Unlocking Amazon Success: A Vine Reviewer’s Insider Tips

ExpertCPG Commerce Podcast
ExpertCPG Commerce Podcast
Unlocking Amazon Success: A Vine Reviewer's Insider Tips
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ExpertCPG Commerce Podcast: Episode 5

Discover the insider secrets of Amazon Vine from the perspective of Adam, a seasoned Vine reviewer, father, soccer coach, and helicopter pilot. This episode sheds light on how Vine reviews shape brand success on Amazon, offering unique insights into the review process and its impact on consumer trust. Perfect for CPG brands looking to leverage Amazon for growth. Want to elevate your brand’s presence on Amazon? Explore our tailored strategies at www.expertcpg.com/audit and unlock the potential of genuine customer feedback.

For a Free ExpertCPG Amazon Audit, to get valuable insights, strategy tips, actionable ways to boost your Amazon sales, and ways to increase your brand’s visibility and growth, visit https://go.expertcpg.com/amazon-audit to sign up and begin your journey to success.

Podcast Video

 

About our Guest

 

RYAN FLYNN

ExpertCPG Commerce – CEO & Founder

 

Bio: 

Ryan Flynn is the founder and CEO of ExpertCPG Commerce, which was recently rebranded from the company’s previous name, Charmac. ExpertCPG Commerce is a specialized Amazon marketing agency that strategically helps food, beverage, and CPG brands reach more customers on Amazon by optimizing their presence and helping grow their sales. Ryan is also a mentor for SKU, the consumer product accelerator based out of Austin, TX, and is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). When he’s not working or spending time with his wife and three children, he enjoys giving back to his community by serving as a volunteer firefighter.

 

Contact Information:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanflynn11/

https://expertcpg.com/

 

 

Podcast Video Transcript

My name is Ryan Flynn, the founder and CEO of expert CPG commerce, where we help brands reach more customers on Amazon and beyond. And today we’ve got a great episode. We’re going to do a whole deep dive into Amazon vine, which is Amazon’s review program. We have my good friend, Adam, and Adam’s actually a vine reviewer.

And so we talked about some interesting stuff. all for the reviewer side of things, all through the lens of Amazon vine. And actually, before we jump into that, uh, if you’re a brand on Amazon and you’re not quite sure if you’re doing everything you could be doing, or you kind of left at night wondering like, man, you know, are we taking advantage of everything?

I know we could be doing more. We see that a lot with brands, right? And we understand that brands have a million things going on and Amazon, they have to be there, but unfortunately just kind of gets But to the back burner, right. And maybe it goes a little bit on autopilot. They’re not doing everything they can be.

So, uh, we said a lot with brands and we’d actually have this, you know, if you’re one of those brands, we love to show you what you could be doing on Amazon and the way we [00:01:00] do that is through an audit. So we do an in depth audit on seller central and on your pages. And really telling you and showing you what you could be doing.

And it was all the opportunities you’re missing. And that’s the thing. A lot of companies can tell you that they can do all these things. We actually want to show you what’s unique for your brand. So just go to expert, cpg. com slash audit, and you can fill some information there. Um, and we’ll get back to whether or not you qualify for the audit, because frankly, we do these and we spend a lot of time on them, but we want to make sure, um, our team has enough time to put together a great audit.

So we do a limited number of these, um, but just go to expert cpg. com slash audits. Put in your information and we’ll get back to you on whether or not, uh, we can help you with the audit, but we’d love to see what we can do for you on Amazon and show you how we can help you. All right, let’s jump right into today’s episode, talking all about Amazon vine.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the expert CPG commerce podcast. And today we have a very special guest. It’s actually a friend of mine, Adam. Adam is actually a vine reviewer, so it’s not his job. He has a job, but he has [00:02:00] a vine reviewer and has been a reviewer for the past two years. And so he’s going to give us an interesting side, look into the reviewer side of things, which is really fascinating, especially for brands to hear and understand that.

