How to get invited to Amazon Vine? Do you think leaving an Amazon review is a waste of time? Then, an Amazon program that’s been around since 2007 might have you thinking twice. Amazon’s Vine Program consists of a group of handpicked reviewers who get products for free in exchange for honest reviews.
Amazon doesn’t give away too much about how reviewers are selected, but there are some basic guidelines that you can follow in an attempt to be one of the lucky ones receiving free swag.
How to get invited to Amazon Vine?
So, how do you become one of Amazon’s most trusted reviewers? Amazon will reach out to you if they feel you are a good fit for the program, but the company does offer some guidance on what it’s looking for in a Vine reviewer.
Rather than focus on the quantity of reviews, they are focused on quality. It’s no good if you’re out there on Amazon leaving one-word reviews left and right. Being a prolific reviewer is no guarantee of joining the Vine program. Amazon’s guidelines for a Vine Voice are:
- A reviewer’s rank, which is based on the overall helpfulness of reviews, while also factoring in the number of reviews.
- Demonstrated expertise in one specific product category.
- More weight is given to recent reviews. (Rankings are updated every couple of days.)
- An interest in products similar to those enrolled in the Vine program.
While an interest in the products enrolled in the program is key to getting an invite. Besides looking for Vine reviews on Amazon (which is not an easy task, but you can filter Amazon reviews to make things easier), there’s no real way to know which products are enrolled.
All we know is that vendors pay to have their products included—a fact that Amazon did not initially disclose, leading to some negative coverage of the program in the past. In any case, in its explanation of the program, Amazon writes:
There are some factors you can work on that might improve your chances of getting an invitation:
So if you want to be considered, avoid leaving extremely brief reviews. Avoid complaining about something in the product that is clearly stated in the description. Think about the questions you were asking yourself before you took the plunge and ordered that $200 gadget that you knew you didn’t need but really, really wanted.
Amazon likely scours the thousands of reviews left on products available on the site and looks at how those reviews are being received by fellow customers.
Reviewers whose feedback is consistently marked as helpful have a better chance of being invited to the program.
Stick to One Category
As for the second criteria—Amazon looks for your interest and expertise in specific product categories. Anecdotal evidence shows that sticking to one product category, and becoming a recognized and helpful expert in that field, gives you a better chance of becoming a Vine member.
There’s No Clear Science
Amazon doesn’t provide much information on how it makes that decision. For example, we found Vine Voice reviewers who received 4,000 helpful votes. Some Amazon reviewers have received over 88,000 votes but are not a part of the program.
There is clearly no exact science in play here. One Vine Voice reviewer posted on Quora that he received his invite with over 30 reviews and over 300 helpful votes.
One major piece of information that Amazon does not share is how often it invites users to the Vine program, so it’s never clear if Amazon is actively recruiting new reviewers. So if you want to be considered, you’ll simply have to keep at it. Most anecdotes found online of Vine members being invited are somewhat dated at this point.
You’re In Amazon Vine, Now What?
Once you’re accepted as a Vine reviewer, you will want to make sure you follow the guidelines of the program. You are limited to two products at a time, and you must write and post your reviews of received products before you can request additional items. Be sure to leave a review within 30 days of delivery.
Only choose products you’re genuinely interested in, and don’t feel compelled to select something just for the sake of a review. If you don’t really want or need the item, you can just skip a month or two. A 2016 study by ReviewMeta found that, while they may not be perfect, Vine reviews are often better than incentivized reviews.
How to get access to Amazon Vine?
What you need to know is that Amazon Vine is an invite-only program. You can’t just decide to join this program and start writing reviews to get free products. You actually have to work your way up to get invited.
When I say you work your way up, what I mean is that you have to keep using Amazon as a regular user/customer. But the most important thing you need to do to be considered as a member of Amazon Vine is to keep leaving helpful reviews of products you have bought.
The keyword you need to remember here is “helpful”. Your review must provide valuable information for potential customers. In short, it has to be detailed and informative so that people will know what to expect from the product.
Your review doesn’t have to be always positive, but it has to be honest. This means you need to be thorough and detailed with your experience of the product you bought.
A great indicator that your review qualifies as a great review is if a lot of people will mark it as “Helpful” (refer to the photo above). Now, it doesn’t mean that if you were able to submit one helpful review you will qualify for the Amazon Vine program.
It doesn’t work that way. In the next section, I will discuss how long it will take before you can possibly get an invite for the Amazon Vine program.
How long does it take to get invited?
The Amazon Vine program doesn’t really have a clear guideline on how long it will take before you receive an invite. This, in my opinion, is what makes this program not for everyone.
But based on my experience and from what I hear from others is that this is not something you should expect to receive in a month or so. That is why I would say it is not something you should set your sights on purposely, in my opinion.
Because if you do so, you will just end up spending a lot of money to buy products that you possibly don’t need just to write reviews so that you can get an invite to join the Amazon Vine program. Instead, I would suggest you just go about using Amazon like you normally would.
Then, just leave reviews as honestly and detailed as you can, and if later on, down the line, you receive an invite to join Amazon Vine, then good for you. If you don’t receive one, then you don’t really lose anything.
That, in my opinion, is the best strategy to go about potentially becoming an Amazon Vine reviewer. This is the main reason why I mentioned earlier that there are a few things you need to know about this program.
I admit that Amazon Vine is a great opportunity to get free stuff. But as you can see, it’s not something you should have as a goal, because you have no idea when or if you will be invited to join the program. There are just a lot of unknown factors that need to be considered, which makes it unreliable, in my opinion.
The good news is that there are still ways to get free stuff from Amazon without joining the Amazon Vine program, and I will discuss it in the next section.
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