Amazon is taking big steps to reduce crummy reviews

Brinke Guthrie
Digital Trends

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In the middle of its busy season — Cyber Monday is just hours away — Amazon has been busy on internal fronts as well. After dumping incentivized reviews, the retail giant is going to start capping the number of product reviews any customer can submit in a given week. According to The Digital Reader, an email went out to Amazon’s more enthusiastic reviewers telling them of this change.

Basically, you can review any product at any time if you bought it from Amazon. However, if it’s a non-Amazon Verified Purchase, there’s a limit. In GeekWire, an Amazon rep confirmed the changes.

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“Customers can now only submit a limited number of non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews a week. The limit is five and the count is calculated from Sunday at 12:00 a.m. UTC through Saturday 11:59 p.m. UTC. Customers’ ability to submit Amazon Verified Purchase reviews will not be impacted. This policy also does not apply to Vine reviews or reviews on digital and physical books, music, and video.”

You can read the Community Guidelines here. The Digital Reader notes that the Amazon review structure has been under fire as the company reportedly squashed negative reviews and ratings for Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s new book, “politically motivated commentary submitted by people who hadn’t been verified to have purchased the book.” This new system would not have had an effect on those reviews, given that it doesn’t apply to books.

These are critical moves for Amazon to make. Given its stature in the online marketplace and the global economy in general, it’s essential for Amazon to have a solid bond of trust with its user base, and it goes the other way, too. End users need to be able to trust the Amazon is giving them the straight scoop, and Amazon needs to be sure that it’s getting the straight scoop from reviewers. Anything less does a disservice to everyone involved.