So Adam’s a father to coaches, soccer bruises on beer. And I’ve actually been involved a part of that process, helped them one time, make a batch. And I definitely always taste whatever he’s got on tap. When I go over to his house. Adam’s also a helicopter pilot, which is really cool. So Adam, super excited to have you on today.

And thanks for joining us. Yeah. Thanks for having me around. I’m pretty stoked to do this. So just to give everybody a quick background of what Vine is, Amazon launched this program all the way back in 2007. And when it originally launched, it was really. Just on the vendor central platform. So vendor central is where brands sell wholesale to Amazon.

And it’s not as prevalent as it used to be. Amazon has really moved a lot of medium to smaller size brands. Off a vendor on the seller side of things, but regardless, it originally launched. And what is still there today to do is allows [00:03:00] brands to receive reviews for their products on Amazon. So Amazon facilitates this whole process and like a marketplace and then a marketplace, if you will, where there are Vine reviewers.

And there are brands and they match those up. So people like Adam can leave real reviews. It doesn’t necessarily be a positive review as well. So let’s talk about reviews for just a moment though. Reviews are a critical part of the Amazon ecosystem, right? A critical part of the customer’s trust with Amazon.

And there’s been many stories about fake reviews and review manipulation. That’s a real thing. There’s been a very long history of bad actors in this whole review ecosystem. We were talking a lot about the other day, and there used to be entire Uh, third party companies that were built around facilitating this search, find, buy method of finding products and buying them and then reimbursing people off of Amazon for the full purchase.

So they’d leave a review. There were the entire companies built around that. Brands using the existing listing, old listing and their reviews for a product. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed this. I know I have is when I’m [00:04:00] looking for consumer products as well, but like you’ll start reading reviews and you’ll be looking at reviews for a headphones or something.

And then all of a sudden it starts talking about. Oh, Hey, this is a great baby gate to use or something like that. And you’re like, this isn’t a baby gate. Right? So that’s what happens is that they find a product that’s out of stock and no longer being used. And so those reviews never go away. That’s the thing.

The reviews always stay there, which is a good thing, but in this case, it’s a bad thing. So. Long story short, there’s been this whole problem of brands abusing the review ecosystem and Amazon knew that they know that. And they finally started, instead of going after individual sellers, individual brands of the platform, they started going after the facilitators of these groups of these companies and just suing them, taking them to court.

And Amazon has pretty much a limitless legal bill. So they, you know, have a whole team of in house and I’m sure external counsel that they can rely upon to go after these people. So a lot of that has been shut down, but as a part of this, Amazon has opened up the vine program now in the seller central several years ago on the seller central [00:05:00] side of things.

So now brands on seller central can now utilize vine. And it’s really, before that there was early reviewer rewards. And really it’s, it’s a way to, to get authentic reviews from real people in Amazon’s good graces. So it is a good thing. We never recommend gray hat or black hat tactics here at expert GPG commerce.

It’s a very slippery slope, but really we’re just going to be diving into all about buying on the seller central side of things today, again, from the brand’s perspective and on the reviewer side. So again, how it benefits brands. It’s great for. Launching new products or getting more reviews for existing products.

So you can actually review up to 30 reviews of the program. We’ll talk about that number of 30 and you don’t have to really use the whole again, the underground ecosystem of these, that’s a big benefit for brands. what’s required for it. It does require an active registered trademark, which enrolls you in brand registry.

So you need to be part of brand registry. there are some civic requirements for vine as well. In addition to bread registry, whether it’s on the product [00:06:00] level or kind of the inventory level there on the restrictions or requirements, and it’s a great program for all sellers. Right. And we really recommend most products, unless it’s a really expensive product, trying to max out that 30 reviews.

So the interesting thing about the 30 count is of a brand. Let’s say a brand already has 14 reviews. You can actually get only up to 16 more to the divine program. So it’s up to 30 total. So if you already have existing reviews on there, those count towards that 30. Okay. And this is on a per product level.

