Following these tips can only help, but they are sadly not a proven method, as people who follow Amazon TOS are still wiped on a regular basis. This is merely a guide that can help.
*Originally Published February 14, 2016, if you would like to publish this article on your blog, please ask permission, give credit, and link to my blog or group.*
Tips to help you avoid being wiped…. but first, what to do if you do get wiped! If you get wiped you need to tell the admins of all the groups you are in. Also keep in mind that Amazon sometimes has glitches. All of my reviews were gone overnight and I thought I had been wiped about 2-3 weeks ago. I chose not to panic and check it in the morning (afternoon) and they were all back…that was the most recent glitch and the quickest resolved.
As far as I can tell from what I have seen and heard from others, there are now TWO different forms of being wiped. The first is the classic wipe where you lose your entire account. This includes all of your reviews, your ability to review, and your ability to buy things on Amazon. If you get wiped in this way, you will receive a prorated refund for the months of Prime that you paid for but did not get to use. The second is the new wipe…where you lose every review you have ever written, the ability to review anything else, but keep the ability to buy things and use your other prime benefits. I believe that they came up with this second one to avoid having to give prorated refunds to all the people they were wiping.
If you do get wiped and you truly did NOT break any of Amazon’s rules or guidelines, you can appeal it. Send Amazon an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at (206)266-1100. You will get an operator, so ask for escalated customer care. They will be able to tell you if it’s a real wipe or a glitch. Make sure that you are able to tell them their own review policy…they do not all know the REAL review policy as it is written in their guidelines. They will try to say that ONLY Amazon Vine reviewers can leave product reviews on items that they got for free or at a discount, make sure you have the following link ready and highlight to them the exception to the rule. (They really are targeting reviewers who are not on Vine, even though they have a rule that allows us to do promo reviews.)
When all is said and done, you will either get your account back, or you won’t. If you can’t get your account back, you can copy and paste many of your reviews to a new account if you have been saving copies of them. Just add photos and proper disclosures to show that they are legitimate and real to customers who are reading them. Amazon has told people who can’t get their accounts back that they are welcome to create new accounts. If you have to create a new one, it is suggested that you use a different email address and different credit/debit card on your new account.
Now, here are some tips on reviewing and tips to avoid being wiped!
- Only order from your home computer or your own mobile devices. DO NOT ORDER A PROMO ITEM AT A FRIEND’S HOUSE!!! The same goes for posting reviews. If you are using a mobile device, use your home wifi or mobile data only. This is a “great” way to get flagged by amazon and wiped. If you use a VPN at home….turn it off before you order/post a review, then back on after you are done.
- Make sure that you are using the proper disclosure/disclaimer on ALL of your promo reviews. If you get it free, say it was free. If it was a discount, say it was a discount. Please read the post about the importance of the disclosure for more detailed info on this.
- Don’t just use your Prime account to get and review promo items. Buy stuff that’s on sale, buy other things you want. There are a lot of things that are cheaper on Amazon than elsewhere.
- Save copies of your reviews! While saving the emails can be beneficial, they don’t show the pictures and often don’t show the entire review. If you have Word and space on your computer, save them in word docs. I also write them up in word and then copy and paste my review including the pictures into the same doc and save it on my computer.
- The ideal length for written reviews is between 75 and 500 words *not including the disclosure* and you are limited to 5,000 words.
- I have given bad advice in the past about seller and shipping experience…so listen to amazon, not me. You should not put info in your review that is not about the product. It can’t include feedback about the seller, shipment experience, or packaging details.
- Only write reviews and give star ratings that are honest and true to your personal experience. You are NOT going to absolutely love every item. If all of your reviews are 4 and 5 stars, some day Amazon is going to notice. If you absolutely hate something, your review should reflect that. If it’s just ok, it should reflect that. *This is why I absolutely hate the 4+ star review rules that nearly all other groups have. I feel like it puts pressure on the reviewer to write reviews that may be more positive than they feel an item deserves. Honest Dragon Reviews does NOT have this rule. We did for a little while at the urging of an admin that is no longer with the group. The admin team of Honest Dragon Reviews wants you to write honest reviews ONLY, with no pressure from us on the type of review that you write. **We do want to know if you receive a defective or damaged item so that we can ask the seller to send you a replacement ASAP.
- Your reviews should include the reasons you like or dislike a product. Don’t just say that you love or hate it, tell the readers WHY you love it or hate it. Also, be specific on how it looks, feels, smells. Compare it to other like items, compare it to the product’s description.
Do you think I need to add something here? Let me know and I will seriously consider it!