Senior Member from US
joined:Nov 2, 2014
Things have changed since that time, big companies are more than ever prepared and anticipating this.
Yes, times have changed indeed. Big tech spends big money on lobbying. Everyone, outside those harmed, loves Amazon, Google, etc. Government has become lazier than ever. I see quite a few hurdles to any real changes despite having a more favorable political climate for change.
As far as Amazon goes, Senators Bob Menendez and Richard Blumenthal are concerned how Amazon awards the Amazon's Choice label and why so many inferior products get the much coveted label. I wrote them both letters to show how it works, and of course provided evidence from my own buyer account. It's real simple - Amazon severely limits buyers from leaving product reviews for those products manufactured and shipped by domestic sellers. The algorithm that awards the Amazon's Choice label is believed to heavily rely on data from product reviews in assigning this label, which pretty much knocks out most domestic sellers that produce and ship their own products. With far fewer product reviews, this results in less sales which means Amazon's "Best Seller" label also goes to the Chinese company's products that Amazon ships via Prime. Less product reviews, and fewer sales, also is believed to impact the product ranking algorithm.
There are three ways a verified buyer on Amazon can leave a product review.
1. Return to the product page and click the review link.
2. Login to your account and click the leave product review link in your orders.
3. Click the link in the reminder email that Amazon sends you (unless your marketing preferences are set for no emails).
FBA products get all three. Me, as a domestic manufacturer that ships our goods directly to Amazon's customers, we only get #1 listed above. Instead, Amazon steers buyers using methods #2 and #3 to leave us seller feedback, which is buried.
I can go back years and Amazon has omitted the leave product review link for all non-Prime product orders in my account. Steering product reviews is a form of product review manipulation and Amazon is the biggest offender as they are doing two things:
1. Attempting to steer consumers into purchasing Prime products where Amazon makes more money by billing the seller for warehouse, pick and pack fees, etc.
2. Steers domestic sellers into a more costly FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) Prime plan just to be able to have an opportunity to get product reviews as their offshore competitors do.
The DOJ/FTC have known about this for years, and they really don't need me or anyone to give them proof. I bet at least half the investigators shop on Amazon and could look at their own purchase history and see how Amazon is steering product reviews themselves. Regardless, the FTC/DOJ has ignored this despite being notified of the practice years ago. Sometimes I think our emails and letters hit the trash, which is why I send everything to them by postal mail with signature delivery confirmation. Will what I sent in be ignored this time as well? I hope not, which is why I am reaching out to Senators Bob Menendez and Richard Blumenthal along with other Senators.
What made matters worse is how Google has gifted Amazon with so much domain crowding in the SERPS over the years. Google gets shoppers to Amazon where Amazon takes over and deceives consumers by steering them to products that make Amazon more money, which in my industry is Chinese junk.