This is not an account level or anything like that. So if you’re launching a new product, you have an existing product that’s been out there for a while with less than 30, and we’ll talk about parent and child relationships because with Vine, they do roll up together. So if you have child variants that have all those combined reviews do count towards that limit.

We’ll talk about some ways of strategies around that later. or, you know, I think the. The pricing there and, you know, the free offer is really nice. And it’s kind of entices people to get into it, but one to two, I would just say, you know, don’t want the 200 think of it as a marketing expense, right? It’s really to get 30 reviews, potentially 30 [00:07:00] reviews of a product can be a big thing for a new brand launching a new product launching on Amazon.

The other, other costs of consideration to make sure the brands keep in mind is that you’re actually giving away the product. So, uh, there’s the product costs that you’re gonna have to write off for inventory or marketing purposes, right? I would just be in charge at your marketing budget. And then, uh, the other thing to consider is Amazon.

You still have to pay the Amazon fees to get this out to the FBA fees, get this out to the customers that does still come, they do come through like orders essentially there. So you will have to pay the fees for that. So. Again, for brands to get started, there’s a vine dashboard. It’s our central. You can just go to that and you can roll the products there.

The products have to be at Amazon at FBA and available, right? They can’t be FC transfer status moving around fulfillment centers. That’d be actually be available to enroll those units. So make sure that you get. Units in before you want to start buying. Cause that can obviously take a while, whether you’re doing LTL or ground or what have you to get that started, get them started going into Amazon weeks before you want to start fine.

So at least they’re there and ready, uh, from there. [00:08:00] So you enroll them, right. And then you sit back and you wait and see what happens and wait for the reviews to come in. Um, And not everyone who claims an item has to review it. We’ll talk about that with Adam. So that’s a great transition. And Adam, thanks for listening to all the stuff that happens on the brand side, but a great transition to you, Adam, to talk a little bit more about as a fine reviewer, and you’ve been one, as I mentioned at the top for the past two years, what happens when the brand hits?

Okay. So my product divine, what do you see on your side? What happens on the reviewer side? And just talk us, walk us through that process. Sure. So on the reviewer side, it’s going to pop up in one of, one of three places. I mean, how it falls into those places. It’s a mystery to Vine reviewers or Vine voices as Amazon calls us.

It could have to do with the pricing tiers. I’m not quite sure how it ends up where it ends up, but it ended up in one of three places. We call it the RFY or recommended for you, you’ve got the A FA or available for all or the ai, which is the additional items. Additional items, like at the time that I sat down today, had [00:09:00] 37,000 individual items in it, and that a FA, on the other hand, that’s gonna be some more tailored items.

Could be larger quantities of the products are available, could be brand name products that are recognizable to consumers. Usually you’ll have maybe 15 to 20 that show up in there. And those are available to pretty much every Amazon Vine reviewer to pick at their leisure. And then the RFY is that recommended for you.

And those are targeted. Those are targeted for every Vine voice based on whatever algorithm Amazon uses. Could be based on previous search history, things that you have in your card or saved to a list, categories that you’ve viewed before, like. I’m a vegetable gardener, so I get gardening things that pop up all the time in my RFY.

So that’s where they’ll end up. And it depends on how Amazon uses their algorithm to feed that into you. Yeah, it makes sense. Amazon knows the recommendation side of things, right? That whole recommendation algorithm, they use it, or just I’m sure it’s the same kind of thing they use in the consumer side to [00:10:00] target all of us, right?

Right. Use the same kind of thing for buying. And just to clarify, it’s like a separate, The site or a dashboard within your, your Amazon account, right? I forgot to mention that. Yeah. So in order to be a Vine voice or Vine reviewer, you get an invitation from Amazon. Like I mentioned, it’s a mystery. And a lot of things with Vine, you don’t quite know how you end up there, but eventually you’ll end up with an email that says, Hey, you’ve been invited to join Amazon Vine.

