If you want your product to succeed on Amazon, you need to explore all possible ways to get product reviews. Customer feedback helps build trust and social proof that your product is worth purchasing, which is especially important early on in a listing’s lifetime.
Before Amazon changed its review policy in 2016, sellers could give away their products for free or at a steep discount in exchange for a product review. That’s no longer allowed, and as a result, it’s become increasingly difficult to score early reviews on Amazon.
Let’s explore what the Amazon Vine program is, its pros and cons, how to enroll, what it costs to enroll, and whether the Amazon seller community believes it’s worth joining.
What is the Amazon Vine Program?
The Vine is a product review program created by Amazon to provide customers with honest and unbiased reviews. Amazon Vine invites its top reviewers to receive a product for free in exchange for a review. This incentive program benefits both the reviewer and the seller.
Now, Amazon doesn’t let just any customer into the Amazon Vine program; the “Vine Voices,” or registered Vine reviewers, are restricted to Amazon’s most trusted reviewers.
How Amazon Vine works
Once you’re enrolled in the program, one of the Vine Voices can request to review your product. You’ll provide the product for free in exchange for their review.
Amazon Vine reviews are usually very thorough and more often than not include images of the product.
Of course, this does not guarantee that you’ll receive only positive feedback. Vine Voices won’t hold back their criticism if they find something wrong with your product.
Positive Vine review:
Not-so-good Vine review:
How sellers can enroll in the Amazon Vine program and how much it costs
Enrolling your products in the Amazon Vine program is a simple, straightforward process. Let’s go over what is required to enroll in the program and how to do it.
Vine Program Requirements:
- You must be a brand registered seller
- You must give away each product for free
- You must have fewer than 30 reviews on your listing
- Your product must be an FBA offer in ‘New’ condition
- Your product must not be an “adult” product
- Your product must already have launched at the time of enrollment
- You must have available inventory for your product
- Your listing must have an image and a description
What does it cost to enroll in Amazon Vine?
Amazon will charge a $200 enrollment fee for each parent ASIN you enroll. On top of the enrollment fee, you’ll also have to cover the cost of the products provided to Vine reviewers.
How to enroll in Vine:
If your brand and product meet the above requirements, you can follow these steps to enroll in Amazon Vine.
1. In Seller Central, go to the Advertising tab > Vine.
2. If you are brand registered, you will see a ‘Start enrolling products into Vine Today!’ button on this screen.
3. On the next screen, you will be able to enter your ASIN and then click Begin Enrollment.
It’s as simple as that!
What happens after you enroll in the Amazon Vine program?
Once enrolled, eligible Vine Voices will receive a link to your product detail page where they will be able to purchase and test. Currently, you are allowed to enroll 200 ASINs at a time.
Amazon decides what products to offer each reviewer based on their previous purchases/reviews. For example, if a Vine Voice mostly purchases and/or reviews electronics, Amazon is more likely to offer them products in that category.
For the first 28 days of enrollment, Amazon will only show your product to a targeted group of Vine Voices who typically purchase in your category. If there is still remaining inventory after 28 days, Amazon will offer it to all Vine Voice reviewers.
How many ASINs can I enroll in the program?
You are allowed to have up to 200 ASINs enrolled in the program at one time.
Do Amazon Vine reviewers have to leave a product review?
No. An important thing to keep in mind: the Vine Voices who receive your products have no obligation to actually leave a review and are not expected to write only positive reviews.
Once a Vine Voice receives your product, it can take 4-8 weeks to receive a review; they need time to use the product before evaluating it.
How many reviews can I receive with Amazon Vine?
The maximum number of reviews your product can receive from Vine Voices is 30. If your product already has 5 reviews, you can only receive up to 25 reviews more through the Amazon Vine program. Once your listing reaches 30 reviews, they will be automatically unenrolled from the program.
Will Amazon Vine reviewers provide me with positive reviews?
Vine Voices are chosen based on the thoroughness of their reviews and for their honesty. Enrolling your products in Amazon Vine does not guarantee that you will receive positive reviews. Amazon Vine Voices will provide you with unbiased and honest opinions of your product.
Can I remove an Amazon Vine review?
No, you cannot remove an Amazon Vine review unless it violates Amazon’s terms of service. If you do not like the review or it is a negative review, you cannot remove it.
Is it worth it? Pros and cons of Amazon Vine for sellers
Compared to other review strategies on Amazon, the Vine program has its advantages. But like any other tactic, there are some downsides, too. Let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks of the Amazon Vine program to help you decide if it’s worth enrolling.
- Greater review potential. Amazon Vine allows sellers to receive up to 30 reviews. There is still no guarantee that you will actually receive the full 30, as some Vine Voices may choose not to leave a review.
- Thorough, higher-quality reviews. Vine Voices are chosen by Amazon because of their reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers. This means that the reviews they leave will be well-thought-out and detail-oriented compared to the average customer review. Expect to see a pros and cons list along with customer images/videos.
- More practical feedback. Since Vine Voices aim to break down every aspect of the product, potential customers get a fuller picture of how it might work for them. Instead of vague, one-word reviews, Vine Voice reviewers leave actionable feedback that’s relevant to a customer’s purchasing decision.
- Drives traffic and conversions. Customer reviews are among the strongest factors that influence sales and conversions on your listing. Having high-quality Vine Voice reviews on your product will help increase conversion rates and ultimately provide momentum to boost your overall best seller ranking.
- Reviews are not guaranteed, positive or otherwise. While any reviews the Vine Voices do leave will be full of important details, Amazon does not guarantee that they’ll leave positive reviews or any reviews at all. Sellers will have no control over what the reviewer says and won’t be able to contact them.
- Only available to brand registered sellers. This limits the number of sellers who can actually participate in the program. If your competition is not yet brand registered, taking advantage of Vine reviews can give you a leg up.
- Costs $200 to enroll. Vine will cost you a $200 enrollment fee for each parent ASIN you enroll. You need to determine if the enrollment fee will be worth it to you.
All things considered, Vine reviews offer compelling benefits. Think about it: would you rather your listing feature a review that looks like this…
They’re both 5-star reviews, one is much more likely to help potential customers make a decision. If you’re a brand registered seller, it’s worth trying it out.
Like any other selling or review strategy for Amazon sellers, the only way to know if it’ll work for your business is to test it out. What doesn’t work well for someone else, might work great for you.
How else can you get reviews on Amazon?
Getting new reviews is a struggle many sellers face. While Amazon Vine can help you get the initial reviews you need, there are still other tactics you can test.
One of the best ways to boost reviews is by utilizing Jungle Scout Review Automation tool. It will send your customers an Amazon ToS-approved product review request email for each eligible order. All you have to do is turn the feature on in Jungle Scout, and review requests will be sent out automatically.
What other methods have you discovered for getting positive reviews on Amazon? Let us know in the comments below!