Refund for a review - Scam?

62 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

YuvalS
YuvalS's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 09/26/2018 - 10:39
Posts: 270
Refund for a review - Scam?

A forum member PM me and ask if I am willing to test a new light.

When I agreed, he asked me to buy it from Amazon and promised they will refund me.

It feels a bit fishy to me so I didn't yet answered.

What do you think?

Joshk
Joshk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 09/09/2015 - 12:12
Posts: 2469
Location: USA

DON’T DO IT.

anonymous_user
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 11 min ago
Joined: 05/23/2019 - 21:59
Posts: 277
Location: CA, USA
Bearbreeder
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:03
Posts: 334

Was it for brand S …

Wink

08CivicSi
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 09/25/2011 - 19:02
Posts: 409
Location: Greensboro, NC USA

I completely disagree. There’s no reason not to do it. The buyer is protected by Amazon. If they refuse to pay you, just send the light back.

I do these all the time (mostly from facebook ads) and if i don’t like the product i simply return it. If i do like it, i provide the review and have always been refunded promptly.

everydaysurvivalgear
everydaysurvivalgear's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: 07/31/2015 - 10:25
Posts: 3630
Location: sydney australia (GMT+10)

Yea Amazon verifies purchases now, So if you review the item on Amazon you need to have bought the item from Amazon i think.

Its legit they will pay you but morally its a different story lol.

There is already a thread on here about it.

Joshk
Joshk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 09/09/2015 - 12:12
Posts: 2469
Location: USA

If Amazon finds out what you and the seller did they will ban you both from their site. Not to mention you are scamming me if you get away with it and I trust your review.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9357
Location: Berkeley, California

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsemen...
Of course you’d meet the disclosure requirements when posting a review. But not everybody does, and the temptation is obvious.

and from that Buzzfeed article linked above:

Quote:
attracting genuine customers is tough, so some sellers use a reliable cheat — bribes. Because of Amazon’s vast scale, inscrutable algorithms, and capricious enforcement of its own rules, unscrupulous sellers and paid shills largely get away with it.

Amazon has banned giving away free products in exchange for reviews …

If you buy it and they refund your purchase, you got a free product, which violated Amazon’s terms — because people give higher reviews to free stuff than to stuff they’d honestly be willing to buy, pay for, and evaluate after using.

Of course you wouldn’t do that. It’s one of those “moral hazard” kinds of situation.

will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 3923

I have received more than 2 review invitations from brand S, not sure if they require me to order from amazon in order to receive the review unit, probably yes.

everydaysurvivalgear
everydaysurvivalgear's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: 07/31/2015 - 10:25
Posts: 3630
Location: sydney australia (GMT+10)

People started doing Amazon reviews as full time jobs, That is what ruined it, Why would they give a negative review if its there job?

Mind you in general i think people give honest review on lights that are reviewed here even if they are free.

Unheard
Unheard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 01/16/2019 - 11:38
Posts: 1259
Location: Germany

In the past I’ve been offered discount codes from 50 to 99% for this purpose. Cannot understand why they didn’t go this route in your case.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

rngwn
rngwn's picture
Online
Last seen: 9 min 19 sec ago
Joined: 05/17/2018 - 03:44
Posts: 396
Location: 暖武里,Таиланд

Scam? Probably not.

Ethical? Questionable.

TOS Compliance? Probably a violation.

I would lean towards not doing it. If they wish, they should better sponsor them off-amazon and include your reviews in their page once it’s up.

 

Searching for High CRI leds since 2010...

 

Has finally gotten to the bottom after 10 years of delving deep into that rabbit hole of them high CRI lights...

 

High CRI, high quality lights doesn't need to be expensive, or is it?

 

SammysHP
SammysHP's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 06/25/2019 - 14:35
Posts: 498
Location: Germany

I already did a review for S (and will again, if they ask me – please contact me again! Wink ). But I’m honest in my reviews, so they cannot expect a 5 star review if the product is not that good.

Bearbreeder
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:03
Posts: 334

Heres brand T asking for amazon reviews …

Wink

toddcshoe
toddcshoe's picture
Offline
Last seen: 31 min 42 sec ago
Joined: 01/24/2018 - 23:49
Posts: 2391
Location: Foley, MO

Had three similar offers more than a year ago. I did one. Got refunded via PayPal for the light bought on Amazon.

It didn’t feel right. It seemed to me the harder I tried to be impartial the harder it was to actually achieve it.

I mean if your main motivation is free lights, I wouldn’t want to read or watch that review anyway. I no longer read many reviews at all. They all start with that line, “other than getting to keep the light, I was not compensated in anyway for this review”. Or “Acme sent me a light for review” which is usually followed by the first quote.

If a light peaks my interest, I buy it, try it and then decide to sell it on or give it away. Hundreds of 5 star reviews on a truly crappy product doesn’t lend itself to my trusting reviews on legitimately good products.

The give me free lights for review mentality does nothing positive for the flashlight forums and communities.

My 5 star review of reviews is over.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

YuvalS
YuvalS's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 09/26/2018 - 10:39
Posts: 270

I think the review is for this forum not for Amazon. 

But it makes that they want an Amazon review and that is the reason why they ask me to buy it on Amazon.