Sometimes it could be because you’re really good at leaving product reviews. Every single product that you buy, you leave a review for it. You get it taken pictures and videos and descriptions and pros and cons lists and all of that stuff. So you get invited into the program. And then once you’re in there, you get access to a separate website.

That is, we can call it in the backside of Amazon, but it’s completely separate from the main Amazon site. Okay. And that it’s funny you mentioned about, I’m like, I’ve never heard of someone being, or, and I wouldn’t think I would, because I’m tied to seller central accounts. I probably don’t want those two being crossed, but like you you’re dead on.

I think with your guests on, if you leave a lot of reviews and again, leave [00:11:00] quality reviews that people can find them helpful, right. Leave pictures and videos. Obviously. Yeah. They’re going to want you to leave more and be enrolled in Vine. So that’s probably how they’re doing that. Right. Is there, they’ve utilizing that.

And, and making sure they’re picking what they think are high quality reviewers. So fantastic. So that’s great info to know. So walk us through like, okay, Adam, so you’re sitting down and you say, okay, I’m going to just, I’m sure it’s anything you get into the habit of routine. If I’m going to look through my recommended for you items or whatever it is.

Right. And walk us through when you’re looking at that, what are you looking at as the reviewer to determine if you’re going to claim the item or not to review? Sure. So one thing that you hit on there is that you have to log into the Vine website in order to view the items. You don’t get emails or anything like that.

Like, Hey, new items popped up in your RFY. Now there are people out there that use bots and all kinds of other tactics, right? There’s always people that are doing things the wrong way, but your general Vine reviewer is has to log into the website and then they will see the products that are on there and then you scroll through them.

So the [00:12:00] first thing I’ll look at is what is the product? Is it something that I’m actually going to use, right? Is it something that I can use for my kids? I’m a soccer coach, right? So is it a pop up goal? I grabbed one off of there a couple months ago and it’s been awesome, but is it a pop up goal that I can go throw up in the backyard and knock the ball around with the kids?

So is it something that I’m going to use? And then from there, I’m going to pull up the product listing. So when it shows up in Vine. You got two options for every item, right? I can pull up the actual product listing that shows up on Amazon proper. And then from there I can click on see details. And from there I can see if there’s multiple variations of the product, uh, which variation is being offered to me in exchange for a review.

And then also on there, which we’ll probably hit on later is, uh, what we call the ETV or estimated tax value. And that would be how much. Of that value or how much that item is going to add to my 10 99, that Amazon issues me at the end of the year. Um, we’ll talk about that in a little bit. Yeah, well, actually, [00:13:00] let’s just let you broach the topic and fine broach the topic, let’s jump right into it now, because I’m sure that perked a lot of people’s in, like, they heard that like, what now?

So I thought it was free and it is. Okay. The reviewer doesn’t pay anything for the product, but talk about this whole ETV or estimated tax value, because I think that’s an unknown, definitely before you told me about it, definitely. It was an unknown thing to me. I’d never heard of it with the vine program.

So talk to us a little bit about what that is. Sure. So yeah, like Ryan said, people think that we get the products for free. And while you are giving, giving us a free product, we get a 1099 from Amazon at the end, at the end of the year, that compiles the estimated tax values of every single product that we chose throughout that year.

So it could be anything from, you know, a couple of hundred bucks up to thousands of dollars, depending on which tier, uh, within the Amazon vine ecosystem you fall into, and then you get taxed on that based on your. Income bracket. You have to claim it at the end of the year as income and all that. There’s a couple exceptions to that though.

Beauty [00:14:00] products and foodstuffs are always zero ETV. So if you are a, a seller that’s selling a food product, you’re gonna notice probably that your product’s gonna go faster than the average product. Reason for that being, Vine reviewers are on the lookout for the things that aren’t gonna cost us any money.

