How to Get Reviews on Amazon

One of the most crucial factors to having a successful product on Amazon is the quality of your customer reviews. This week, Jeffrey Cohen, Director of Business Development at SellerLabs, joins us to explain how to get reviews on Amazon and the strategies to create incentivized reviews.

Jeff also shares up-to-date tools that bring organic reviews to your product listings and can boost the number of reviews your products get. 

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(With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Jeffrey Cohen of SellerLabs)

Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. The show dedicated to helping high six and seven figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I’m your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur Andrew Youderian.

Hey guys. It’s Andrew here, and welcome to the eCommerce Fuel Podcast. Thanks so much for joining me on the episode. Today, we’re gonna be continuing our series on Amazon, and specifically talking about reviews. You know, getting reviews, how they impact, you know, the search algorithm, how important they are, some of the implications behind incentivized reviews. All this kind of stuff we’ll be tackling today.

And joining me to talk about it is Jeff Cohen from Seller Labs, and you may not have heard of Seller Labs, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the products that they put out. Their most popular one is called Feedback Genius, and it’s a tool that allows you to affectively set up automated email campaigns to communicate with your Amazon customers.

I get feedback from ’em and drive reviews to Amazon. They also run a site called Snagshout, where they help facilitate getting reviews for your products on Amazon through, a lot of times, giving away products or discounting products, things like that. So those are the two businesses that Jeff is involved with. He knows a tremendous amount about Amazon, but particularly, how reviews impact everything. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into my chat with Jeff about reviews on Amazon.

I think its interesting understanding Vine a little bit better now. You know, there’s been a lot of press about non-legitimate, like paid reviews, which is against Amazon’s terms of service.

I know, you know, about Snagshout totally doesn’t plan those at all. But it’ll be interesting knowing that Amazon is very heavily in creating reviews through free products as well. I didn’t know that they were so entrenched in that, especially with only offering it to people who sold directly to them. All that being said, what are Amazon’s terms of service about generating reviews in terms of payments, giveaways? What can you do, what can’t you do?

Generating Reviews for Payment or Giveaways

Jeff: Yeah, so here’s kind of the easiest way to say it. Amazon allows you to sell products at a discount. Amazon allows you to give products away for free. Amazon does not allow you to sell products at a discount, or give them away for free, and require a review. You can encourage your review, but you cannot require it.

And so Snagshout does not require a review when the product is given away. But we do ask our buyers to leave reviews once the product has been received, and so it is semantics. But it does make a big difference, and so what Amazon is going after are sites. So there are some sites out there who will say, “Our reviewers understand their obligation to leave reviews.”

Well, your buyer cannot have an obligation to leave a review. They cannot be provided an incentive to leave a review. You cannot provide the product to a family member, and ask them for review. And you cannot sell a product, never ship a product, and then have somebody write a review. And those are the main things Amazon has been going after.

So Fiverr, there were literally people on Fiverr who were running deals, where they would buy your product. You would never ship it to them, and you would write…and they would write a review for you. They are going after those people, and rightfully, they should.

They are infringing on the trust of their review system and breaking Amazon’s blatant terms of service. So if you’re providing a product at a discount, and you’re providing it that to somebody, and then after they receive it, you’re asking them if they would like to leave a review, you are totally within Amazon’s terms of service. And if they make a full purchase of your product and you ask them to leave a review, you are completely within Amazon’s terms of service.

Andrew: And the Terms of Service aside. You know, obviously, things like Vine, Snagshout, just donating products in general, like that’s one of the ways I’ve built up the SEO profile for Right Channel Radios. I’ve used, you know, donated products for either SEO or reviews in a lot of different ways. But all of that aside, terms of service aside, do you think it’s possible for someone who gets a review, or gets a product either at a heavy discount, or for free to be 100% objective when they’re leaving that review?

Jeff: So I think the easy answer is for me to say yes. But I would say, maybe, because I promised you I’d be honest. I think your product has to really suck for somebody to get your product at a discount, and then leave you a review, and tell you it’s bad. But with that being said, bad products do get bad reviews. And so the review rate on Snagshout is 85% of our products generate reviews, and 92% of those get a four star or higher.

So there is a tendency for those to get higher reviews. But if you look at the statistics of Amazon in general, and their star rating, the 92% is not out of line with the overall review rate and the star rating of sellers on Amazon. Buyers on Amazon have a tendency to leave good product reviews for their products, and they tend to request refunds for bad products.

