How to Become an Amazon Vine Reviewer & Get Free Stuff
Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

Do you think leaving an Amazon review How to Know If You Can Trust an Amazon Product's Reviews How to Know If You Can Trust an Amazon Product's Reviews Amazon product reviews are hit or miss. Sometimes they're helpful, sometimes they're fake. Here's a tool you can use to check the integrity of a given product's reviews. Read More is a waste of time? Then, an Amazon program that’s been around since 2007 might have you thinking twice. Amazon’s Vine Program consists of a group of handpicked reviewers who get products for free in exchange for honest reviews.

Amazon doesn’t give away too much about how reviewers are selected, but there are some basic guidelines that you can follow in an attempt to be one of the lucky ones receiving free swag.

What is the Amazon Vine Program?

Amazon’s Vine Program is an invite-only group of reviewers that receive products for free in exchange for impartial reviews. They will often receive products before they are released. Amazon explains its purpose:

“[…] to provide customers with more information including honest and unbiased feedback from some of Amazon’s most trusted reviewers.”

Anyone who is a member of the Vine Program will have a badge on all the reviews they leave on Amazon distinguishing them as Vine Voices. 

How to Become an Amazon Vine Reviewer & Get Free Stuff Vine Badge

That doesn’t mean every single review they leave is the result of a freebie. If they received the item as part of the program, that review will be labeled Vine Customer Review of Free Product.

How to Become an Amazon Vine Reviewer & Get Free Stuff Vine Customer Review

While Vine members used to receive a monthly newsletter featuring books and other products they chose from to review — with products valued at anywhere from a few dollars to close to $1,000 — they now have access to a rolling list of items they can order at any time. According to NPR, Vine members cannot sell or give items received through the program away and Amazon can ask for the items back — although they don’t appear to do that.

Amazon says that Vine reviewers are not expected to leave positive reviews and that writing a negative review will have no impact on an Amazon user’s ranking.

How Do You Get An Invite?

So how do you become one of Amazon’s most trusted reviewers? Amazon will reach out to you if they feel you are a good fit for the program but the company does offer some guidance on what it’s looking for in a Vine Voice.

Rather than focus on quantity of reviews, they are focused on quality. It’s no good if you’re out there on Amazon leaving one-word reviews left and right. Being a prolific reviewer is no guarantee of joining the Vine program. Amazon’s guidelines for a Vine Voice are:

  • A reviewer’s rank, which is based on the overall helpfulness of reviews, while also factoring in the number of reviews.
  • Demonstrated expertise in one specific product category.
  • More weight is given to recent reviews. (Rankings are updated every couple of days.)
  • An interest in products similar to those enrolled in the Vine program.

While an interest in the products enrolled in the program is key to getting an invite — aside from looking for Vine reviews on Amazon (which is not an easy task), there’s no real way to know which products are enrolled. All we know is that vendors pay to have their products included — a fact that Amazon did not initially disclose, leading to some negative coverage of the program in the past.

In any case, in its explanation of the program Amazon writes:

Ultimately, Vine Voices become eligible based on the value and trust other Amazon.com customers place in the Voices’ ability to provide helpful and insightful reviews.

Helpful Votes

So if you want to be considered, avoid leaving extremely brief reviews. Avoid complaining about something in the product that is clearly stated in the description. Think about the questions you were asking yourself before you took the plunge and ordered that $200 gadget that you knew you didn’t need but really, really wanted.

Amazon likely scours the thousands of reviews left on products available on the site and looks at how those reviews are being received by fellow customers.

How to Become an Amazon Vine Reviewer & Get Free Stuff HelplfulVotes

Reviewers whose feedback is consistently marked as helpful have a better chance of being invited to the program.

Stick to One Category

As for the second criteria – Amazon looks for your interest and expertise in specific product categories. Anecdotal evidence shows that sticking to one product category, and becoming a recognized and helpful expert in that field gives you a better chance of becoming a Vine member.

How to Become an Amazon Vine Reviewer & Get Free Stuff Amazon departments

There’s No Clear Science

Amazon doesn’t provide much information on how it makes that decision. For example, we found Vine Voice reviewers who received 4,000 helpful votes. Some Hall of Famers have received over 88,000 votes but are not a part of the program. There is clearly no exact science in play here. One Vine Voice reviewer posted on Quora that he received his invite with over 30 reviews and over 300 helpful votes. In addition to numbers, according to him, it also depends on which categories Amazon is looking to add new Vine Voices — in other words — there’s no guarantee.

One major piece of information that Amazon does not share is how often it invites users to the Vine program, so it’s never really clear if Amazon is actively recruiting new reviewers. So if you want to be considered, you’ll simply have to keep at it. Most anecdotes found online of Vine members being invited are somewhat dated at this point.

One Reddit user who is also a Vine member claims that Amazon does not add new members unless existing members leave the program.

