Can you review an Amazon item without buying it?

Can you review an Amazon item without buying it?


Can you review an Amazon item without buying it?


A tricky situation

The Amazon affiliate program gives you the chance to make money while sharing your favorite products with your blog's readers.

Trying every single item out on your wish list before you write a review can take time and energy away from what you’re actually trying to accomplish – telling people about the endless products on Amazon and helping people make the right buying decision.

Plus its simply not financially viable initially for a new amazon affiliate website to purchase so many Amazon products simply to review. Once the website is established then maybe, but certainly not in the beginning when cash is tight and you want to reinvest your profits back into your website for as much growth as possible.

Some people feel there is a moral dilemma here, that's its dishonest to write a buying guide for an item then you haven't bought. However as long as you are being honest and provide value and only state facts you are sure of you're doing nothing wrong.

If you're content helps users the it's a win for them and a win for you too! Here are some tips for how to review an Amazon item without actually buying it.


Using User Generated Reviews

Amazon’s affiliate program rules are pretty clear that you cannot use any user reviews as your own or even display them on your site. Only do this if you want to get banned from a lucrative opportunity at lightning speed.

On top of that, users change their opinions and edit their reviews, so it’s important to get a bird’s eye view of the product instead of relying on only a few reviews.


Read the manufacturer & product description

This includes things like features, warranties, materials (is it eco-friendly?), etc. Your goal is to have a good image and feel of how it looks, how it will work, where you’d put it in your home or what event you’d wear it to.

Make it perfect in your imagination.


Look at the “Read Reviews that Mention” Section

You’ll usually get a quick snapshot of the most loved and hated features of a product as well as its overall performance.

Click on a phrase to dive further into its particulars, noting repeated surprises, letdowns and issues – chipping away at or building up the product in certain areas based on your perfect perception of it.

Also keep an eye out for user suggestions. For instance, if you’re reviewing a handheld steamer and find that many customers wish it had a timer, a steamer with an auto timer and shutdown should be your next review because chances are your readers would like the same feature.


Look at the Pictures

Pictures let you see how happy customers are with a product or what exactly was broken upon arrival. You’ll be surprised at how up close and personal some users get!


Filter and search for keywords

Filter only positive reviews and do the same for negative. Then search the same words on both to see how people view a feature differently.

Basic keywords such as: pros, cons, disliked, liked, wish and almost are all good starting points.


Check Review Sites and Flag Fake Reviews

There are some less than honest people and companies out there. Use websites like ReviewMeta and Fakespot to help you identify counterfeit reviews if your gut tells you some of the feedback just isn’t adding up.


Check social media

Social media is a great place to find out what people truly think of a product and the many ways they use it.


Tip: Sort reviews by oldest to newest

Companies change their formulas, packaging contents and a range of other things, but their product page may not mention it, use the same old photo or misplace the information.

Customers will let you know that something has happened! So if reviews go from great to blah, you’ll come across (much faster) it by sorting by date.


Using Customer Feedback Improves Content

Relying on user reviews is a good business practice overall, as you’ll get far more information than your singular experience can give you alone. This makes for content that is higher in quality, more engaging and multifaceted.

That’s why copy and pasting shouldn’t even be on your mind. Not only is it against the rules, but it’s lazy and your readers will know it as soon as they click on the link, it they click at all.


If you feel like this post would help other Amazon affiliates we'd love a share!


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