As many of you know as of October 3, Amazon made changes to their customer review creation guidelines which put a halt on all free or discounted products given to reviewers by sellers in exchange for reviews. Thousands of reviewers were devastated. What was not made public knowledge was that I had my reviews wiped and reviewing privileges revoked two months prior.
On August 3, I found that Amazon no longer wished to have my words of wisdom on their site. My honest, unbiased, and even some harsh reviews were all gone. 2600+ reviews, almost 6,000 helpful votes, and my 212 rank was just gone. I was angry and confused and I think I spent a good couple of hours just in utter shock and at times just laughed hysterically. I even wrote an appeal apologizing for whatever I did wrong, begging to get my reviews reinstated and be able to write reviews again….that letter went unanswered until right before the TOS change where they very simply denied my appeal.
After the shock and guilt, yes guilt, wore off, a calm came over me. I was really far behind on my reviews. I had at least 200 products that I had not written my reviews for yet sitting in my living room. I was one padded envelop away from and intervention or a feature on an episode of Hoarders. I felt bad that I had all of these products and could not review them. I went on the tedious task of contacting my sellers to let them know what happened. Almost all of them were super kind and understanding and told me to just enjoy their products….only one asked for me to return their item.
So, let me explain the calm. I am bi-polar and not the good kind that has great happy manic episodes. I go into a deep depression. I spend hours doing nothing at all even knowing there are things that need to get done because the clutter (amazon boxes) in my small apartment overwhelmed me and made my bi-polar depression even worse. I was sick…. and it was bad. BUT, once I realized I could pack up the gajillion Amazon products all over my living room and bedroom, I got happy. It was a peace knowing that I no longer had to stress about how far behind I had gotten. I thoroughly enjoyed transferring all of the products I had in to a couple of larger boxes and pack them away. I was downright giddy and started to feel much better.
Shortly after, we had to pack up our itty bitty apartment and move into our much larger townhome. We rented a 15 foot uHaul truck, and the first full load was half full of just my Amazon products. If you saw the amounts of items I received each month, it would blow your mind…let’s just say and easy month was around 150 products. No longer having that obligation was such a relief.
I was now able to focus on my kids and setting up our new place. I didn’t have to worry about sellers harassing me about deadlines and broken promises for when my depression interfered with me getting reviews done. I got hard core into adult coloring which is super relaxing, and I feel like I am living a real life again. Sure the stuff was nice to get and have. Christmas was totally on Amazon the last two years, and I always donate huge boxes of toys to Toys 4 Tots each Christmas all from my Amazon reviews. BUT, it took a lot away from me. The reward of free things did not make up for the hours each day that I could have spent with my kids or taking care of myself. It is nice to get dressed each day and not spend 24/7 in front of a computer or sitting at my table staging and photographing products or recording videos. I had no idea what I was missing out on until I had it all back.
So, do I miss reviewing? Not really. I mean, look, I have a blog. I have other social media accounts, so I can always get free products to review and have a place to advertise them to still help out the sellers. But, now I can do it at my own pace. I may take one or two products a week. I do wish I could still write reviews on my full price purchases. I hate to spend money on a crap item, and not be able to warn other shoppers, or getting a great product and not being able to rave about it to other potential buyers. Overall, I am just relieved and enjoying life again, and I hope some other reviewers who are devastated by being wiped or just not being able to review on Amazon realize what a blessing it really can be. I guess it is all on how you look at it. For me, I am perfectly content to just work on my blogs and be a full time mom again.
Did you use to be a reviewer on Amazon? How do you feel about no longer being able to write reviews on their site anymore? Have you created a blog to do reviews? Are you enjoying the break from the life like me? Let me know in the comments below and turn on response notifications. I would love to chat with you and see what you have to say.
~Tizzy Says….Life without the stress couldn’t be better