And as a result, we get probably a delicious food product or something like that. And it costs nothing and you get some great reviews, but those will go quickly. Yeah. And that’s funny you mentioned that because I had no idea. I always thought food products went fast on Vine because for the brands we work with, we work with a lot of food brands and we see them be claimed pretty quickly.

And I always thought it was because, Hey, everybody has to eat, right. But yeah, I think that’s probably part of it. But also I think it’s a big part of it. There’s no tax value on the inverse of that. I’m sure. You probably really have to think hard or deliberately have to think if it’s a high, if it’s 200 ETV product, right?

You gotta be like, Oh man, I really, I really want this kind of thing. Or is this really beneficial? Because yeah, you got to pay a little taxes on that. [00:15:00] It could be a great product for higher price products that are enrolled in Vine, I would say for brands, just to keep that in mind is that you could run up against that as far as people.

Wanting it or claiming it, right? So yeah, absolutely. And a big gamble on that is one thing that I look for is if the product broke tomorrow, would I be upset about it? Right. And if it’s a product that Has a 500 ETV and I’m paying the 22 percent tax bracket or whatever. And right now I’m paying a decent bit of money for it.

If it breaks tomorrow, am I going to be upset about it? And this with those bigger ticket items, usually that’s a yes. Unless the seller is willing to make it right. Or Vine customer service is willing to help out because Vine has its complete. Own customer service system than actual Amazon customer service.

So as a Viner, if I were to contact Amazon customer service about a product that I received through Vine, customer service is going to have no idea what I’m talking about because for most of [00:16:00] them, Vine doesn’t exist. Yeah, very interesting. And I think you mentioned before too, there’s no warranty, right?

Like if it’s a high price product to break something like that, you mentioned there’s no warranty through Vine or anything like that. Uh, tell us, so when you look at the listing, what are you particularly looking for, what do you, or maybe what turns you off and so to speak, as far as you could just tell from this product, because I think in the dashboard, you get the main image and you get the listing title, I’m guessing, but then you can’t go to the full listing.

So what do you look for and what kind of things you avoid? So I look for, honestly, when I’m looking at. It’s similar to what I’m looking for when I’m looking for any product on Amazon. And the first big thing is authenticity. Right? Is this Product authentic is the brand authentic. Is there a story from the seller about why, who they are, why they’re selling this product?

Is the product description accurate? I mean, is the language that they use accurate? Are they offering coupons? That’s another big thing, because if the product is listed on a regular Amazon [00:17:00] marketplace with a 30 percent coupon, we don’t get that 30 percent coupon as a Vine reviewer, so I’m still getting whatever the list price are.

The ETV is whatever the list price is. So, they’re already discounting it for everybody else. It’s probably not worth it for me to take the tax hit on this product. Yeah, that totally makes sense. And yeah, it just goes to show on top of this a little later too. Like you definitely want to have your quality listing up there first before you enroll products in Vine.

All right. So you claim the product Adam, you’ve looked at it. You said, okay, I want this and everything like that. And it just comes to your house, normal delivery speed that you would get a normal product on Amazon. Right. It doesn’t. Okay. So it just comes either via the Amazon truck or, you know, UPS or whoever it’s coming through.

And then. Okay. Long story short, you don’t have to review every single product you claim. All right. I think that’s a, probably a common misconception because we’ll see that with brand sides, right? A brand will enroll a new product. They’ll enroll 30 units into Vine. All of them get claimed maybe, but only 23 leave reviews, right?

So talk to us about that requirement from Amazon on the Viner side, so [00:18:00] to speak of what do you have to do, or what are the different tiers you have to hit? Sure. So as a buyer, right? And me as an individual, if I claim a product, like my goal is to review 100 percent of the products that I claim. Now, if the product showed up to me broken or something like that, and I had to contact customer service to get it taken off my item list for the year and all of that, that’s one thing.

