Selling Out To The Man: Amazon Reviews For Free Products

From time to time I get emails from Amazon sellers offering to send me some product to try out for a “review” and then afterwards, keep it with their compliments. Essentially the seller giving me the product is payment for the review. Amazon doesn’t allow sellers to compensate users with money for reviewing their product so the product is the compensation. Implied but not mentioned is that product is payola for a positive review.

I usually ignore the emails, but I got one a few days ago and I decided to reply just to see would happen. The seller was very prompt. They immediately wrote back requesting my address and asking me to verify my email address. I suspect they mass-mailed users on Amazon and the email verification was to get the actual address.

I forgot about it for a couple days and was surprised when a package showed up in my mailbox. I didn’t know what it was and vaguely linked it to the email conversation I’d had with the seller. The seller was on top of things and had already sent me a reminder message since tracking showed his package had been delivered!

In addition to a regular text review, I also did a video review because I felt thankful for getting something for free. It took me about an hour to do it and I felt it was a fair exchange for an approximately $15 item. My thoughts and writing of the product was completely honest so I didn’t feel disingenuous about the review. I think that if I didn’t like the product then I would have politely declined and returned it. Besides, I’m no influence wielder on Amazon and doubt my words are that persuasive.

I’d love to “review” more products. In addition to this wonderful blog and an Amazon account, I also have a slightly not popular Youtube channel and am fairly technical for technically oriented products and teardowns.