Many Amazon customers have received an offering that states they can get an Amazon Gift card in exchange for a review. While this may seem like a great and easy way to make money to spend on Amazon, let’s find out if this exchange is actually allowed by the site.
Receiving gift cards in exchange for Amazon reviews is explicitly outlawed by Amazon in its terms of service. If you are caught exchanging a review for a gift card as either the client or the seller, your account could be disabled.
If you want to learn what happens if you do exchange a review for a gift card on Amazon, as well as the legality of the exchange, how to report sellers who ask for an exchange, and even whether or not you are being scammed, we have everything you need to know right here!
Even though you now know that Amazon does not allow these exchanges, it can be hard to turn away free money, so it’s important to understand what will happen if you do accept an Amazon gift card in exchange for a 5-star review.
If you write a review for a free Amazon gift card, here’s what can happen:
- Amazon can void your gift card.
- They can take away your reviewing privileges.
- Amazon can suspend your account.
- You can be banned from Amazon.
Overall, it’s probably not worth it to try to receive a free gift card by leaving a review!
How Does Amazon Detect Sponsored Reviews?
You might be thinking that leaving the review is worth the risk if you get free money! How would Amazon find out anyway? You might be onto something, but before you write a review for a gift card, it’s important to understand how Amazon detects sponsored reviews.
Here’s the truth: it is almost impossible for Amazon to find out that your review is sponsored by an exchange through the review alone.
Amazon certainly has fake review detection technology, but it’s based on third-party sellers paying companies to leave dozens of fake reviews, not on one review from a real customer of a product.
If Amazon is going to figure out that you gave a review in exchange for a gift card, it will be because someone reported the seller for offering gift cards as a bribe.
Although the consequences of leaving solicited reviews can be unfortunate for the client, it’s worse for the seller.
Amazon won’t really do anything other than suspend the account or ban the seller from Amazon. However, for many third-party sellers who make a lot of money on Amazon, that can mean losing a big chunk of their income.
While Amazon tries its best to punish sellers offering this exchange, it is a giant website, and it’s almost impossible to find out who is bribing customers unless someone reports them.
Offering gift cards for Amazon reviews isn’t necessarily illegal in its own right; however, it is illegal as you agreed to the terms and conditions of Amazon when signing up for the site, and either offering or accepting a gift card for a review clearly violated them.
That being said, you cannot be taken to court for bribing or accepting a bribe on Amazon to leave a good review. Amazon has much bigger fish to fry; they have sued several companies for attempting the same thing but on a much larger scale.
When sellers are using this tactic, not only is it illegal, it’s really unfair to other sellers with the same products, as well as misleading the customer.
Even if you don’t particularly care that you got offered a bribe, it really does the entire site and the world a favor when you report sellers for offering gift cards for reviews.
Amazon doesn’t offer a clickable “report a seller” option; however, their customer service line is open 24/7, and there is always someone available for a virtual chat. If you have received a gift card and been asked to write a review to claim it, call Amazon at 1-888-280-4331 or reach out on their customer service page.
Unfortunately, Amazon gift cards for reviews are a scam. While there may be some sellers who actually do send you a gift card, most of them don’t follow through.
Even though you are not technically the victim of the scam because they are not taking money or information directly from you, by asking for a review without actually giving you what they offered, they are scamming you.
Though writing a quick review doesn’t take a lot of your time, it’s still not worth it. You probably will never get the gift card, you may get in trouble with Amazon, and you will be misleading other customers and hurting sellers of the same product who are playing by the rules.
If you receive an offer to exchange a review for a free gift card, it’s not from Amazon.
Amazon never uses this tactic because it is against their terms and regulations and illegal on their site. Only third-party sellers and fraudulent companies will offer gift cards in exchange for reviews.
Amazon used to have a program called the Early Reviewer in which they encouraged people to write honest reviews of products for a small $1-$3 gift card. However, the program was shut down.
If they ever restart the service, you can be sure it’s actually Amazon offering the gift card because it will come with an Early Reviewer Badge.
If you do receive a gift card and want to claim it, here are the instructions on how to redeem your card to make purchases on Amazon:
- Find the claim code on your gift card.
- On Amazon’s site, navigate to Redeem a Gift Card.
- Enter your claim code and select Apply to Your Balance.
Your gift card will not be available for purchases on the site, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime, or any of the other offerings from Amazon.
Again, Amazon does not send free gifts of any kind for review as it goes against their policy.
If you receive anything stating you will be receiving a free gift for your review, it’s best to contact Amazon because you are probably being scammed, and they need to know so they can stop the seller.
Amazon’s terms and conditions specifically outlaw sellers from bribing customers with gifts or gift cards for reviews. If you are caught writing a solicited review, you could be punished. The best course of action if you receive an offer of a gift card is to report it directly to Amazon.