Tips from Vine Members

Vine Member Laura Knights offers some details on what she did prior to being invited in 2009:

  • She aimed to write one review per week. (Some of the top Vine reviewers wrote as much as one review a day, and sometimes more.)
  • She reviewed products mainly from one category: kitchen items.
  • She did this for a period of one year.
  • She speculates that being a longtime, active Amazon member may also have something to do with it.

MakeUseOf’s Bakari Chavanu, a Vine Member since 2010, offers this advice:

  • You need to have been an Amazon member for longer than 6 months.
  • Write thoughtful and genuine reviews.
  • Prioritize reviews of products you actually bought on Amazon. (These will be labeled as a Verified Purchase on the site.)

How to Become an Amazon Vine Reviewer & Get Free Stuff Amazon Verified Purchase e1509037809819

  • Play the long game by updating your reviews after you’ve used the product for a while.
  • Consider doing short video reviews as well.
  • Focus on a product category associated with your profession as this can lend to your credibility and increase the likelihood of helpful votes.

Tips for Writing Reviews

The last thing to consider if you’re trying to get an invite to the Amazon Vine club is to pay attention to Amazon’s own review guidelines. This is what Amazon suggests when you’re about to write a review:

  • Do explain why you liked or disliked it.
  • Do compare to similar products or services and share how long you’ve used this product.
  • Do identify specific attributes (e.g. comfort & fit of a shirt or the battery life of a camera) and whether they met your expectations.
  • Don’t describe your seller or shipping experience (you can do that at amazon.com/feedback).
  • Don’t include promotional content of any kind or reviews written in exchange for compensation.

You’re In. Now What?

Once you’re accepted as a Vine reviewer you will want to make sure you follow the guidelines of the program. You are limited to two products at a time and you must write and post your reviews of received products before you can request additional items. Be sure to leave a review within 30 days of delivery.

Only choose products you’re really interested in, and don’t feel compelled to select something just for the sake of a review. If you don’t really want or need the item, you can just skip a month or two.

You’d be surprised but as with most things online, being a top Amazon reviewer doesn’t come without risks. One Amazon reviewer reportedly gets regular hate mail, among them death threats. Other Vine reviewers say their reviews get negative feedback just because of their Vine badge. And while Amazon vowed last year to crack down on ‘incentivized’ reviews Deleting Fake Amazon Reviews, Streaming for Comic-Con Geeks, & More... [Tech News Digest] Deleting Fake Amazon Reviews, Streaming for Comic-Con Geeks, & More... [Tech News Digest] Fake Amazon reviews, streaming movies for Comic-Con geeks, LinkedIn buys Lynda, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Pacapong combines Pac-Man and Pong, and the Netflix Watch is coming soon. Read More , because of a deluge of fake reviews How to Spot Fake Reviews on Amazon How to Spot Fake Reviews on Amazon Don't trust that review or 5-star rating on Amazon to make up your mind about a product. The only way to find a true opinion is to learn how to spot these fakes. Read More , the Vine program has continued to operate.

A 2016 study by ReviewMeta found that, while they may not be perfect, Vine reviews are often better than incentivized reviews.

For all of the criticism that it’s received, there are some really dedicated reviewers among their ranks, including the current top-ranked Amazon reviewer, who has written 3,451 reviews and received over 84,000 votes from other Amazon users for the helpfulness of her reviews. And, you can’t disagree the value of a good review when you go shopping on Amazon The Amazon Shopping Guide The Amazon Shopping Guide This free Amazon shopping guide outlines everything you need to know to make the best use of Amazon and secure the best deals. Read More .

Do you regularly write reviews on Amazon? Are you a Vine member? Can you share any tips or tricks on how to get invited into the program? What has Amazon sent you to review? Let us know in the comments. 

Image Credit: zagandesign/Depositphotos

Originally written by Bakari Chavanu on Aug 4, 2010

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Vincew9298
    November 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I do write reviews on a semi-regular basis, and frequently comment on other reviews. One word, or snarky comments I note are not helpful but when I read a good written review, pro or con I will note. Sometimes the reviews will be a deciding factor if I'll buy a product so I appreciate a well written one.
    I am less likely to write a bad review about something. I find myself returning the product and then I wouldn't be a verified purchaser. Also, many of the things I buy now are gifts so I'm not sure I can judge the quality of the product.

  2. Bobbi
    November 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I often rely on Amazon product reviews when I make a purchase. This article is 7 years old. I certainly hope that if it is no longer relevant, that Amazon still monitors reviews for fraudulent entries.

  3. bibousiq
    November 6, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Does this program exist abroad (France for example)?

    • Nancy Messieh
      November 17, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      I have not seen anything that indicates that it's available in France. I've seen some in Canada say they were invited, but Amazon doesn't appear to provide any information on which countries the program operates in.

  4. Arshdeep
    September 22, 2017 at 4:58 am

    I think those are some good ideas. I too wana be a amazon vine community member and help others make good decisions
    It is probably best thing to do plus i like amazon also its name is funny to me but the app does the trick its pretty good app

  5. Karen lynn lee
    September 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I did not reveive and invitation but i am interested in reviewing products am going part time as a nurse

    • TPB
      November 17, 2017 at 7:30 am

      If that's an example of your English language writing skills, you'll be waiting a very long time for that invitation.