Partially, I believe that the tendency to do that on Amazon is that way, because Amazon has such a good returns policy that if you do buy a product and the products bad, and you get a return and you have good customer service, you’re less likely to actually go bash the product, because you had an overall positive experience. But if you get a product and its bad, you’re still willing to be honest about that. And we tell our merchants all the time, “You don’t just get good reviews because you run a promotion. Like, you have to have a good product, and if you’re making a cheap, inferior product, the review community will say that.”

Amazon’s Onslaught of Fake Reviews

Andrew: If any changes are on the horizon for product reviews, especially with Amazon, I mean, there’s been, like I kind of alluded to earlier, a lot of press about Amazon suing people who are paying reviews, more fake reviews coming in. I think you can have a good balance, because I mean, in the produce I launched on Amazon, I use Snagshout to get, kind of like you mention at the top, with get to that 9 or 10 review level and then was starting to try to build organically on top of it. Because it’s tough sledding going right out of the gates. That being said, there definitely are products on Amazon, where let’s say they’ve got 100 reviews, and 99 of those you can tell were for the discounted product. At the end of every one says, “You know, I received this…” you know? And I would guess you would agree, that is a little, you know…if anything that hurts the credibility when you read 99 views that you know they already acquired at a discount.

So given both of those things, do you see Amazon making any changes, you know, in the coming future? And if so, what would those be?

Jeff: So the integrity of the Amazon review system is significantly important to Amazon. We do know that they’ve put a review…a product review monitoring team in place that’s looking at both sellers and buyers. They are fighting as many fake buyers as they are finding fake sellers, or bad sellers.

What I always tell people is you gotta look natural. And the more natural you look, the more likely you are to succeed in the long run. And if you’re trying to game the system. The system will eventually catch up with you, and you will lose. And so this was a conversation that Spencer, you know, from Niche Pursuits and I had, because of his experience with Google is that, you know, Google eventually caught up with all the people that were doing all the bad things, with the link farms, and the buying of links, and all those types of tactics that allowed you to win on Google for some period of time, but don’t work anymore. And Amazon is going to be the same way. You have to look at Amazon as still being in its infancy, and that it’s still maturing, right? It’s kind of funny to talk about a 10 year old company being in its infancy, but it really is. And the growth of product reviews has exploded with the growth of FBA. And so as the third party marketplace is growing, the number of review have grown.

And so Amazon has been slow to kind of catch up with it, but they will catch up with it, because it’s important to them. And so again, if your product is naturally selling 10 units a day, but you’re generating 10 reviews a day, you don’t look natural.

If everybody in your niche has one 100 reviews, and you somehow generated 500 reviews, you don’t look natural. And so if you try to do things and you try to act naturally and look naturally, and you use a tool like Snagshout to supplement, instead of generate, then you’re gonna be more likely to succeed in the long run. And so that’s really what I try to tell sellers. Is that, you know, “Listen, if you were gonna open up a pizza shop…” I live in Chicago, so we all have to open up either a pizza shop or a hotdog shop, right? “If you were gonna open up a pizza shop, what are you gonna do? You’re gonna walk around, you’re gonna hand out coupons, and you’re gonna show up at the state fair, and you’re gonna pass out slices of your pizza. You got to get people to try it.” Amazon understands new products need marketing and promotion. And so they provide you the tools for doing that, and they’re okay with people doing that. But I wouldn’t be in business very long if all I did was give away pizza all day, every day for my first, you know, three months in business.

And so you have to look at it in the exact same manner as doing business on Amazon. If I’m using it to get started, and I’m using it to get some initial kind of traction of my product and get people to use my product, that’s totally what Amazon is expecting users and sellers to do. If you’re using it to trick the algorithm and force the algorithm and all those type of things, and that’s your intention, then you’re probably going to lead yourself to trouble.

Best Ways to Get Organic Reviews

Andrew: So let’s say we’ve got a new product, we’ve used Snagshout to get, you know, just a baseline of reviews. Let’s say 10 or 11 that we can kind of work from, and from there, we wanna start really going 100% organic with the reviews. What’s the best way to do that? Obviously, Feedback Genius is a great tool, your tool that lets you follow up with people. And that’s probably one of the best ways to create those organic reviews. What tips or tricks do you have that work well in that email to get people to act, because I’ve seen emails asking for reviews that are just incredible, and I’m like, “I can’t believe I’m spending five minutes to write a review here.” And most of them, though, I hit delete without opening. So what can you do to really make those follow-up emails effective to build that organic presence?

