Whether you are seasoned in amazon seller central or just getting your brand started a question might pop into your head, should I use the Vine Program?
The short answer is yes, absolutely. Vine is a great way to get reviews for your product listings without using shifty methods. Why risk breaking terms of service with Amazon when you can simply use Vine?
The Long Answer all depends on your products, listing quality, and rebellious spirit. In this post I will walk you through my experience with Vine in my time as an Amazon Seller Consultant and brand manager for Dad Bod Nutrition.
My first experience with Vine was witnessing a client who had used it successfully. In the past I would recommend two options for getting reviews on your listings. Either advertise and have a good review program or fake it until you make it. The latter being only for those who have a good friend group to purchase and review their products. You also have to understand the risk of paying people to review your products.
Lets talk cost, when Vine was released it was a very expensive program. You might pay thousands of dollars just to give away free products and get poor reviews. It was much more cost effective to pay for reviews or advertise your products to the max. However Vine is now a free program for many sellers. The catch, you give your product away for free and have no guarantees the the reviews will be quality or even present.
Who will succeed with Vine depends greatly on your product quality. If you are purchasing cheaply built products that you know are sub par Vine is not the best idea. Vine voices will be honest and if your product breaks easily that will be represented in the reviews. Vine voices get recruited in the program because they are willing to actually write reviews. There is a common trend in Amazon, most customers will not review your product. If you request a review from them using the "request review button" you significantly increase the volume of reviews. But rarely do those customers write a review they simply click as star and move on. If you have a poor product you can use this to your advantage and dilute low star reviews. You can also pay people to review your products as many do but for the sake of this article I am not going to recommend that. In the Vine program the ability to dilute bad reviews is not present. The Vine voices are happy to write a lengthy review full of hyperbole.
Let us review my own brand as an example. In the screenshots attached you will note I put up multiple products for Vine voices to review over the past month. I did this after helping multiple clients use the system and decided it was time to apply it to my own storefront. In one month only two ASIN's were claimed in full. Of those products my most expensive item received 4/8 reviews. The lowest of these reviews was 4 stars and my product rank went from over 550,000 to 120,000. This product was in stale condition before the program and is now making sales.
My second ASIN is a cheaply built shaker bottle. It received 15 orders. Of those orders 5/15 have reviewed. One review was 3 stars but fair. The other reviews were all 5 stars. The rank also observed significant change and immediate sales after the rank increase.
My outlook on the program is that it is best used with quality items. If your items are poor quality they will receive accurate reviews. However we all know amazon customers can leave 1 star reviews for outlandish reasons. I did not observe that sort of customer in my Vine experience. These are honest people that leave honest reviews. Reviews that are more often than not positive.