Top Ten Things Not to do When Writing an Amazon Review

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This post was published on January 12, 2015. I think it still has merit. A little warning. If you plan to reblog this without reading it, be careful. This is a humorous look at Amazon reviews and not intended as an instructional piece. (Whew, glad I got that off my chest.) I hope you enjoy this one.

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This week’s list was inspired by reading some Amazon reviews recently. As writers, we always think of Amazon reviews in terms of books. There is a whole other world out there, so this includes different categories as well as books. I hope you enjoy it.

Top Ten Things Not to do When Writing an Amazon Review

10 When writing an Amazon review, do not think you need to use words no one understands. If you do, at best, your review will remain unread and a waste of your time. At worst, you will garner several WTF comments and will be notorious for your high-handed and unnecessary use of the language. ( You, sir, are no William F. Buckley)

9 When writing an Amazon review, do not review a product or book you haven’t tried or read. If you do, at best, your review will look like the others you copied and will be ignored. At worse, you might be forced to analyze what it is inside of you that compels you to seek to be noticed through such a platform as Amazon reviews. (Why not start a blog?)

8 When writing an Amazon review, do not think you need to win the word count championship for your review. If you do, at best, the length will cause readers to fall asleep. At worst, you will become ‘that reviewer’ who everyone scrolls through and will be so noted in the comments section (Does the term ‘Windy’ mean anything to you.)

7 When writing an Amazon review, do not think you can attack the quality of the product without cause. If you do, at best, those who disagree will make their thoughts known, and those thoughts will follow you everywhere. At worst, you may touch a nerve of a very dedicated fan base who will be committed to eliminating your ability to post other egregious reviews through official and unofficial means. ( you do not want to know the unofficial)

6 When writing an Amazon review, do not think you have to describe every detail of the technical function of the product. If you do, at best, you will convince everyone they do not have the skill to operate the product. At worst, you will label yourself as a technical geek who should only be listened to when it comes time to buy a rocket to Mars. ( Your fellow geeks will love you, though)

5 When writing an Amazon review, do not include instructions on remedying a problem with the product. If you do, at best, the reader will avoid the product like the plague. At worst, you will have other purchasers begging you to help them with their problems and will assume you are part of the company’s customer service department. (Things will get ugly fast if you don’t support them)

4 When writing an Amazon review, do not use the words or expressions: #BOOM, hubris, über, fantastic, amazing, surreal, surprising, or the like. If you do, at best, you will join the rest of the world in the lack of originality. At worst, you will be using words that do not describe anything and will lose all credibility as someone who should be taken as a serious opinion leader. (Does Hashtag loser ring a bell?)

3 When writing an Amazon review, do not pick any sex toys as the target of your insights. If you do, at best, there is no way to write a review that will mean the same to another user. At worst, you might find yourself in an area where you will have to expose all your weirdness to the buying public. (You might be surprised when a copy of your review is sitting on the counter in the break room)

2 When writing an Amazon review, do not think you must save the world from having a bad experience. If you do, at best, your negative review will be the exception, and your review credibility will be gone. At worst, you will demonstrate a vindictive personality which will be used as a benchmark on how effective readers believe your reviews are in the future. (Your lousy experience might be a singular event which will be evident when the judge finds for the plaintiff in your lawsuit)

1 When writing an Amazon review, do not think your review will not be read by anyone, so you need not take care of its construction. If you do, at best, all the typos and inaccurate statements will make you appear the fool. At worst, this review may show up in social media as one that, by its very sloppiness, needs to be mocked to the fullest. (Thinking you are anonymous won’t help when a copy of the review is circulated in the company e-mail with the headline, “Look What our Crack PR Department Does in its Spare Time.”)

79 comments

  1. Great advice. People still write Amazon reviews? 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes they do. 😁

      Like

  2. I’ve seen a few weird Amazon reviews. One thing that amazes me is the number of people who can’t seem to assemble furniture! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Or the ones who review a product they haven’t used yet. I just opened the box, and the thing looks just dandy. Five stars!!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah. That’s a waste too. Thanks, Liz. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. They flunked the IKEA test and now are turning to Amazon. Thanks, Joan.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips, John. Another I might add is after you’ve posted a review check back in a few days to make sure it hasn’t been pulled.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That happens a lot for sure. Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have several book reviews I need to do. I will take your advice, especially #3. My biggest challenge is writing a review for a book I did not like even though it was well-written.
    Thanks for the tips, John.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t do reviews on books I don’t like. I give a book 50 pages and if I don’t like it, I stop reading it. Thanks, Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazon says I can’t leave reviews for the books I read, because I don’t spend enough money! What’s their problem? They aren’t rich enough yet?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hmmm. I guess Jeff Bezos needs more rocket fuel. You can always leave reviews on Goodreds or Book Bub. Thanks, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Tell them you are not the government. You can only spend your own money which is precious.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. haha, due to the size of Amazon, do you think they’ll understand that? haha

