A Look Inside Amazon’s Vine Program

October 25th, 2023

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You may have heard about Amazon Vine, but what is the program all about? Never fear! Your favorite Amazon experts are here to answer all of your burning questions. Read on to learn more about the Amazon Vine review program

How Does the Amazon Vine Program Work?

The Amazon Vine Program allows sellers to enroll products with little to no reviews in an effort to gain honest and unbiased reviews from Amazon’s group of Vine Voices. Amazon’s Vine Voices are selected by Amazon and comprise a group of the most trusted reviewers.

Their job is to post opinions about new and pre-release items that will help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions. Only the most trusted reviewers, based on their reviewer rank, are selected by Amazon to help generate reviews.

Amazon provides Vine Voice members with free products that have been submitted to the program by participating sellers. Then, the Vine Voice will submit an honest review of the product that they have received.

Vine reviews are the independent opinions of the Vine Voices, and sellers cannot influence, modify or edit the reviews. Amazon also does not modify or edit Vine reviews, as long as they comply with their rigorous posting guidelines.

You can identify a Vine review by the green text stripe stating that it was a free product review above the actual review.

How Are Amazon Vine Voices Selected?

Currently, Amazon Vine Voices is an invitation-only program. Vine Voices are selected based on several criteria. Primarily Amazon focuses on the helpfulness of their reviews as judged by all other customers and by their demonstrated interest in the types of products that are featured in the program. Customers who consistently write helpful reviews and develop a reputation for expertise in specific product categories are most likely to be invited into the program.

Are Vine Voices Expected to Write Only Positive Reviews?

No. Amazon always welcomes an honest opinion about the product – whether that is a positive or negative one. Regardless of whether or not the review is positive or negative, all Vine reviews must conform to Amazon’s posting guidelines.

Once a review is submitted, Amazon customers are then able to vote on the helpfulness of the Vine review, just like they can for any other review.

Benefits of the Amazon Vine Program

It’s no secret that glowing reviews are important to any seller’s success. Reviews help shoppers gain valuable insight when shopping online and aid in the decision-making process.

Most Amazon customers largely depend on reviews when shopping on Amazon. This is partially because word-of-mouth reviews are so powerful. It is also because they cannot see or touch the products physically, and therefore having an abundance of reviews helps build the credibility of the product while boosting sales.

The Amazon Vine Reviewer Program is beneficial to new listings that desperately need reviews. It is also tailored to help fledgling product listings gain the traction they need to start generating sales.

Reviews have been proven to help boost sales but they are not always easy to get. That is one reason why this program is helpful for businesses wanting to grow on Amazon. Additionally, reviews help your ranking and a higher ranking will give you better exposure.

Amazon Vine Program Eligibility

When it initially launched, the Amazon Vine Reviewer Program was geared toward helping Vendors ramp up sales and advertising on new products. However, since 2019, the Amazon Vine program has also been offered to Sellers who meet the required criteria.

Amazon vendors or sellers send their products to Vine Voices free of charge. Once Vine Voices receive these complimentary products, they are required to write an honest review within 30 days of receiving the product. 

Once the review has been submitted, Amazon posts Vine Voice reviews on product detail pages along with a special Vine badge to indicate that the review was written as part of the program.

For more information on the requirements to get started, read on!

Requirements, Restrictions, and Exclusions

Business Requirments

  1. Must have a professional seller account on Amazon.
  2. The brand must be registered via Amazon Brand Registry.
  3. Must be enrolled in FBA fulfillment.
  4. Must be located in Amazon CA, DE, ES, FR, IT, JP, UK, US.

Product Requirments

  1. Must have fewer than 30 reviews on the product detail pages.
  2. Must be available via FBA in ‘New’ condition.
  3. Inventory needs to be in stock.
  4. Product listing must be fully optimized to include image(s) and a description.
  5. The item must already be launched at the time of enrollment.

Product Restrictions and Exclusions

  1. No adult products are allowed.
  2. Products will be excluded if Amazon has to bundle multiple products for delivery and review.
  3. Products will not be allowed if they do not correspond to the exact products listed on the FBA offer.
  4. Products that would require an Amazon Vine reviewer to separately order another product to conduct a review are not allowed. However, accessories for widely-owned products such as iPhone or Android devices are permitted.

