“We are looking for a tester with amazon profile. Message if interested,” a Facebook advertisement caught my attention. I had come across many of them recently, and I knew what to expect. Still, I clicked on the message icon on them.
“Hello, are you interested in our product?” a bot messaged me. “You need to have an amazon profile and a PayPal account. Buy and use it for seven days. Drop a five-star rating and an excellent review, and we refund the total amount with PayPal fees.”
They didn’t say, “If you drop a five-star rating……,” but they said, “Drop a five-star rating.” This condition means there is no freedom to review. I need to review it as they say to get a refund. It looks free, but it isn’t as simple as saying.
Who doesn’t love free products? My two friends were among them to be lured.
Friend A in Chicago
A few months back, my friend in Chicago received a similar message from a page that ran a promotion on Facebook. The page owner promised him a full refund. He ordered a multi-port USB for 20 dollars, something he could have lived without. He submitted his order details, gave five stars rating after fulfilling all of their condition, and asked for a refund. They told him he would get a refund within fifteen days of processing time.
He waited for seven days to process the refund. When he opened a message box to check the status, he found nothing, but a deleted page. The product on amazon had gathered twenty five-star ratings. Most probably, all of them were a part of a scam.
Friend B in Paris
B needed a grinder for her household activities when she saw an Instagram promotion, “Amazon tester wanted.” She ordered a fifty-Euro grinder from amazon seller, as stated by them. The product was not as expected and certainly not worth 50 Euros. In her detailed review, she wrote the pros and cons and gave it a four-star rating. The Facebook campaigner declined to refund her.
New Sellers on USA and Europe amazon stores use the tactic of social media promotions. Irrespective of the continent, their strategy is to buy reviews. We never know how many buyers fall in such traps every day.
All Seller wants is a five-star review and nothing less.
I asked a few of those campaigners if they would pay me in advance so I can buy their product. All the time, they declined my offer. All campaigners may not be scammer, but the problem is a five-star review. Whatever product I buy, irrespective of their quality and worthiness, I need to give them a five-star rating with beautiful narration to get my money back.
I find two major problems to agree with their terms and conditions.
- Every tester who buys their product must drop an excellent review to get their refund. So, if I write an honest review, I won’t get paid. I have to write a paid-review.
- If I write a paid-review, I might get my refund back if the campaigner is not a scammer, unlike my friend encountered. If anyone buys the product after reading my (paid) reviews, it might disappoint a buyer. As a human with stand, it will be a tremendous loss for me.
Had these processes been a real testing method, testing and (honest) reviewing a product wouldn’t be a problem. But this was not the case here. So, I decided not to buy (test) any of such products.
Amazon product with good ratings climbs up in the amazon search index, but this process is not so simple for new sellers. Thus we can see new sellers searching for paid reviewers through Facebook advertisements.
Amazon has kept a minimum threshold in purchase amount before a user gets to review (rate or/and comment) to prevent ratings and reviews from new users. However, it doesn’t stop the circulation of paid reviews.
It is a scam. Be careful, Amazon. Be careful, Amazon customers.