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    Amazon seems to rule us all, but you’ve offered some great (hilarious) suggestions, John. 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Gwen. Glad you liked them. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great list, John. The rules that deal with “being revealed at work” seem to apply to a lot of people in a variety of situations. People who think “no one I know will ever see this” are often surprised to find things in the break room, or on Facebook.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. If you put anything on the internet anywhere, assume your boss will see it, as well as your boss’s boss.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are so right, Liz.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’d think people would have figured that out by now.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That is the truth, Dan. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, but always a surprise for the victim.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Celebrities and politicians are the best. “I thought I was sending a private message…”

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Good items! I do read reviews for things I buy – and I always read the book reviews. I do hate that there are haters out there that like to dish crap.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I don’t understand those people. Thanks, Noelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. (And now a word from your Monday morning cynic): I never have left a review, and I don’t read them, particularly since so many reviews are provided by people paid to review things they never have used. The word “influencers” has meaning, and I don’t need to spend time sorting out the real from the fake.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Linda. You and Klausbernd are on the same wave length.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. #9. I see reviews like this pretty frequently, but then authors lose book reviews for mysterious reasons. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I have lost over 20.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s funny. I’ve NEVER thought of posting a review on a product (though I read them when researching). I do, however, always leave reviews on books – especially friend authors 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And you leave such lovely reviews too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do try 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. These people walk among us, for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They may even live next door.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ha! Ha! Great tips, John. #3 had me chuckling right out loud!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jan. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I seldom write reviews especially product reviews. I made an exception for our washing machine that exploded, though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like a good exception.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Good advice, John. It can be taken as humorous, but reality often is. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is. Thanks, Tim

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear John
    I would never ever write a review on amazon and expecially not about a book. As Linda writes (Shoreacres) one can’t trust reviews on amazon and therefore I don’t read them.
    Nevertheless, I enjoyed your ten things not to do on amazon.
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Klausbernd.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This one still has merit, John — thank you! What baffles me about reviews is how you can read 20 or more praising a certain product, then come upon one that blasts it. We’d like to think reviews are honest and fair, but sometimes I wonder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean. Seems spiteful in some respects. Thanks, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m going with ten since, I always feel you’re being so kind taking the time to write one, when like a cyber smack, you’ll get an email telling you…sorry, your review just didn’t cut the mustard in a surreal, surprising, not to mention amazing manner as the snooty powers that be lower the boom, fantastic or otherwise, likely while riding in a f—king Uber conveniently charged on their Amazon Expense Account. So there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to get those too. Then one magic day another department appointed me (with no help from me) to their “Vine Voice” exclusive tribe of reviewers. The next review I did I got the usual smack from the Bezo’s team. I wrote and asked how I could be a “Vine Voice,” if I can’t get reviews published. No answer, of course, but since then all my reviews are published. I even get a report on the reactions my reviews have had with Amazon customers. I loved your supurb comment, Susannah. Made me laugh out loud. I know, I know, I’m easy. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Definitely worthy of a re-post, John and good advice to follow – Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Monday to you, Barbara.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. All such good advice! I’m surprised (although I shouldn’t be) by how badly some Amazon reviews are written. It irks me too when people use the review to complain about a product without first trying to resolve their issue with the company. Kind of like when someone pans a book that they haven’t read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah that sucks for sure. Thanks, Marie. 😁

      Like

  21. petespringerauthor · ·

    The most mysterious reviews are from people who already have a bias. e.g., I don’t drive, yet I’ll evaluate the handling of a car. I don’t like mysteries, yet I’m going to tell you why this mystery book is awful. I don’t like the beach, yet I’ll tell you why Hawaii is a horrible traveling destination.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Great point, Pete. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  22. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Good advice, John 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise. 😊

      Like

  23. I didn’t read the original, John, but very wise advice, as usual, and also a touch of humour. Thanks for the reminders!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the visit and lovely comment. 😊

      Like

  24. Number 9, I swear that happens more than we think. Glad you reblogged this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sometie it is hard to understand what goes through a reviewer’s mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This was great! All ten of them. Very insightful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the terrific comment, Andrew.

      Like

  26. Great advice, John.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Vashti. Great to “see” you.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Nobody wants my review for anything. I am terrible at giving constructive criticism. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Always worth re-sharing, John. Loved your disclaimer too.
    I might add, “If you’re going to call out mistakes, be ready to prove it.” LOL.
    Personally I think the best review is a simple “I loved it!” Which I can say about your books. 🙂 Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. Thanks, Teagan and Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  29. As per #4, also do not use the word “amazing” or reference something as a “national treasure” . . please.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I mean, just cut to the quick.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. #BOOM. Seriously? This was super, John, funny with a hint of reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jennie. Glad you enjoyed it. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Not written one for long but with your tips, feel ready to write one…

    Liked by 2 people

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