  6. KT
    September 11, 2017 at 4:33 am

    This article is extremely out of date and completely incorrect. The invitation criteria is not known by the public nor Vine members. Anything purported above is nothing but a guess. Not totally impossible, but still a guess.

    The products we select are also not free.

    11 Sep 2017

    • Little3ChordMe
      November 16, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      "Amazon provides Vine members with free products that have been submitted to the program by participating vendors" - Amazon's Vine Help page, linked at top of article.

      • KT
        November 16, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        Amazon wouldn't be the first online entity to not update their public blurb pages, nor provide specific details on internal programs. I'm not able to go into detail, though, so you can "win" if you feel the need.

  7. Kim wright
    August 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Amazon products are really great

  8. Lisa Michele Joyce
    July 13, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I would love a vine invitation. I pull no punches and I don't sugarcoat anything. if I like it ill say everything about it that I like and if I don't like something the same thing. I don't like getting ahold of bead products not just on amazon but ebay samsclub and Walmart,com. I love to help people make informed decisions on products but you must remember that everyone has their own likes and dislikes plus I like free stuff. especially disc golf stuff and boaed games like mahjong.

    • KT
      September 11, 2017 at 4:35 am

      Amazon invited a batch of people in Sept 2016. There had not been any new invitees for 5 years prior to that.

      It does not work the way this article states, any more. Nowhere close. Items we select are also not free.

      • TPB
        November 17, 2017 at 7:33 am

        I think you are responding to the same person who posted above as "Karen Lynn Lee." The bad spelling and grammar and 3 first names name are the tip-off.

        • KT
          November 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm

          I wondered, but it didn't matter, and doesn't now. This whole list of comments is frustrating - people are acting like this Mud site has anything to do with Amazon, like they're applying for Vine here on some random site. As if Amazon would see it here.

          I'm sure many of these people are very nice, and I'm not keen on the image I have of them sitting around waiting for invites.

  9. david walton
    July 4, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Reading reviews for products is invaluable in helping you make an informed decision before buying a product,therefore writing reviews which are helpful are necessary to complete the process ,making the whole purchasing experience more enjoyable and rewarding .I have myself giving numerous reviews hoping to help alleviate the potential pitfalls of products and also to give an honest appraisal .

  10. Susan Robertson
    May 28, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I have sent a review once for Amazon for a purse I bought. I would love to be a Amazon reviews so I could have my honest opinion of another product.

  11. Jodie jones
    May 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    I would really like to view items and give a really honest review about them. As im a really good buyer of amazon myself and take into account everyones points about the products i buy.

  12. Betty Booker
    April 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    I would love to view items and continue with nothing but honest review
    I've purchased. Lots of very good items from Amazon only had one exchange for size..........never got an bad item

  13. Mia
    April 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    I got a message that my review was removed because they think I knew the seller and my review was biased. Um, no and no. This is what it said, "“Amazon does not permit reviews from customers whose relationship to the product or seller may be perceived as biased”. So I guess they won't be picking me as a Vine Reviewer. I do have 50 helpful votes and over 100 reviews.

  14. Murray Kahl
    February 27, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I've often wondered about on site reviews and questioned how honest they are. As an Amazon customer for many years, I've purchased many different items, admittedly, some good, some great, some so so and then there were ....
    I enjoy writing and want to share my opinions with others.

    Thank you,

  15. Pamela Hamilton
    January 29, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Good bags strong no odor affordable a must have

    • Mia
      April 15, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      @Pamela I like it; short and sweet.

  16. gauram
    December 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    hiii

  17. Pat
    December 16, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Bakari

    How do I become a Amazon Voice ?

    I'm a 74 year old Vietnam Vet. living on social security.

    I've purchase several item on Amazon

    Thank you

    Pat

    • Phreak
      December 28, 2016 at 11:16 am

      This is explained throughout the entire article. Did you read it?
      There is no "sure-fire" way to become one, other than writing a lot of quality reviews on popular products and receiving as many helpful votes as possible from them.
      Then you have to wait for an invitation from Amazon, as far as I know...

    • KT
      September 11, 2017 at 4:36 am

      Amazon invited a batch of people in Sept 2016. There had not been any new invitees for 5 years prior to that. Thank you for your service, but please don't waste your time on this.

      It does not work the way this article states, any more. Nowhere close. Items we select are also not free.

    • Phil N
      November 16, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      What does age or military status have to do with anything?

      • KT
        November 17, 2017 at 6:04 pm

        Demographics. What every business out there is concerned with.

  18. Dawn O'Hara
    December 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I'm Not A Amazon Vine Customer, But I Would Like To Be... I've Bought A Few Items From Amazon And Have Never Had A Bad Thing To Say As I Have Always Been Satisfied With Every Item That I Have Bought From Sellers. I Have Always Recieved My Item On Time, My Product Has Always Looked As Described And Has Never Been Damaged.. I Would Recommend Amazon To The Public... 100% From Me.

