves.
Are Vine Voices paid for writing reviews or pressured to write favourable reviews?
Vine Voices do not receive any payment for their reviews. The only payment is in the form of the products they review for free. Items remain the property of Amazon up to 6 weeks after it is received, but are then the Vine Voices to keep from then on. It is very rare for Amazon to recall an item.
Can free items be sold?
Vine Voices are not allowed to sell their items. This is in part to protect the integrity of the product and to make sure that a review is authentic and written after considerable testing of the product. Any person found guilty of selling their free products will be removed from the programme.
If a Vine Voice writes a negative review, will it impact his or her reviewer ranking?
No. Writing a negative review will not impact a Voice's reviewer ranking. A reviewer's ranking is determined by the number of helpful votes from other customers. Customers tend to value substantive, informative, detailed and objective reviews, regardless of whether the review is positive, negative, or neutral.
Can the participating vendors contact or otherwise influence Vine Voices?
Officially, no. Vine products are submitted to Amazon who then distribute them to Vine Voices just like when you make a purchase through their site. However, it is common for vendors to include unofficial contact information to discuss products, or even request more free items!
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