On Oct. 3, 20016 Amazon announced that companies that sell on Amazon will no longer be able to offer discounted of free products in exchange for reviews. The review sites are quickly changing their policies to meet Amazon's guidelines. Some of these review sites have shut down and some will still offer free and discounted products but will no longer require shoppers to review these products.
I can't imagine companies will continue to offer products without anything in return. I think either they will give less discounts, the discounts will be lower or they will stop offering discounts all together. I received an e-mail from one review site that suggested shoppers still leave reviews on their discounted products but not leave the disclosure that the FTC requires people to include whenever they are doing a review on something in exchange for a discount. That is a very bad idea, that company and anyone who engages in activity like that is at risk of being sued.
As for me, my reviewing days on Amazon are over. Of course I will shop at Amazon, often and will review my purchases but I am not longer going to review discounted or free items. It's just not worth the risk or losing my Amazon account or being sued.
Amazon sent me an e-mail today letting me know that some of my past reviews will be deleted, which is fine with me. It was fun while it lasted but, I completely understand why it had to end. I wrote previously about an item that was complete crap that had received a bunch or 5-star reviews. I know there were many people out there giving fake reviews and it didn't sit well with me. I would hate to think someone spent their hard earned money on something that was defective, or worse, that might harm them because of a false review.
If you would like to read the Amazon Policy changes you can find them HERE
Read More about FTC endorsement guidelines HERE