    • Phil N
      November 16, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      A good review isn't always positive.

  19. Agni
    December 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Fmmama
    May I ask what questions did they ask in the form?

  20. fmmama
    December 4, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Amazon sent me a letter and survey to apply to Vine. They replied that I was not chosen but could be in the future. I had under 100 reviews, and about 55,000 rank.Over 100 up votes I think at that time.
    Thank you for your great suggestions on how to get into Amazon Vine as a reviewer.

    • KT
      September 11, 2017 at 4:38 am

      No, they didn't. What you got was a scam spoof. You were rejected by a scammer. Amazon does not send out surveys to pick their Viners.

  21. Hazel A Cox
    December 1, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Thank you for the information.
    I had no idea when i was jewelry making / card crafting that posting a review could be so important in latter years. i am now into sewing and doing my best to try and sell my makes.
    I do admit i do not purchase as much as i would like to. But that is more due to circumstance more than anything else.
    I will certainly make a point from now on to leave feedback or to take the time and write an honest review from now on.
    Can you tell me please do you think it possible for me to review on behalf of Amazon .
    Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

    H A Cox.

  22. Madeline McIntosh-Ortiz
    December 1, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I am very interested in the Amazon Vine program. I am currently a veteran member of Amazon Prime; as a proud Prime member, it is noteworthy to say that Amazon is my family's go-to place to shop for most personal, household products, and gifts. And we are very grateful to have this outlet to obtain our needs. Be that as it may, as an Amazon Vine member, I will use it as an excellent opportunity to review the amazing multitudinous goods Amazon offers to shoppers like myself.

  23. Michelle Hale
    November 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I really want to be a Vine reviewer for Amazon!! I will try what you have suggested & hope that helps!! Thanks.. Have a great day!!

  24. Mattie Alley
    November 26, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Would live to sign up.

  25. Chuck Harris
    November 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I have bought a ton of items thru amazon..wrote reviews comments etc..and never have recieved a request to review products..

  26. Angela deguise
    November 17, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Thanx for ur info I love shopping on amazon! So i will make sure to give my reviews thank u
    Angela

  27. jmw
    October 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Reviewmeta.com
    Fakespot.com

    Both sites analyze and grade the reviews of any Amazon listed product for authenticity

  28. Lilia Barnes
    October 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    This information was VERY helpful. I appreciate your input.

    Thak you,

    Lily

  29. Lee
    September 29, 2016 at 2:54 am

    Thanks for the heads up for Vine reviewer post. Definitely something I would be interested in.

  30. aggeliki
    September 27, 2016 at 10:39 am

    if you get a vine invitation can they ship the stuff you are interested in internationally?

    • Dominick Miller
      September 27, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      I would like to try this out. I'm a wounded vet with some time on my hands. I like computers,photography, men's health, cell phones.. I know I could put out a good review

  31. Mary Jane espisito
    September 10, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Love essential oils

  32. Handy
    August 24, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Personally I filter out the Vine reviews, quite frankly I don't care about the opinion of someone who got it for free. I want someone with skin in the game to tell me if it is worth the price they paid.

    • Dani
      November 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Absolutely agree

  33. dani
    May 29, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    5/1/2016 they no longer do the spark reviewer program. I hope this is helpfull

  34. dev01d
    May 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Pro tip: Paste this so you code isn't showing boss

    • dev01d
      May 18, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      without quotes

      ""

  35. RD Ramos
    May 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Hi

    I was invited to amazon vine once but I don't recall getting any news letter with offers. Can you tell me what's expected after the invite? Thanks

  36. JohnNewOrleansAppraiser
    March 31, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Yeah, but free stuff is nice! I have gotten a few products for 85% off from one manufacturer but I really did like the products and wrote honest reviews.

  37. Catherine A. McClarey
    March 26, 2016 at 3:12 am

    I was a member of Walmart's Spark Reviewer program, which they have just announced (via an email to the Spark Reviewers) that they are ending. I really enjoyed getting the free products (f.ex., things as inexpensive as a new variety of Triscuits or as fancy as a new convertible laptop onto which I was instructed to download Windows 10 the day it was released), and would love to continue doing something similar for another website's program (such as Amazon Vine). Are there other programs similar to Amazon Vine or Walmart Spark Reviewer out there, and if so, would experience as a Walmart Spark Reviewer be at all helpful in getting an invitation to participate?
    (I do also post reviews on Amazon, but haven't yet received an invitation to participate in the Amazon Vine program; I would love to get one, though!)

    • Closingracer
      June 2, 2016 at 12:52 am

      I am in a program with Bestbuy. Bestbuy tech insider i think its called. I got invited back in February and I don't know how. I typically do write some reviews on Bestbuy at times. I typically write a review if i like or hate the item enough to make my opinions known.