But I always strive to review 100%. However, Amazon says in order to stay out of what we call a fine jail, you need to Only review 60 percent of the products that you claim. Now, there’s other things that’ll land you in Vine Jail, like using AI to write your reviews and stuff like that. But, we’re talking about percentages here, so you have to review 60 percent of the items that you claim.

And then, Back in 2022, Amazon rolled out a tier structure. So they’ve got a silver and a gold structure. In previous to the structure, it used to be that everybody basically got the equivalent of what I’ll explain as gold, where [00:19:00] you get access to eight items. I can choose up to eight items every single day to review.

That’s a lot of stuff to claim and a lot of stuff to review. And then from there, you have to do at least 80 products. In a six month period. And then of those 80 products that you choose, uh, you have to review at a minimum of 90 percent of those, and that’s to maintain that, that gold status. Now, if you don’t manage to do that, right, let’s say you only get 75 products or you fall below that 90 percent threshold.

Then you get dropped down to silver status and within silver status, you only have access to three products a day and the maximum product value is 100. So it’s anything from zero ETV up to 100 shows up in that silver category. And now you have the opportunity to move from silver back up to gold. If you can accomplish all of the things that I mentioned earlier for gold.

So I have to review minimum of 80 products in my six month review period. [00:20:00] And then within that, I need to do 90%. Of those 80 products that I, yeah, that’s a lot. That’s a lot of products, right? I mean, you said, yeah, we’ll talk about some pitfalls that later of what can happen there and you can leave a review at any time, right?

So you get it. There’s nothing that says you have to leave it within the first 30 days, right? No, absolutely nothing. Uh, you, you have to leave a review. That’s it. So from my perspective, if it’s something that, uh, I need some longer term testing on in order to leave an accurate review. I’ll do that. Like I mentioned to you yesterday when we were talking about this, Ryan, I’ve got a snowboard bag that I have that actually picked up for a trip out to Colorado here, here next week.

But I picked it up back in November knowing that I needed it. So obviously I can’t write a review of that bag until I, you know, throw all my stuff in it and throw it on an airplane and see how it handles. So you don’t have to leave a review, but. You know for longevity some people will give it a little time other products like food products or something like that I can eat it.

I can say yep. That’s delicious. I’d buy that again, and then I can leave a review that day [00:21:00] But got it. You don’t have to Yeah, I think his brands are us helping brands on our side. We always want it immediately. It’s like, okay, we got 23 items, 30 items claimed, give us 30 reviews yesterday. So it’s interesting to know that you guys don’t have, I guess, incentive or penalty to leave a review in a certain amount of time, which I think is a good thing, right?

Overall for the whole program. So you submit the review. I think you said it goes to like Amazon. I’m sure reviews it. I’m sure they run it through some. You mentioned that people have People probably using AI to manipulate things these days. I’m sure they run it through some checks with that and some other checks, obviously as well.

And then you mentioned, I think you can’t edit it right. Just like in the review. So you can go in there. If it breaks, you leave a review today. And then all of a sudden next week it breaks on you. You can update that technically. Right. Yep. Oh yeah. You’ll see that from time to time where people knock a star or two off or come back and throw you a date and they’re saying, Hey, on this day, this product stopped working or, Hey, I’m still using this product and it’s awesome.

Right. Cause they can go both ways. Yeah, and I think it’s important to, for brand or for everybody to understand, [00:22:00] like these are called out on the listings, right? So when you go to the reviews on any Amazon listing and you look for it there, you’ll see, sometimes obviously you’ll see like verified purchase highlighted next to the review.

And then I think they’ve changed the language on it. Amazon’s always changing things, but right now it says Vine customer review a free product, which it just doesn’t really work. Roll up the tongue, but I think it used to say bind voice. I mean, it’s a different things over the past, but it’s highlighted actually now and in green.