Jeff: The number one tip I give is enhance the customer experience, and that all starts with the title. So as you just said, you delete the emails without reading them. That is because you saw something in the title that kind of just drove you to not even want to read the email. And so you wanna focus on your title, on your subject line, because that’s going to determine whether someone’s going to even take the next step.

So I’ll give kind of a very basic example. If you sold a product on Amazon that was a cooking product, and your title said “Ten ingredients for your perfect soufflé using the tool you just bought,” right? Or something like that. You’re now enhancing the experience. You’re now giving the customer something more than what they originally expected. And you’re not asking them for the review at the beginning. You’re just trying to build some momentum with the customer to have an engagement with your product brand.

The other tagline that seems to do really well is just really simple. Its like, “Are you happy with…and then the short name of your product.” And then you just, really simply, in the email, you ask, “You know, are you happy with the product? Yes I am, or no I’m not.” And “Yes, I am” will take them to leave a product review, and “No, I’m not” will take them to customer service, where they can write you an email about why they’re not happy. And so the subject line becomes the most important. Being real in your message, having a voice and a brand, and then giving the customer something they didn’t expect, right? So everybody wants a little bit more than what they thought they were gonna get.

Andrew: What other ways, apart from follow-up emails with say Feedback Genius, can people do to get organic natural reviews on their listings? Any particularly effective methods?

Jeff: That’s kind of a tricky question, because Amazon really is kind of a closed environment. So they make it very difficult, you know, for you to do that. Without doing some type of automated messaging system to your customer, you’re kinda dependent on Amazon and their messaging. And Amazon is typically asking customers to review multiple products at one time, not specific to the product.

There are people who will do product inserts, and they will, you know, provide some additional information on a product insert in their package, asking people to come into Amazon to leave a review. So that might be a tactic some people might wanna try.

Repurposing Amazon Review

Andrew: And what about thoughts on repurposing reviews on Amazon onto your own site. Let’s say if, you know, a lot of people I think understand that Amazon’s great, but also long term, building a brand, having your own platform is a great way to diversify against just being a completely reliant on Amazon. So let’s say you’ve got 30 reviews on Amazon, and your own site you’re selling over there, you’d like to be able to leverage those reviews for your product listing. It helps with conversion, of course. Can you do that? Is that against Amazon’s terms of service? How does that work?

Jeff: So I’m gonna have to get back to you on the against terms of service, and I’ll post that in the show notes. I’m not 100% positive, but I do know you’re gonna run into a Google SEO duplicate content issue. So there are some tricks to how you put that content on your page, because Amazon is gonna obviously have authority over you. I would say, you know, using those in the short term to build conversion on your own site is a great tactic, but you would wanna ultimately build your own reviews directly from your purchasers. So you have original content that you can be using for SEO purposes.

Andrew: So I wanna get into reviews. Reviews, obviously, super critical for success on Amazon. I mean, I think that’s the way I shop. I’ll go in. I’ll type something, and then I’ll use reviews as, you know, a lot of my research. Do you have any stats on how important they are in terms of, you know, really the impact that they make, and maybe what number you really need is a minimum to make sure you don’t have any kind of maybe bias from customers saying, “Ah, there’s not enough feedback here”?

The Importance of Your First 10 Reviews

Jeff: Yeah. So the most important reviews that you’re ever gonna have are your first 10 reviews. And Amazon has actually done a study. And the incremental value of your first 10 reviews are significant. The incremental growth of those reviews from 1 to 10 is has a significant impact on your conversion. Whereas once you go over say 10 reviews, the incremental impact on conversion does not grow at that point. And so essentially, what Amazon has said from some of their own research, is that your first 10 reviews, the first 10 reviews that you get, are the most critical. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that those are always the most critical in your conversion. But somewhere between 7 and 10 seems to be the tipping point of where a consumer lands on your product page and has more confidence in your product, because you have reviews, versus not having reviews.

And there are lots of other studies in the marketplace that demonstrate the value of reviews and the value of reviews and trust. But Amazon has really kind of come out and shared that number, which I thought was very interesting, that that becomes the critical factor in conversion. And so that’s really what I tell sellers to focus on at the beginning. Your initial 7 to 10 reviews are really about improving your page conversion.