  38. BZ
    January 24, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    I think a MUCH bigger problem then dishonest Vine reviews are fake reviewers that are either the manufacturer/seller reviewing the product for themselves or a marketing company or private contractor hired to leave fake positive reviews. I have left reviews and pointed out that the others were fake and Amazon DID block my review even though I left a totally legit review. I will categorically never buy a product that has fake reviews.

    How do I know they are fake you ask... Easy, look at the other products that the person has reviewed, there usually are not any, but when they are they are all from the same seller. Another way is that someone will have like 50 reviews in a 2 day period, but then no other positive reviews, ever. Another way, You will see a reviewer review different products with different descriptions about who they are (e.g., "I am a professional plumber so...", "As a professional photographer, I think...", "As a large man, I found...", "As a single mother..." all from the same person). Another indicator is when they use the same broken English in multiple 5 star reviews or misspell the exact same word the same way under different names (no verified purchase, of course). Of course, none of these are 100% guarantees they are fake, but once you start looking for them, it becomes obvious.

    One other thing to look out for is reviews for the wrong product. A terrible thing that Amazon has done is allows sellers to list multiple unrelated products under one listing so you don't even know what you are reading a review for. This function was supposed to be used to allow listing of variations of the exact same product like color, size, etc..., but now is being widely abused to list totally different items for the sake of reviews and price-based search results. For example, someone might sell a camera flash and a tripod and full studio kit all under one listing. When you read the reviews, you see a bunch of people raving about how great the product was and you assume it is for the flash you are looking at, but they are all really for the tripod and the one flash review was bad. I have reported this and Amazon simply does not care.

    • Tif
      November 1, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Hi,I agree with you,because I am a seller on amazon,I do not want to spent more money to get review like you say,my items are all in high quality,but,no review no orders,especially good review.I hope all reviewers review honestly,but..............

    • Tif
      November 1, 2016 at 7:00 am

      ...

  39. buffpacman
    January 6, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Wow I have thousands of reviews and like tens of thousands of helpfuls with a 90 something percent helpful rate and I never got invited. Sad face

  40. Carolyn
    January 3, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Reviews4Success.com is amazing for getting free and deeply discounted products for review.

    • Tammy
      March 22, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Maybe your reviews aren't that well written or helpful? Just guessing...

  41. JH
    January 1, 2016 at 1:32 am

    This is sick.

    The obsessive and compulsive are being rewarded with free merchandise?

    Every time I see one of these reviews it makes me sick. There is no way to maintain any impartiality when one is receiving the merchandise for free.

    • T. Muse
      October 5, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      That is not true at all. I do hundreds of reviews on Amazon and when I do the review I review it the same as if I had paid full price. If I feel the product is over priced or that it a good value for the money, I say so. I rank in the top 5000 of reviewers and have never been invited to Vine.

      • J.H.
        October 6, 2016 at 12:08 am

        If you can't see that this is a conflict of interest, I feel sorry for you.
        You probably think politicians in Washington are looking out for your best interest as well.
        I'm glad Amazon decided to terminate this program recently. The facts are clear. Even if those who benefit from it don't want to admit it.

        • Liberty Zen
          October 31, 2016 at 9:51 pm

          I've left hundreds of reviews for free or discounted products. All are honest, and most are extremely thorough. No politician is watching my back, and it is because of that fact that I boldly tell people what I think. The funny thing is that for me, the bias tends to go in the opposite direction. I am so used to getting things for free or heavily discounted, that when I look at the full prices I nearly always think they're asking too much and that the product isn't worth that. I've had to make it a habit to comparison shop for items I review so that I have some realistic idea of how much that type of item costs and don't give low star ratings for something based on my unrealistic expectations. I do consider the full selling price, because I only review items I'm interested in buying or using even if I were paying full price. Just because your reaction would be to like something better because it is free doesn't mean everyone's is. I'm more likely to think it's junk, because if it isn't, why would it be free? I'm always thrilled to write a five-star review, because I almost never expect that I'll get to do it.

  42. Mike
    November 29, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with Robert. There's some fundimental ethical flaws with the vine program. It's a selection bias. And as he mentioned 99% of the 4-5 stars reveiws will be from vine members and the ratings below from customers who purchased the product. Amazon's interest to list positive reviews are within their own financial gain (a lot of products are direct from China, so the cost to profit ratio is exceedingly high). I've noticed now that when looking at products to review the negative reviews to get a "real" view of the product.

    • Klok Werk
      December 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Actually someone did a study on this, using a webcrawler to compare Vine ratings to non-Vine. Overall, Vine ratings were lower than non-Vine ratings.

      I actually think the worst part is when Vine people get items they wouldn't normally purchase, didn't really want and don't know how to use and therefore end up giving a good item poor marks because they don't understand it. e.g., a great gaming headset getting mediocre reviews from people who clearly are not gamers and never mentioned most of the device's features (macros, microphone, equalizer, etc).

      The other side of the problem is giving something a 5-star review because you only have 30 days to review it and it's either great or just hard to review properly with only 30 days (bags of seed, out-of-season items like humidifiers in the summer or things that just break after 60 days of use).