If this is the case I will not do it

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1960
Location: atlanta ga

it is probably legit – or rather, they will probably reimburse you.

one thing to ask or watch out for though is, do they refund immediately, or after they ‘review’ your review?

i had one situation where they wanted to review my review before reimbursing, which can lead to dishonesty, though i liked the light and the review was ok.

i didn;t like that, but i have not been offered any after that, though.

also they may not say that up front.

Thorfire was good about reimbursing immediately.

even if they reimburse properly and do not review your review, it is still semi unethical.
though i have 5-6 lights from doing that.

none were good enough to keep using day to day
i have FW3A for that. now that is a good light!

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

Bearbreeder
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:03
Posts: 334

From brand T Wink

SKV89
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 40 min ago
Joined: 12/10/2017 - 12:46
Posts: 4110
Location: US

Ive done one of these reviews. They are legit. I didnt hesitate to call out the negatives in my review.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1960
Location: atlanta ga

fishy!

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1960
Location: atlanta ga

i think they apparently get more brazen all the time

i never saw one just say it needs to be 5 stars and here is a $10 bribe

the only thing unstated here is, do they give the bribe before or after the ‘‘review’‘ is approved?

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

manithree
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 6 hours ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 01:08
Posts: 480
Location: Orem, UT, USA

According to Amazon, reviews are not allowed (will be deleted) if they are:

Quote:
A review in exchange for monetary reward.

I’ve had companies give me 90+ discount (rebate, actually), and think they’re acting within the TOS.

There are lots of reviews on Amazon that state that they were given the product for free or at a discount for review. AFAIK, those don’t get deleted. So, as long as the seller/manufacturer is discounting or giving me the product (specifically before I write the review), not actually paying me for the review, I don’t feel like I’m violating the TOS. And I never shy away from negatives on the review, regardless of how much I paid.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1960
Location: atlanta ga

manithree wrote:
According to Amazon, reviews are not allowed (will be deleted) if they are:
Quote:
A review in exchange for monetary reward.

==probably impossible to find out

I’ve had companies give me 90+ discount (rebate, actually), and think they’re acting within the TOS.

==yeah sort of

There are lots of reviews on Amazon that state that they were given the product for free or at a discount for review. AFAIK, those don’t get deleted.

==you would not see the ones that were deleted

So, as long as the seller/manufacturer is discounting or giving me the product (specifically before I write the review), not actually paying me for the review, I don’t feel like I’m violating the TOS. And I never shy away from negatives on the review, regardless of how much I paid.

==what if they said would not reimburse til they liked the review, yet you already paid amazon for it?

==wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 2156
Location: Canada

I’ve had offers as the OP describes. It always felt a little unethical to me, and I didn’t do them.

At the very least, I think the reviewer should make it clear in the review that he got the light for free. But that would probably violate terms-of-service. So, yeah, it just somehow feels unethical. It’s probably common, though.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 3338
Location: Canuk in NM

I would not call it a scam if you are wondering if you will really get your money refunded. Most likely you will have to give a very good opiion of the light though.

However, this sort of thing is unethical. They are paying you to provide a favorable review. That gives them better placement in Amazon’s results when someone searches there for a flashlight, or whatever.

I had the same thing happen to me http://budgetlightforum.com/node/70236

I decided it was not worth prostituting myself for the sake of receiving a flashlight.

YMMV

Good article regarding this sort of thing https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nicolenguyen/her-amazon-purchases-a...

Joshk
Joshk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 09/09/2015 - 12:12
Posts: 2469
Location: USA

Yep.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1960
Location: atlanta ga

i also realized i was reviewing and getting lights i didn;t really want or need

if one came along that i actually wanted, i might consider again

(but some of them, like a wuben 26650 light, i might have wanted if it had a better UI but i didn;t know that til i got it)

if there were no ‘‘quid pro quo’‘ vis a vis approved review

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9357
Location: Berkeley, California

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/64309/edit?destination=node/64309
Trustfire send me a charger asking for a review, some time ago.
I opened a placeholder thread, tried it out, and I told them it sucked.
End of story.

I just got a PM here asking me to review a Wurkos dive light.

Quote:
We are looking for someone to write product reviews in exchange for free samples and we expect you would like to do us a favor.

What, “do us a favor”??
They want me to investigate some Ukranian company?

Nope, they have no reason to think I dive (I don’t).
Blatant violation of Amazon’s and the FTC’s rules about paid reviews.

YuvalS
YuvalS's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 09/26/2018 - 10:39
Posts: 270

hank wrote:
I just got a PM here asking me to review a dive light.


It is probably the same I got.
Anyway I decided to refuse the request. 

Thank you all for your opinions 
Once again BLF proved it is a great and helpful community (with some ethics)
hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9357
Location: Berkeley, California

I asked how deep I’d need to dive, and for how long, to verify the dive light’s claim.
Let’s see what they say.
Oh, and I asked where they wanted a review to appear.
Maybe the person is reading this thread, time will tell.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 1960
Location: atlanta ga

there are other things you could review

ie, they might say ‘ if you do not dive, then say that, but you can still review functions, quality, ui, price, reputation, waterproofness in a bathtub, etc ‘

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

Pages