Amazon Reviews: The Technologies Sellers Love and Use
Obviously you have to use Amazon in order to do reviews on Amazon, but what other technologies do you have to know about in order to successfully interact with sellers and why?
If you’ve filled out your Amazon profile then you’ve put your email in plain sight where anyone can see it. This is where most sellers will probably contact you. Sometimes they’ll have an @gmail.com account and sometimes they’ll have email accounts that end with @126.com or @134.com. These aren’t spam emails, 126.com and 134.com are domain names that are popular in China, where a lot of the people who are contacting you work and live.
I advertise myself as an Amazon Reviewer on Instagram and over the past month or so sellers have increasingly been using the social media platform to make initial contact. Their Instagram accounts will usually be full of pictures of clothes and captions like ‘contact us if you want to review these products’ – they aren’t very subtle. One of their first questions will be “What’s your Amazon Profile link?” so they can verify that you actually review things on Amazon. It’s helpful to have that on hand in a text file or something that you can just copy and paste.
Follow Up Contact
A lot of sellers will follow up by saying “Add us on Facebook” or “Add us on WeChat”
If you’re reading this, you probably already know what Facebook is, so I’m not going to insult your intelligence by explaining the social media platform. If you’ve put your full name on your Amazon profile then sellers can find you and contact you via Facebook. They might just message you or they may also try to friend you. Don’t freak out, they’re not trying to stalk you, it’s just how their business contacts people. It also makes it easier to put people into “Review Groups”
I personally have a “No Facebook Friend” rule which some seller’s abide by and some don’t. If a seller really wants to work with you then they’ll respect that you only want to talk over email.
If you live in the United States, you might not be familiar with WeChat. It’s a social messaging platform much like AIM or Facebook Messenger that’s popular in Asia. You register on your phone but can also chat on the computer (which makes it easier for sellers who are on their computers). Because it’s an instant messaging platform it means that you might get messages at all hours of the day or night – because sellers are in Asia and the time difference is significant, I get a lot of messages between 10pm and 6am. If you go the WeChat route I highly suggest silencing your phone at night so you don’t wake up with people messaging you about reviews.
Getting the Products
Amazon Refunds/Discount Codes
Sellers will offer you discount codes or amazon gift cards in return for buying/reviewing their products. Don’t do this. Amazon can easily track this activity and flag it as suspicious. Just don’t.
If a seller is serious about paying you/reimburse you, I’ve found without exception they’ll use PayPal. You have to have an account for this (you can have multiple emails on the same email account, so I added my email that I use with sellers). Sometimes they’ll offer to pay you before you buy, sometimes after your payment has gone through, sometimes after your review. It’s up to your discretion as to which options you choose. Thus far I haven’t had a seller not follow through if they said they’d pay me.
There are a couple of companies that will just directly ship the products to you and include the Amazon receipt in the bag. Amazon will let you review products like this, but your review won’t be “verified” because you didn’t buy them on your account, so you’re limited in the number of these you can do per week. I’m also not totally confident that if you review a lot of these Amazon won’t mark your profile as suspicious (you can only say “my mom got me this dress as a gift” so many times before it becomes weird).