      There's actually no incentive to 5-star things just because it was free, though.

      • Johnny
        April 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        A link to the study would be nice.

  43. Robert
    November 23, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I've always wanted to do this, but think I'm too honest for them. I've been an Amazon customer since Amazon debut, have purchased hundreds -- if not thousands -- of items, and have reviewed nearly every single one of them. Why? Because I LOVE writing reviews.

    However, I like writing honest reviews and reviews that actually help people, even if they don't receive votes for it. I've seen some Vine reviewers who were honest, but the majority are not, imo. I've seen positive Vine reviews for products where all the non-Vine reviews were poor. So while I'd love to be a Vine member, I don't think I'm dishonest enough for it.

    • Mike
      November 30, 2015 at 12:00 am

      In the same boat as you Robert. But I applaud you for being an honest reviewer (like me!) Unfortunately I've been duped quite a few times by the high rankings of subpar products before realizing how to analyze really what the product is and not what a group of people who got it for free think.

      M.

      • Beans
        December 30, 2015 at 6:42 pm

        Lol. I got my Vine membership taken away for writing an honest review. I agree 100 percent. And just tried to review an item I purchased last week and amazon rejected it at 1 star, and truthful. I am thinking of returning, try more stars, and lie and I bet my new review will be accepted.

    • Michael
      December 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      I think one big difference is that the objects must be reviewed within 30 days. Many negative reviews from regular users come weeks or months later, when problems start to show up, and they get to experience how the seller/manufacturer deals with faulty product. There is a good chance the first 30 days will provide a positive experience with most products, unless the whole product is of poor design, or does not live up to specifications. It would be great to have the Vine reviewers come back a year later and update their reviews.
      I can attest to providing a positive review on an object I have owned for 3 days, and feeling very different about it a year later.

      • Liberty Zen
        October 31, 2016 at 9:55 pm

        This is why a responsible reviewer sets aside time each day or week to update reviews. I do mine weekly. If, during the week, I notice a product has failed to perform, has performed better than I thought initially, or has some feature that I've just discovered, I go back and update. Products have gone from five stars to one, and from two to four. Each time, I leave my original review, and amend it to add my new thoughts or findings.

    • Klok Werk
      December 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      On the contrary, this is why you should accept it if given the chance: because the program needs more honest reviewers.

      You make it sound like dishonesty is some sort of requirement. If you hate everything and rate it all 1-star, they will still keep sending you stuff. I've never heard of someone being kicked out of Vine for being too honest. The more common problem is people selecting items for review that they either never took out of the box, only gave a cursory examination of or didn't know how to use (or literally could not use).

      I'm a Viner and my Vine reviews are just the same as my regular reviews and I only select items from the list that I'm familiar with, think I would like and want to review.

      • Robert
        December 23, 2015 at 8:51 am

        I mostly agree, but I've been on Amazon since 1996 and don't think I've ever received an invite. It's possible that I received an invite when Vine debut, but turned it down because I was too busy at the time and just never received another one. Regardless, I've purchased a lot on Amazon and have written reviews for almost everything, simply because I believe reviews are important to online shopping, but I've waited for a Vine invite for years without receiving one.

        I read some places that you need to be ranked so high to be considered, but I've never bothered to verify that, because it won't affect how I write reviews. I'd love to be a Vine member, but only if an invitation were extended with how I write reviews naturally. That seems in contrast to some Vine reviews I read, which come across as an attempt to market the product.

        There's one review in particular that stands out to me. It wasn't a Vine member who wrote it, so it may not be relevant, but it's the first review for a popular product that has thousands of reviews for it. This review was entertaining to read and has received hundreds of "Yes" votes saying it was helpful. The problem I have with it is that I own the product, and while the review was entertaining, it was very inaccurate. In this particular case, I don't think it's merely a matter of the reviewer having a different opinion, because many things written are factually inaccurate, and it was important information. And yet, the review is #1 out of thousands of others on Amazon.

        I could write entertaining reviews, but that's not my purpose when reviewing a product, so if that's what Vine requires, then I'm out of luck. While this particular review was not by a Vine member, it reminded me of a lot of Vine reviews I've read in the past. Having said that, I hope you're right and maybe I'll receive a Vine invite some day, too.

      • Robert
        December 23, 2015 at 9:14 am

        P.S. I just checked the "How can I join the program" section of the Amazon Vine Program page and it says Vine Voices are partially selected by "customers who consistently write helpful reviews...".

        This is my point! I receive notifications that my reviews are helpful, but I'm sure I don't receive nearly as many as those who write entertaining reviews do. While I could make a conscious effort to make my reviews more entertaining, that's not why I write reviews, and I'd rather write a honest, thorough review as a non-Vine member, then spend time making my reviews entertaining, in the hope I'll receive a Vine invite.

        I'm sure you're right when saying it's okay to write negative reviews, but doing so seems like it'll make it difficult to pile up the helpful votes needed to receive an invitation.

