Are you a shopper on Amazon, wondering why you’re unable to leave a review for a product you recently purchased?
You may receive messages like, “Sorry, we are unable to accept your review of this product”, or “Amazon is not accepting reviews on this product from this account”.
These messages can both be confusing and alarming, and you may find yourself unsure why Amazon isn’t allowing you to post reviews, even if there are other recent reviews of the product from other shoppers.
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the possible reasons why Amazon may be preventing you from leaving product reviews, and what you can do about it.
A Quick Disclaimer
Before we begin, I would like to point something out.
I am not an employee from Amazon, and cannot speak in any official capacity. Although I have sold hundreds of thousands of products on Amazon as a seller, most of the theories presented in this article are based on speculation, and how Amazon has been known to enforce their policies in the past.
Amazon does not disclose all details about why some reviews are rejected, though they do share some information.
It is possible that their algorithm for approving or rejecting reviews is far more complex than may be presented here.
It is also possible that you could be doing everything right, and still have reviews incorrectly rejected by no fault of your own.
With that out of the way, let’s begin sharing some possible review rejection reasons.
1. Amazon Believes You Have Ties To The Seller
If there’s one thing Amazon wants to avoid, it’s bias in the reviews.
This hurts the trust and integrity of the review system as a whole, and Amazon has taken great steps in the past few years to crack down on fake and biased reviews.
So, if Amazon believes that you have a relationship with the seller in any way, they will reject your review on the spot.
Sellers are not allowed to request reviews from family, or even from friends. It is unknown how far Amazon takes this, but they may even block reviews from friends-of-friends just to be safe.
At the same time, Amazon knows a surprising amount about who is connected with who, so this is one way they utilize that information. Amazon has been able to successfully predict connections from friends who live all the way across the country, so I suspect it’s pretty far-reaching.
It is unknown how Amazon collects this data to tie people together, but some predictions include:
- Tracking who logs in from your IP address / Wi-Fi.
- GPS data
- Amazon has purchased data from other large tech companies / social networks.
Note that this restriction should only be for products that seller sells (and possibly their competitors), and not for all products on Amazon entirely. If you’re blocked from leaving reviews on any product, this is probably not the reason.
2. You’ve Left Incentivized Reviews In The Past
Previously, many sellers solicited reviews from people in a way that is no longer allowed on Amazon.
The seller would ship the item to somebody for free, in exchange for an “honest” review of the product. Of course, it was implied that the review had better be positive, or that person was unlikely to have any more free products sent to them.
This was a standard way for sellers to launch new products, as making those initial sales with 0 reviews on the sales page was difficult.
On October 3rd, 2016 Amazon announced that this practice was no longer allowed, and began scrubbing its site of all reviews that were incentivized in any form – including those that came from a result of receiving a free or heavily discounted product.
If you participated in these kind of arrangements before or continued to do so after the practice was banned, there’s a chance that you may be permanently banned from leaving reviews on Amazon.
3. You’ve Given In To Review Bribes
Have you ever purchased an item on Amazon, that offered you a bribe to leave a five star review?
They often come in the form of a little insert card inside of the product’s packaging.
Typically, they instruct you to leave a 5 star review, then email the seller a link to it. The seller then claims they will give you a gift card or other bonus in exchange for the review.
Just like the incentivized review practices of the past, this sort of thing is against Amazon’s terms of service. This new method of hiding it on an insert card is just a shady way to make it more difficult for the seller to detect.
Sellers can get banned for this type of behavior, as it goes against Amazon’s seller guidelines.
For a buyer, it is possible that engaging in these schemes can also lead to review bans. Again, this type of behavior hurts the integrity of the reviews system, and offering money in exchange for positive reviews is unethical at best and illegal at worst.
4. Your Prior Reviews Broke Policy
If you’ve had prior reviews removed for breaking any of Amazon’s review policies, they may scrutinize your reviews more heavily or prevent you from leaving them entirely.
Some examples of behavior that may go against guidelines include:
- Reviews using inappropriate or vulgar language
- Incentivized reviews
- Reviews in which you have a connection to the seller
- Leaving a review on a competitor’s product, if you are a seller
- False / slanderous comments
- Reviews designed to advertise or promote something else
- Leaving an excessive number of reviews for products you haven’t purchased
- Doxing or sharing someone’s personal / private information.
- Promoting anything illegal / immoral
- Asking people to press the ‘helpful’ button on your review.
- Joining in on a group of people attacking one product, without actually purchasing it. This practice is sometimes referred to as ‘brigading’
Note that some of these aren’t posted on Amazon’s official rules page, they are just some instances in which I’ve seen reviews removed in the past.
It is possible that Amazon removes reviews at their own discretion, without announcing why.
5. You Used Banned Words In Your Review
It is possible that if you’ve used banned words in your review, that the review won’t be posted publicly on the website. It may be hidden, or you may receive a message stating the review cannot be approved or posted.
When it comes to reviews, it helps to keep common sense in mind.
Don’t use swear words, make references to anything illegal, talk about drugs or alcohol, or act obscene in any matter. Don’t use any words that may be perceived as racist or sexist.
If it is inappropriate to say at your child’s school, it is probably inappropriate to post as an Amazon review.
Note that Amazon may also block words that start with other profane words. For example, the word ‘cockeyed’ may be blocked for having the word…. well, you know.
Amazon does not have a public list of banned words. However, if you err on the side of caution, it increases the likelihood that your review will come through.
6. You Haven’t Shopped On Amazon Recently
In order to leave a review on Amazon, you must have spent at least $50 in the last 12 months, excluding gift card purchases.
If you are an infrequent shopper on Amazon, this may be the reason.
Customers who haven’t spent at least $50 are also unable to participate in other community features, such as the Customer Questions section, or Idea Lists.
This requirement is part of Amazon’s Community Guidelines, which you can view by clicking here.
Unless Amazon explicitly shares the reason, there’s no way to be sure what is causing your review to be blocked.
Try leaving reviews on different products to see if any of the others go through. If Amazon doesn’t allow you to leave any reviews, chances are an action has been taken against your account.
In this instance, only a new Amazon account would be able to review products again, although Amazon may tie the two accounts together and block reviews on that one as well.
I hope that this article has provided some clarification. If you have any questions or you’d like to share your story, feel free to do so using the comment form below.
Thank you for reading!
– James McAllister