As always, with Amazon, there are specific guidelines that need to be followed when applying to participate in the Amazon Vine Program. In addition to the business and product requirements, there are a few more important restrictions to know about before enrolling a product in the Amazon Vine Review Program. We’ll break down these restrictions below.

The New and Improved Vine Pricing Structure

Until recently, all sellers were required to pay $200 for each parent ASIN enrolled in the Amazon Vine Program. Luckily, for brands on a budget, they have introduced new cost-effective pricing options for products enrolled after October 19th, 2023.

While the $200 option is still available, there are now three tiers you can choose from:

  1. $0 for up to 2 units and 2 free Vine reviews
  2. $75 for up to 10 units and 10 reviews 
  3. $200 for 30 units and 30 reviews

Keep in mind, once a tier is selected, you cannot add more child ASINs or change to a different tier. You will only be charged if you enroll three or more units per ASIN and receive your first review within 90 days from enrollment.

According to Amazon, enrolling products in Vine can increase sales by up to 30%!

All sellers will continue to pay their standard fees:

  • Amazon’s Professional seller account - $39.99 each month.
  • Order fulfillment fees - may vary by your product’s size and weight.
  • All regular storage fees - may vary based on the time of year and product size.

How Do I Enroll in the Amazon Vine Program?

Once you’ve been invited to join the Amazon Prime Program, it’s time to enroll. To get started:

  • Log into your Seller Central account
  • Hover over the Advertising dropdown
  • Select Vine
  • Add the ASINs you want to enroll and click on Begin Enrollment
  • Select the number of units you want to enroll and click Enroll
  • Track progress on the Details page

What's New in 2023 for the Amazon Vine Program?

Available to 3PL Sellers

Previously, Amazon Vine was only accessible to first-party sellers (1PL) through Vendor Central. However, Amazon has recently made Vine available to third-party sellers (3PL) on their US marketplace for the first time.

Free Enrollment

While in the past, vendors were charged a fee of $2,500 per enrolled ASIN, the Amazon Vine program is now completely free for sellers. While this doesn’t guarantee positive results, it is an incredible free tool for sellers that need to accumulate reviews. Keep in mind, sellers must ship their products at no cost to the reviewer.

A Few More Details About Amazon Vine Program

There is No Guarantee - But Don't Let That Deter You!

While the Amazon Vine Program offers the ability to generate reviews on your behalf for products that have little to no reviews, they do not guarantee the reviews. If a reviewer receives your item and does not review it, the item will not be returned.

It is important to note that Amazon does do its due diligence in vetting the reviewers (Vine Voices) allowed in this program and they have strict criteria for consumers to be Vine Reviews. In our experience, the reward far outweighs any potential risk, and any review that you garner from the Amazon Vine program brings you one step closer to a  higher rank on Amazon.

Be Aware of the Review Limit

Once the review count on the product detail page reaches a total of 30 reviews, the product will then be unenrolled from the Amazon Vine Program. This happens regardless of how many Vine Voices receive the product or leave reviews during the enrollment period.

Choose Your Inventory to Be Reviewed

When enrolling in the Amazon Vine Program it’s important to note that currently there is a limit of five SKUs at a time. Take a look at your products and see which ones need reviews (remember, only products that have zero or fewer than 30 reviews are eligible).

Value of Reviews

The quantity and quality of your reviews are important to your sales and potential growth on Amazon. Research shows that more than 80% of consumers say they value online reviews as much as they do a recommendation from a friend.

Amazon understands the power that reviews hold in helping a shopper make a purchase decision and uses that information to assess sellers. It does this in two ways: seller ratings and product reviews. The product reviews are most important because listings with 4-star reviews and above tend to rank the highest in search results.

At the end of the day, reviews will help your product listings on Amazon and are an important factor in consumer sales as well as your Amazon ranking. Let our team of experts help guide you through the Amazon Vine Program or help you determine other avenues to consider pursuing when it comes to generating reviews.