Andrew: I think about how I search on Amazon. I’ll go type something, and I’ll scan the listings, the category page. And what I’m looking for is something from the picture, from the title that meets my criteria. But also as a third thing, if it has fewer than 10 reviews, a lot of times…unless it’s like five star, and even then still a lot of times, I won’t even click into click it, because I’ll think, “There’s not enough data points here for me to know if I’m not getting a lemon.”

Jeff: I think that’s a critical factor to look at, but I think that’s very subjective to the user. And one of the things I always tend to tell sellers is we’re hyper critical because we understand the system significantly greater than anybody else because of how we use the system. And so when you look at the average person, the average person doesn’t necessarily know the difference between a verified review and an unverified review. And they look at things very relative. So if all of the sellers on the page have 200 reviews, and you have 10, then you’re gonna look like you have less than the other ones. Whereas if all the sellers on the page have 10 to 15 reviews, then you look perfectly fine at 10 to 15 reviews. And so a lot of it becomes relative to your competition and relative to the eye of the beholder, if you will, which we don’t always know that much about.

Engaging with Reviewers

Andrew: What about…and we’re gonna get into how to actually get those reviews in a minute. But what about engaging with reviews? Is there any benefit to getting in there when people leave reviews, commenting on them, thanking them? Something I know people sometimes do, you know, with site reviews, or not with properties as much, but maybe off Amazon, a little more common, and something I’ve attempted to do, actually, on my product on Amazon that I list. So is that something that has any benefit at all?

Jeff: There is probably incremental benefit, minor incremental benefit within the Amazon search algorithm for you to engage with your users, both in the question and answers, that can be asked about your product as well as responding to your review. The way that I’d look at it is more of like how does a human work, right? So if you owned a physical store, and somebody came into your store, and they said, “Wow, I’ve shopped in your store before, and I bought this product, and I thought it was amazing.” I mean, Andrew, what would you do?

Andrew: If somebody just came into my business and said that to me?

Jeff: Yeah.

Andrew: You know, I’d be excited. I’d probably, you know, learn what they really enjoyed about it, potentially ask them for a testimonial.

Jeff: Thank you. Okay, exactly. So when you don’t respond to a review, it’s like looking at that person dead in the face and just not opening your mouth. So Amazon wants natural behavior, right? Amazon wants a natural interaction with you and your customer. And so if you naturally, if somebody came up and said, “I love that shirt that you’re wearing.” And you would say, “Thank you.” Then when somebody comes up and says, “I love the product that you have,” just simply responding, “Thank you for your kind words,” now starts to show that you’re a better merchant than other merchants that are out there.

And we love to do business with companies that we know are good companies and have good customer service. And so that’s a great way for you to demonstrate it. So does it have an incremental value on search? Nobody really knows. But I think that from a humanistic perspective, it has value in showing that you as a company care, and you’re responding to those people who are speaking to you.

Andrew: If you comment on somebody’s review, do they get automatically emailed? Does Amazon automatically notify them that somebody responded to them?

Jeff: I think they have to click a button as to whether they want to get that or not.

Andrew: Yeah, okay, but it’s kinda like a blog. You know, if you go to a blog, and there’s a bunch of comments, and you see the author really engaged, talking, thanking people for commenting, you know, answering questions, it does give you a sense of confidence in the blog and the author.

Jeff: That’s exactly what you’re doing at that point, is just trying to build confidence and build a reputation and a conversation.

Andrew: What’s the best way to deal with the negative reviews that you get?

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Jeff: Yeah, so the best way to deal with negative reviews, I think, I’m gonna say to start is to pay attention to them. I think a lot of people ignore them, and that’s not a great way to handle it. You should look at negative reviews as a positive way to improve your business. A lot of times, sellers wanna believe that their reviewer’s, you know, full of crap, you know, for lack of a better term. And sometimes, you might actually have something wrong with your product that needs to be fixed. In terms of like what you can do about it, you should respond to somebody who lives a negative review. And you should attempt to handle it just like you would if you had a physical store and providing customer service.

If you’re responding to the review on your site, I would typically recommend that you say, “Sorry about your negative experience. Can you please fill out a customer service request so we can issue you a refund?” Or make some type of gesture back to the user, that you’re looking to provide them customer service, because of their negative experience.

