Amazon.com has changed how shoppers see product reviews written by other customers. It now shows “verified purchase only” reviews written by customers who bought their item directly from Amazon. Reviews from “all reviewers,” on the other hand, are now visible only if you can navigate to a page that lets you sort and filter reviews.
The new policy is Amazon’s attempt to shut down the paid “review mills” that churn out boilerplate 5-star reviews. But the policy also affects long-time reviewers such as myself; I still want my reviews to be visible on Amazon — because everybody relies on Amazon’s reviews — even when I didn’t send my local dollars away to an online vendor.
Amazon is also limiting customers to 5 reviews a week for items purchased elsewhere. The new restrictions will no doubt reduce the number of fake reviews, but they also benefit Amazon by prioritizing purchases made directly from their website, and hiding all the thoughtful, detailed, honest reviews from people who just want to share their experience of the same product purchased elsewhere.
To display the hidden reviews, start at a product’s main page. Click the number that follows the “star” rating; on the next display page, click that number again, then under “Filter by,” click “All reviewers.” See what I mean about “hidden” reviews?
And, oddly, the review limitation doesn’t apply to books, music, or video, or reviews from Amazon’s own Vine reviewer program, wherein merchants send free products to a select group of reviewers, but under Amazon’s control.