The Amazon Vine program is a trusted service that allows the most trusted buyers get free products to review.
Vine members (or “Vine Voices”) receive pre-released items from merchants via the Amazon marketplace. Launched in 2007, the Amazon Vine program is aimed at generating honest opinions about products to help buyers make educated purchase decisions.
Vendors, like manufacturers and publishers, pay Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) a fee for the service. Amazon sends the product samples to Vine Voices for them to use and review. Reviewers are barred from reselling or giving away the items and are required to post a review within 30 days upon receipt of the product.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Vine program works.
How are Vine Voices Selected?
Reviewers are invited to the program based on one thing: the helpfulness of their reviews. The process is anchored in other customer’s trust in reviewers, since they can rate each review as helpful or not.
Reviewers are ranked on the Amazon marketplace based on the helpfulness of their reviews and the number of reviews they’ve posted. More recent reviews get more weight. Reviewers who are highly ranked each year can get into the Hall of Fame. Another factor considered for Vine Voice eligibility is the interest of the reviewer in the types of products under the Amazon Vine program.
Vine Voices are not paid for writing reviews, but they can earn “badges” that identify them to be a Vine Voice or belonging to the top reviewers.
How Do You Enlist a Product?
The Amazon Vine program is open to a range of products such as books, electronics, appliances, and even food items. Vendors can enlist a yet-to-be-released product if they want it to gain traction by having credible reviews visible through the program. The program is currently only open to vendors, but there has been speculation about whether third-party sellers will be invited to participate in the future.
One program that guarantees placement in the Vine program is the Amazon Launchpad service, a brand-building tool that focuses on startup businesses. You can learn more here, and think about joining the discussions on the Seller Forums to hear from real Vine Voices.