Andrew: And it is possible for a user to change their review after they’ve left it, correct?

Jeff: Yeah, it is. So Amazon is pretty explicit in their Terms of Service. You cannot ask them to change their review. So you cannot say like, “Oh, I’ll give you a new product if you change your review.” But what you can do is you can refund them. You know, what I would recommend that you do, if you know who the buyer is, you issue them a refund, and then you give them another version of your product. If it’s something that you think was just a bad product, you give them another one. So it’s gonna cost you a little bit of money. After they get that product, you follow up with them again, and you say, “You know, was the second product I sent you to your satisfaction?” And if they say, “Yes.” You could say, “Would you mind leaving a product review now that you’ve revisited the product?”

Now you’ll notice that my terminology, I did not say, “Will you update your product review.” All I said is, “Will you leave another product review?” Amazon only allows a buyer to leave one product review per product. So you’re naturally asking them to update their review, without physically asking them to update their review. And so you’re staying within Amazon’s terms a service by asking them to leave another product review for the new product that you sent them. But you’re not asking them to change their review, and you’re not offering them a refund in exchange for changing your review, because those are things that are against the terms of service.

Verified Reviews

Andrew: Let’s talk about maybe about verified reviews quickly. And just to clarify, a verified review is something where Amazon can confirm, “Hey, this person…” we’re able to see they bought it through Amazon. They received it. So we know that they genuinely bought it, versus a non-verified review. As anyone can come to Amazon and just, you know, leave feedback on that review. But it’s not necessarily linked to a purchase. That’s correct, right?

Jeff: Correct, exactly. Obviously, you know, if you wave a magic wand, having all those verified reviews would be great. But in terms of perception from customers in terms of the search algorithm, how important is it?

So I think perception of customers, this is just my opinion, I don’t believe the perception of customers between a verified review and unverified review, I don’t know that they understand the difference. I think that’s something we understand because of where we’re at within the community. There’s clearly something within the search algorithm, or within the ranking algorithm for reviews between verified and verified.

I’ve had a seller tell me before that 51 verified reviews is equivalent to one verified review. There’s no way to test that. But it’s clear that Amazon’s algorithm of how they’re determining how many stars show up for your review listing is based on a weighted average of verified verses unverified. So if you had 100 non-verified reviews that were all five star. And then you had 100 verified reviews that were four Star, the natural display on the site should be four and a half stars, right? Because you have a 100 of 5, and 100 of 4, the average is four and a half. Your actual average will be less than four and a half. It might actually be four stars, or it might be, you know, down to that area, because the weighted average of the verified reviews has a higher weight than the non-verified reviews.

The Value of Customer Photos and Videos

Andrew: What about pictures and videos? I mean, sometimes people, you know, they’ll obviously leave pictures of their stuff. They’ll record a video of their product review. Is there any effective way to encourage those? And obviously, they’re valuable, but how valuable are they?

Jeff: Yes, so there’s no way to really tell how valuable they are within the ranking algorithm. But we know that they’re very critical within the conversion, right? So the way Amazon shows reviews is based on relevance. That’s the default, is relevance, and so typically, when you look at products, the relevant reviews are the ones who typically have videos and pictures associated to them.

So other users who look at reviews will typically say that those reviews are more helpful than other reviews. So the easiest way to encourage that is if you use the system like Feedback Genius. Just ask, like, “Hey you know, please leave some feedback on your product. If you have a great picture of you using the product, you know, please feel free to post it.” Now, you cannot provide any incentive for the posting a video or pictures, but you can ask your users to do it. I know a couple of sellers who, you know, flat out say like, “Show your pride, show your product.” You know, “Post it up.” And their users follow and do it. I think it comes back to what you sell. So if you’re selling a kitchen product, and people are really into cooking, they might or they might not, you know, show it. If you’re selling a yoga mat, then people might not be as eager to, lik,e show pictures of them lying on their yoga mat.

If you really wanna target reviewers to leave pictures, you should target testing your product with reviewers who have left pictures in the past. So those who have kind of done things in the past are more likely to do them in the future.

Andrew: Can you talk a little bit about Amazon’s Vine program? So with Snagshout, which is your service, you can go in and get reviews from people who get the product, a lot of times at a discount, and then they can leave a, you know, review on the site. The way I understand it, somewhat similar program is called Vine, and it’s where, you know, they get reviewers, professional reviewers to do this. Can you talk about how that works, how much what the costs are for the merchant and, you know, if it’s something that’s worth considering?

