It’s a common issue for keen Amazon sellers – the mystery of the missing reviews. Overnight, some of them can simply just disappear. So where did they go?
If you’re an experienced Amazon seller, the chances are you monitor your reviews closely. You rejoice at every five-star rating and wring your hands at every one star, but one thing that seems to confuse many sellers is the mysterious case of disappearing reviews.
This can happen from time to time. Indeed, a quick search of seller forums shows plenty of sellers why their Amazon reviews have disappeared.
Well, the answer as to why these reviews are disappearing could be due to a number of reasons.
Why some Amazon Reviews Disappear
Community Guideline Violations
Amazon is very strict about violations of their established community guidelines. These terms dictate what is and is not acceptable in a review.
A product review may be deleted for any one of a number of infractions including:
- Foul, abusive or obscene language.
- Revealing a merchant’s contact details.
- Pretending to be someone else.
- Posting links to third-party sites.
- Infringement of intellectual property.
- Encouraging any form of illegal activity.
Amazon will also act extremely quickly if they believe the buyer has posted the review in return for any kind of reward, or if they believe the review to be disingenuous.
Amazon has a range of in-house systems for flagging some of the more obvious infractions like bad language or external links, but others may be more subjective. Reviews will have a “report abuse” link which can be used by anyone to report a review that they feel violates Amazon’s rules.
Now, you may or may not be happy to see these reviews go. If the review was nasty or abusive, you’re not likely to lose much sleep over it. But, if it’s a good review, losing it can come as a real blow — especially if Amazon suspects you may be using underhanded tactics.
While you can make a complaint to Amazon, their judgment is final and they rarely overturn their decisions just because a seller is unhappy.
Amazon thinks the reviews are fake
Amazon has spent decades building an unrivaled reputation and one of the biggest threats to this reputation comes in the form of fake reviews. A few things may trigger Amazon’s suspicions. If a review is a little vague or lacks detail, Amazon may wonder if it’s truly genuine. Likewise, if they see multiple reviews coming from the same IP addresses, they will view this activity as suspicious.
Naturally, friends and family will be keen to help you succeed and they may go online to leave a review. But, vague reviews that read like the reviewer has not even used the product, will not do you any favors. Amazon may take action to remove these reviews. And remember, Amazon’s decisions on this are final.
Buyers can change their minds
If a buyer leaves a product review, they may change their mind after the fact. This change, of course, may work for you or against you. For example, if they have left a negative review, you may be able to work with them to resolve whatever problem they are having. In this instance, the buyer may be willing to amend or remove their review completely. This, of course, would be to your advantage.
However, this freedom to amend a review can also work against you — especially if a product has a long lifecycle. Customers may be prone to leave glowing product reviews in the first days or weeks of owning the product but change their minds at a later date.
For example, let’s imagine someone purchases a bicycle. At first, everything may seem fine. It’s bright, shiny and works perfectly. A very happy customer heads to the Amazon website to share with the world just how happy he or she is.
Then things go wrong. Perhaps the bearings wear out much earlier than expected. Perhaps something else goes wrong that prompts the buyer to change their mind.
When people are unhappy, they are far more likely to go online to air their grievances with a negative product review.
Reviews get separated
Amazon has specific rules when it comes to creating product pages. You are not allowed to create multiple copies of product listings for the same item. Amazon also dislikes multiple products being sold on the same product page and, when they see this, they will separate the pages. The reviews may look as if they have vanished, but in reality, they may have just been moved to a different listing.
Disappearing reviews can cause some consternation, particularly if there is no obvious reason. It pays to be proactive with your reviews by using software tools like FeedbackWhiz. This tool can help you encourage buyers to leave product reviews and help you monitor and respond to product reviews as and when they are left.