Give-Aways to Increase Sales Velocity Are Against Terms of Service
Here’s some language directly from Prohibited Seller Activities:
You may not provide compensation to buyers for purchasing your products or provide claim codes to buyers for the purpose of inflating sales rank.
I added the red for you. It clearly states that giving products away to increase sales velocity is a no-no.
This could get real confusing, because every promotion ever run by a company is, in the end, to drive sales. Amazon helped clarify this in their latest e-mail by saying:
– You may offer discounts that are generally available to all Amazon customers, such as Lightning Deals.
The message Amazon is sending here is that you can still run promotions, so long as they’re not exclusive and in exchange for reviews. What they don’t mean is that you can give away hundreds of free products to get your product to rank.
Don’t risk your account. Amazon isn’t going to send everyone a note saying “Hey, we noticed you doing this, now stop it” – They’re more likely to just start banning people who are manipulating sales rank.
What Promotions Can I Run?
I have a litmus test that I use to determine whether Amazon would like what I’m doing: “Would I run this same promotion to get sales, even if it had no effect on product ranking?”
In other words, is this a real business activity, or am I just trying to manipulate Amazon?
Here are some things real businesses do that I’ve also focused on to increase sales:
- Send % off Coupons To Past Customers
- Launch new products with Buy One Get One offers
- Attract new customers with discounts on social media
- For consumable products, give deep discounts, even take a loss on the first sale in anticipation of re-order
Should I use a “Deal Site”
Most of the the companies that use to run “Review Clubs” now run “Deal Sites” – its the same exact business model but they’ve changed a few words in their terms of service to “be compliant.”
The truth is, they’re not compliant. Don’t risk your account.
Their Customers Want Free Stuff
Customers who joined these deal sites did so when they were review clubs. The draw was that the customers could get free stuff and all they had to do was leave a review. You may get a couple sales by giving a “Deal” but what those sites are really there for is to distribute free goods to people looking to boost their sales rank, which we already discussed earlier, is against the rules.
Amazon Knows Them
These customers already have history with Amazon. They’ve had hundreds of reviews deleted. You can bet they’re flagged in the system as review club members.
Can I still Ask For Reviews?
Yes. You can even ask for reviews from customers who got a discount. You just can’t make the discount or future benefit contingent on the customer leaving a review. I put every customer through my review sequence.