Jeff: Yeah. So Vine is Amazon’s testing platform, or their sample platform. It’s only for Vendor Central customers, so if you do not sell on Vendor Central, you cannot access Amazon Vine.

Andrew: And just to clarify, Vendor Central, that means you’re selling directly to Amazon, is that correct?

Jeff: Correct, you’re a merchant selling to Amazon, and Amazon is then the seller of your product on their site. It typically runs around $2,500. You have to give your products away for free. And they typically limit the number of products you can give away to somewhere between 30 and 50. Now, depending on the size of merchant that you are, it is possible for you to negotiate that and have that kind of negotiated end to your terms.

So I do know plenty of merchants who get Vine for free. But a typical seller on the Vendor Central platform, that’s about what they’re going to pay. They are targeting top reviewers on their platform. So typically, the pros are that you’re gonna get very detailed reviews from the reviewers. The cons are that you’re gonna have to give your product away for free, and it typically takes a longer period of time for those reviews to come in. Many merchants who use Vine tell me that a typical Vine process takes about three months from when you sign up, to when you get your products out, to your reviewers getting the products to them, writing reviews, and posting them. So it kinda depends on what you’re trying to target and how you’re trying to do that target as to whether Vine works for you.

I spoke with a merchant who sells on Vendor Central yesterday, and they told me, “We’re not gonna use Snagshout. We’re gonna use Vine instead.” And my recommendation to them was to use both, because I thought that what Snagshout can do that’s different is one, we can sell the products instead of give them away. And we can do things in a much faster time period. A typical campaign on Snagshout is gonna get your reviews in two to three weeks, versus two to three months. And so my recommendation back to them was do both. There’s nothing wrong with Vine and what it offers. They’re actually very high-quality reviews. They’re just very expensive because of the whole process for how you have to do it.

Andrew: Interesting. So I didn’t know that you could only use it for Vendor Central. But it makes sense, I mean, if you’re Amazon, it gives you the advantage, because you’re really getting quality reviews for products that you as Amazon are buying and reselling, versus having to compete with everyone else. And so it’s gonna boost their internal revenue for products that they own.

Jeff: Right, and you know, we basically built Snagshout as kind of the Seller Central, which is the third-party marketplace side of Amazon. We built Snagshout as the seller central version of Vine. And that was really how we modeled Snagshout, was after vine, but made it available to sellers on the third-party platform who didn’t want to be part of Vendor Central.

The Amazon Lightning Round!

Andrew: Love it. Really good stuff about reviews, Jeff. So kind of in closing, one thing that I’m doing with all of the guests in the Amazon series that I’m doing, is doing an Amazon lightning round. So I have about a dozen questions here. Feel free to give me just super short, you know, punchy, even one-word or one-sentence answers. But are you up for going through this?

Jeff: Let’s go.

Andrew: All right, cool. So what’s the biggest mistake that you’ve personally made on Amazon?

Jeff: I think one of my first products that I imported. I overestimated what my initial sales would be. So I ended up with about nine month’s worth of inventory, what I thought would be about three month’s worth of inventory. But as I like to tell people, the hardest product you’re ever gonna source is the first product you source.

Andrew: That’s a bummer, but I’ve heard of, you know, people having like two, three years. If that’s the worst mistake on Amazon, you’re doing pretty well. What’s the biggest mistake you regularly see other people make an Amazon?

Jeff: From a seller perspective, I think the biggest mistake I see sellers make is what I like to call, “Analysis paralysis.” They spend so much time trying to analyze that they never take action.

Andrew: Are you a Bezo’s guy or a Bizo’s guy in terms of how you pronounce it?

Jeff: I’m a Jeff Bezos.

Andrew: Bezos. Man two Bezos’s so far, it’s crazy. How many products have you personally launched on Amazon?

Jeff: So I am on my fourth product that I have personally launched, but we’ve obviously worked with thousands of sellers launching products.

Andrew: Where do you see the most opportunity on Amazon right now? It could be foreign countries, paid product ads, a certain category, a tactic people aren’t using?

