Over the past few years, many companies have emerged to offer free or discounted products in exchange for product reviews on Amazon. This system was designed to help companies find a consumer to try out their products and create a demand for them. All you have to do to claim the discounts is sign up for free and then you can start buying immediately.
As a Prime member, you can also enjoy the benefit of free shipping along with your discount. Free shipping and discounts became a deadly combination to my wallet because I’d wind up buying so many things and get several packages from Amazon in one day. If you don’t have a Prime membership, you can actually get a free one-month trial by clicking this link!
Snagshout and Elite Deal Club, two of my favorite companies, used to provide coupon codes for thousands of wonderful products on Amazon.com. I’ve gotten a number of awesome products from both websites, from clothes, health supplements, beauty products and even printer ink. One of my best snags was an exact dupe of the Clarisonic Mia 2, from $169 down to $55.99. You can read my thorough product review here.
Of course, the catch is that you have to leave a product review and include a disclosure saying, “I purchased this product at a discounted price in exchange for my honest review.”
But now, Snagshout and Elite Deal Club no longer requires for you to leave reviews on products you get discounts for. You can just simply buy the product and enjoy the savings!
Snagshout and Elite Deal Club’s previous systems helped many brands’ products get bumped up in Amazon’s search results using the power of incentivized reviews. This is why you may sometimes see products in even unpopular categories with over 1,000 customer reviews.
Although I enjoyed the discounts and freebies, I did grow worried about the honesty and integrity of customer reviews. Customers seemed to rave about products and promote 5-star ratings.I’ve felt recently that this incentivized review system could easily influence genuine consumers due to the high product ratings. I felt as if customers were starting to lie to others just because they were given discounted products.
However, I got an email just yesterday from Snagshout saying that “effective immediately, Snagshout shoppers are no longer required to leave Amazon reviews in order to get discounted products.” Also similar, when I logged onto Elite Deal Club, I was greeted with a huge stop sign picture and another notification that we cannot leave reviews through them anymore.
What does this mean for us?
It seems that Amazon has changed their policy on product reviews. Amazon has decided to stop the use of incentivized reviews altogether.
At first I grew worried because I thought, “if there is no enforcement to leave disclosed reviews, then how will real customers know that products are popular only because of these discounts?”
However, reading Amazon’s update even further, it seems that they have created a new algorithm that ranks products according to helpful reviews and disregards manipulated reviews.
Amazon is enforcing the ban on these incentivized reviews unless they are done through the exclusive invite-only Amazon Vine Program. This means that products will now rank higher in search results according to thorough and insightful reviews by customers who were selected and trusted by Amazon. On top of that, Amazon is limiting the number of Vine reviews for each product as well.
We as consumers can return to relying on truly honest customer reviews without sifting through manipulated ones. There have been times where I purchased subpar products due to trusting the high number of customer reviews and ratings.
On the plus side of things, companies like Snagshout and Elite Deal Club will continue to provide customers with exclusive discounts on products. I’m delighted to know that we can continue getting freebies through these programs without fooling others with influenced reviews.
If you haven’t joined Snagshout yet, you can join at www.snagshout.com.
Similar yet, you can also join Elite Deal Club through my invite link.
What do you think about companies like Snagshout and Elite Deal Club? Let us know in the comments below!
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