Ep2: Sellers Beware! Review Sites May Be Stealing Your Product Ideas

In this podcast Manny discusses review services and how your product ideas might be getting stolen.

Review services allow sellers to give away their products for free or at a deep discount to their subscribers in exchange for an honest review. This allows a brand new product to get traction in the marketplace and gain some credibility that would otherwise take much longer to achieve.

Reviews increase the product conversion rate and they also provide a boost on the search rankings on the Amazon marketplace.  Another added benefit of a well-reviewed product is that Amazon will be more willing to give those products some “love” by showing ads to interested parties.

One way sellers have used to get reviews in the past is by giving their products away to friends and family and ask them to leave a review, but this practice will likely be short-lived as Amazon regards it as “Rank Manipulation”. Let’s be honest, friends and family are rarely un-biased and will likely not leave an honest, objective review.

Another alternative to get your first reviews is by using a review service. Although you’re still giving away products for free, or at a discount, you’re giving them to unbiased strangers and as part of the review service’s terms, these individuals have been instructed to openly disclose they received your product at a discount in exchange for a review. This is the way Amazon currently accepts in their terms of service.

Here’s where another potential problem comes in…

Sellers have no control over who signs up to be a reviewer for these review services; so it is inevitable that along with the bargain hunters we –the sellers, seek, will be several competitors looking for product ideas. These competitors are using review services to get an edge and figure out what new products are hitting the market. They could go as far as reverse engineer your product and/or find the original supplier.

Review services can be great (and they are in most cases), but it’s important to know when NOT to use them.

If your product is very unique, or if you’re first to market, a review service might not be ideal. In this case, you might be better off looking for dedicated product reviewers, bloggers or other sources for the first few reviews. You could later start doing pay per click advertising to drive potential customers to your offer and following up with the buyers asking for honest reviews.

However, if you’re launching a product that is not overly unique, but still has value to the end consumer, a review service is a great way to get your product the visibility it needs.

1:14    Introduction to review services and why they are important

2:08    The old-school review tactic that can get your account banned

2:39    The new-school review getting tactic you can use to get reviews and stay within Amazon’s TOS

3:20    How your competitors could be spying on you and stealing your best product ideas

4:52    Why it might not be a good idea to use the biggest (most popular) review services

5:28    How to protect your product idea from “spies” and competitors and how to get traffic to your new products

6:12    One of the most common products new Amazon sellers choose to sell (and why you should avoid them as the plague)