Jeff: Yes. I’m just gonna go, like, I’m probably the worst person to ask this question to, because I’m so bullish on Amazon. I think the opportunity is just that there are opportunities for inexpensive products. There are opportunities for expensive products. There are opportunities for going to foreign countries. There’s opportunities for using paid product ads, because it’s still so new.

I think that what’s important on Amazon is that you’re sourcing something that you like and that you have a passion for. If you’re just trying to find the perfect product, you might not ever find it. But if you have a passion for something, that’s what you should be developing, because that’s what you’re gonna have the most fun doing on a daily basis.

Andrew: What was the last thing that you personally ordered off of Amazon?

Jeff: A laser pointer for presentations. It’s right here in my desk. You know, like one of the wireless presenter DinoFire.

Andrew: What’s the strangest thing you’ve personally ordered from Amazon?

Jeff: I’ll say my magic coloring book, which I actually ended up using in a presentation, because I wanted to try magic.

Andrew: I saw in it action. Is that Steve’s Sellers summit?

Jeff: Yes.

Andrew: Yeah, you pulled it off. I was impressed.

Jeff: I did. I had always wanted to try that. It happened to be a Dion’s Snagshout. So I gave it a whirl.

Andrew: Do you own Amazon stock?

Jeff: I do not. I wish I did about 10 years ago, though, and still held it.

Andrew: Has your account ever been suspended?

Jeff: I have never had a suspension. Knock on wood.

Andrew: In one word, how would you describe Amazon today?

Jeff: Infancy.

Andrew: In one word, how would you describe where you think Amazon will be in five years?

Jeff: Everywhere.

Andrew: Everywhere. Jeff, it has been super helpful. Love your insights into reviews. And if you’re listening, and you’re looking for a couple great tools for your Amazon efforts, Feedback Genius, great tool, and it’s got a free generous trial that lets you get in touch automatically with the people who buy from you. And Snagshout is Jeff’s tool as well for to help grow your review base on Amazon. Jeff, appreciate it. Thanks so much for coming on. It was a lot of fun.

Comment Below to Win a Free T-Shirt!

Jeff: Hey, Andrew, can I give something to your audience?

Andrew: Sure.

Jeff: Great. So you’ve seen our Famous on Amazon T-shirts?

Andrew: I have.

Jeff: We can post a picture up in the show notes. How about we’ll give away five T-shirts within the comments? You know, we can use a randomizer to pick it. And so go ahead and comment below. Either share your own tip that you guys keep close to your chest, or share a question you have about reviews, and I will monitor the questions. And then we’ll pick five winners, and we’ll mail you guys out a Famous on Amazon T-shirt.

Andrew: Want to connect with and learn from other proven eCommerce entrepreneurs? Join us in the eCommerce Fuel private community. It’s our tight knit vetted group for store owners with at least a quarter million dollars in annual sales. You can learn more and apply for membership at ecommercefuel.com.

Thanks so much to our podcast producer, Laura Serino, for all of her hard work in making this show possible, and to you, for tuning in. Thank you for listening. That’ll do it for this week, but looking forward to seeing you again next Friday.

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Photo: Flickr/Brian Reynard

Post tagged in: Lifestyle & Growth, Podcast, SEO & Marketing

8 Comments

    1. That is a great question and it depends on the product. I typically like to reach out to the customer right when the product is received and provide them a bit of extra information either on the product or how to use it. Then based on the product I would follow up after a reasonable amount of time has passed that they can use the product. Lets give an example.

      If your product is food related, your email upon delivery might include a recipe. Then 3-5 days after delivery you can follow up to ask if they have had a chance to use the product or test the recipe and ask for a review. If your product is supplement then you might need to wait 7-14 days so they can give you a real results.

      What Amazon wants is real users talking about how they use the product.

  1. Awesome Andrew.

    This is great, definitely one of the more practical guides on getting amazon reviews. Organic reviews are definitely what you should go for and I think there’s still heaps of techniques that can be used effectively.

    Much like link farms and other black hat SEO, it’s definitely a risk using places like Fiverr and other dodgy review sources.. if you want to build a lasting product/brand you should steer well clear.

    Anyway just wanted to say thanks because most people talking about Amazon selling just tend to skim the surface and say.. “and then get a bunch of reviews … profit!”

    1. Amazon is too smart for those black hat services and they have proven that if you use them they will sue you, shut down your product or close your account. In today’s world if you want to build a business on Amazon you have to play by Amazon’s rules.