      • Beans
        December 30, 2015 at 6:47 pm

        I was a vine reviewer. Till I gave 1 star reviews and told the truth about some children books. Amazon took my Vine priveledges away...And told me why. Sorry. I could not lie to other parents, and yes I do not regret my decision. Even if I don't have a vine membership any longer. Even if I could get laptops, HD tv, furniture, appliances, and the latest technologies FREE....I am sticking to my morals and honesty.

        • KlokWerk
          December 31, 2015 at 12:04 am

          Beans is either outright lying or skipping some vital details (like maybe his reviews were inflammatory in nature rather than merely critical). I'm a Vine reviewer and have written 1-star reviews without a problem and it's pretty easy to look up other Vine reviewers who have 1-star reviews in their list. I'm still in the program and still get stuff and I still review it all the way I always have. If I get a terrible product, I rate it poorly and explain, in as neutral a voice as possible, why it was terrible.

          Never had a problem with a review getting rejected. I did have one negative review generate a few dozen downvotes and angry replies from fanboys of the product but the review is still up there to be seen (granted it is buried under the downvotes).

          I bet if you linked to some of your reviews, we'd come to some interesting conclusions on why they really kicked you out (assuming you were ever actually in).

  44. Andrew - GoodsLoop.com
    November 12, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Great article, but you don't have to become a Vine reviewer to get a chance to review products! My company is launching a new product review site soon at GoodsLoop.com.

    We've got some great brands and products lined up. You can join today as a VIP reviewer, which will give you early-access to products.

    • Kri
      November 17, 2015 at 5:24 am

      I just put in a request on your site to review :)

      • Andrew - GoodsLoop.com
        November 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

        @Kri - Glad to hear it!

        • Corinne
          January 6, 2016 at 1:24 am

          I also just put in a request. Thank you for launching a site for us as consumers to be able to review products

    • producerchick
      December 21, 2015 at 3:51 am

      I just put in a request as well

    • Klok Werk
      December 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      I trust Vine reviews a lot more than 3rd party review sites, where the rules are more suspect and the reviewers are often not listing themselves as people who got something for free.

      • Andrew
        December 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

        Great point, Klok Werk. We're aware of that problem and are working to insure that all reviewers using our site disclose if they receive a discount.

    • Issis
      August 1, 2016 at 6:37 am

      Your invitation is dated 12 Nov, 2015. I just checked your web site and your are still accepting applicants for the wait list ... Are you really just aggregating a list of names for marketing purposes?

    • Dani
      November 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      DId this ever get off the ground?? I just put in an app, but it seems it's a year later and it still says that it's in the works??

  45. Anonymous
    October 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I've been on Amazon a long time and am currently ranked 1,300 and they still have not invited me to the program. Wish they would since I like reviewing new products. Maybe someday...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1H4IVXNXWWBLV/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp

    • Sahar
      October 9, 2016 at 5:43 am

      Craig did you make it in to Vine? I see you're ranked 700ish now

  46. Anonymous
    October 19, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Hi! I feel like I do this already, on my own accord. I enjoy other people's opinions and think it's
    helpful for other customers. It also provides insight to a product the consumer does not have.

    I would be delighted and excited to be invited to join your review team.

    Thanks
    Kim

  47. Anonymous
    September 14, 2015 at 9:03 pm
    • Bakari Chavanu
      September 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Carly, thanks for that information. I don't receive Vine newsletters like I used to, so I'll definitely read over that information.

  48. Anonymous
    September 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I would love to be a reviewer. I have been a member of Amazon since 2003. Love the fact that they have so much to offer. Everything from Lawn mower parts to computers, books, music etc. I have never been disappointed in an Amazon product.

  49. Virginia Rogers
    May 29, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Hello, Have written several reviews, is there any other way to request invite or to increase chances?

  50. Alice
    May 16, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Anyone tried the Genesis Review Program, New Trent Pilot User Program, Gmyle lab?

    Just wanting to know if anyone has tried to check if they are legit and your experiences with them

    Thanks for your help :)

    • Anonymous
      September 19, 2015 at 6:44 am

      I have been testing for New Trent for over a year. Their program is legitimate.

  51. Treva
    May 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    So I guess when I was offered write a review of a purchased item I should he replied? I will make sure to fill out a response the next time.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      May 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Treva, I think Amazon sends out those requests on a regular basis after customers purchase a product.

  52. JCrews
    April 12, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Thanx Bakari- I've come across a few of your Amazon reviews and they were actually thoughtful and useful. I rely heavily on Amazon reviews for both my online and offline purchases. I think Amazon recognizes the mammoth tool they have in posting credible customer reviews. It's a gem of a feature.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, JCrews. I don't spend too much time writing Amazon reviews, but I mainly do so because of how I depend upon the reviews of other Amazon customers. I’ve made quite a few buying decisions based on reviews.

  53. Carra
    April 4, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Invite by who, other members or amazon? I've always wondered

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 7, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      Carra, it's difficult to tell how they choose reviewers. I'm not even sure if the program is as possible as it used to be. I don't receive review newsletters as frequently as I used to.

  54. Amazonseo
    March 18, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Hey There,

    ?Have you needed any kind of Amazon SEO service..?? As well as Product Rank up, tag list, keyword research, Verified review, seller feedback, wish list List mania, Bulk purchase etc.

    Just join with us at Skype: Amazonseo
    Have a great Business!

  55. Lauren
    March 13, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    This has been really helpful to me. I review on Amazon too but not a Vine member. I have always wondered about some of the things that you have shared here. Thanks. I sure hope I get to be a Vine member eventually.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks, Lauren, for your feedback. I'm not sure if the criteria for being selected as an Amazon reviewer has changed since I wrote this article. You might try doing a search on Amazon to see if there's been any updates. Good luck.

  56. L. Freese
    March 8, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Would love to be a Vine reviewer....I currently help people online at no cost when they encounter a problem with merchandise. I have also solved alot of issues here on Amazon when company's blame Amazon for selling faulty products. Would love to review products!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      L. Freese, you might try to going on the Amazon website to see if they have updated the criteria to become a Vine member. I'm not sure if it has changed since I wrote this article.

  57. Ruth Rivera
    February 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I would love to participate in you review program of merchandise. I am a federal retiree and can go out of my way when reviewing merchandise. I am aware of your rules and honesty is a strong word in my vocabulary. If I am picked for this program, I will not let you down.

    • Emily
      April 9, 2015 at 8:22 am

      People on this site can't pick you. Only Amazon and nothing you say to anyone will get you chosen.

  58. Chattykathy16
    February 2, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I have bought anything from nail polish two toilets from Amazon. Do you have to be a vine member in order to receive free products and then review them for Amazon

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 3, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Chattykathy16, I'm not sure how much Amazon is still promoting the Vine Review program. I haven't received a listening of books from them in over five months. I do know that in order to be considered for the program that you have to write lots of product reviews for the site.

  59. Anonymous
    August 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I got an invite a while back when it was new, but didn't know that I could get free stuff to review. Any ideas on how to re-activate said invite? I don't seem to have the email, although I could dig deeper.

    • Elishia
      December 27, 2014 at 1:25 am

      Did you figure out how to be re-invited? I declined this too, I didn't know what it was :(

    • George T
      February 9, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Your lucky you even got an invite. I guess you need to just write more reviews to get in again.

  60. Bakari
    August 6, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Well, I know you have to have an account. But I’m not sure if they would hold it against if you rarely purchased books on Amazon.

    Also, I should emphasized that the Vine program is only useful if you already write reviews. Depending on your reading tastes, there are lot of books you simply might not be interested in reading. So basically just consider the program a perk for writing reviews that you would ordinarily do anyway.

  61. Bakari
    August 6, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Well, I know you have to have an account. But I’m not sure if they would hold it against if you rarely purchased books on Amazon.

    Also, I should emphasized that the Vine program is only useful if you already write reviews. Depending on your reading tastes, there are lot of books you simply might not be interested in reading. So basically just consider the program a perk for writing reviews that you would ordinarily do anyway.

  62. Saikat Basu
    August 6, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Does one have to be an Amazon customer too? I usually research books on Amazon and then buy it from a bookstore, because it is cheaper that way.
    Either way, thanks for this info,,,really didn't know about this.

  63. Saikat Basu
    August 6, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Does one have to be an Amazon customer too? I usually research books on Amazon and then buy it from a bookstore, because it is cheaper that way.
    Either way, thanks for this info,,,really didn't know about this.

  64. Bakari
    August 6, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Cool, Alexis. Have you been able swoop up a few big ticket items for review?

  65. Alexis Coxon
    August 6, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I love Vine! I've been a member since the program started.

    • George T
      February 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Lucky! I don't understand one thing though, do you return the items to get two more? or do you write a review?

    • Bridget Williams
      February 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Alexis Coxon...I need some advice about a Vine member who is causing drama, since you have been a member for awhile can you help me?

    • Ann
      April 8, 2015 at 7:41 am

      could you give us a favor to review our items free of charge?

  66. Bakari
    August 5, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Mark, you should write Amazon about that. The reviews we write for Amazon help sell books. Thanks for feedback Jimmy.

  67. Mark O'Neill
    August 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I don't think they have the Vine scheme here in Germany. You can write reviews of course and I have been doing it for a while. But it would be nice if they rolled out the Vine scheme over here.

    • Marcus P
      August 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm

      I think it's available everywhere (for all users) but by invite only.

  68. timmyjohnboy
    August 4, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    OK, now that's some cool stuff. Get cool stuff for free and write a review about it? I'm all for that.

    Thanks for giving your recommendations, Bakari.

  69. timmyjohnboy
    August 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    OK, now that's some cool stuff. Get cool stuff for free and write a review about it? I'm all for that.

    Thanks for giving your recommendations, Bakari.

    • monica
      February 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Can someone accept me into the vine! Can you!