So it does call out that Amazon wants to be transparent that someone got something for this review, right? When the older early review rewards program happened, those were called out such as well. So. That’s good, good to know and all that stuff. So fascinating stuff there, Adam, talk to us a little bit too, about just from the reviewer side of it, like from you guys side of it, talk to us about, oh, you mentioned that the reviewers don’t really know tiers, right?

You don’t know about the tier thing. Maybe if they get into where they start doing it or the halfway through it, but then talk to us, what happens when they want to get that gold status, right? And they’re starting to review a ton of [00:23:00] products, all that kind of stuff. What, what can happen? So there’s a couple of things that end up happening here, right?

So. The goal for most buy in reviewers is that gold status, right? You want to get there because you want to unlock the, the more expensive stuff. But you end up with a couple things that can happen. You end up with people that end up claiming just an absolute excess of items. More items than they could feasibly review.

And that’s gonna lead to less than accurate reviews and may rely on people, or may end up with people relying on some things. I’ve seen people go as far as Copying the actual product description from the listing and putting that into their review. You end up with really short reviews. Like you said a little while ago, Ryan, it does get vetted, right?

The reviews go through Vine customer service and get screened and all of that, but some things slip through. You know, some other pitfalls of this is you almost end up like a hoarder, right? You end up with a house full of of stuff, right? You end up choosing all the cheap items or whatever, just to meet that 80 item [00:24:00] thresholds, you end up with just way too much junk.

Yeah. I think you talked about like the waste factor of it, right? Like if all this stuff that’s going out there and it has been fascinating stories over the years of people that essentially their houses do look like a hoarder house or, right. Or just got all kinds of stuff in it because they’re buying reviewers and you can’t.

I think the, the limit is what six months of you can’t like sell or donate the item. Yeah. Six months, six months. Yeah. Amazon doesn’t want you flipping stuff that you get through Vine. Right. So that’s fascinating stuff. So, you know, you mentioned earlier with the ETV about this estimated tax value, and you guys are on the hook for the tax bill for these products, right?

So talk to us about people trying to hit that gold status. And then what happens at the end of the year when they get that 1099. Yes, or it could be somebody in gold status that’s trying to stay in gold status and all of these cool things that show up like we’ve seen things like Dell monitors show up on their TVs, all kinds of stuff.

And people get blinded by the item and forget that come the end of the year, you’re going to get a 1099 that has the value for all of those things on it, you end up with, yeah. Multi [00:25:00] thousand dollar surprises sometimes. Yeah. Interesting. Matter of fact, again, never knew this side of it from the brand side, but it is really interesting fact of the tax side of it and just the whole Viner side of it that you guys have on that kind of thing.

So when we’re helping brands and helping them get divine, kind of some best practices, especially when you have variants, right, in different child variants and how you can really maximize the Amazon Vine program to get maybe more than those 30 reviews. Per product. The biggest thing here is really to maximize more than 30 is to separate those child variants apart or leaving them as child variants before you combine them and then enrolling each child SKU in vine, if that makes sense, technically.

And then the second item there is just having the page built out like with content before you enroll it in vine, because. Like Adam said, he’s looking at that page beforehand. So making sure you have a really solid page, not just putting up an image and leaving it at that. You know, what we’ve seen is if you enroll the parent, if you keep the parent and child relationship together, and let’s say there’s four products on there, [00:26:00] you enroll the parent and you can only get 30 reviews.

If you separate those, right, you can actually enroll each child skew into vine, which obviously is going to be a cost for each one. So keep that in mind. That’s going to quadruple your cost there if it’s four items, but you could get up to 30 per child skew. So you’re talking about 120 if you’re talking four products.

So. That’s a huge difference. I would say 30 reviews to 120 reviews. If you can get over a hundred initially, that’s in my opinion, that’s worth the cost for a new brand launching on Amazon, especially in the competitive category. So that’s a great tip too. And making sure the content’s all fleshed out.

Adam, how about you on the reviewer side of things? Any best practices you’d recommend for brands? As they’re listening to this and watching this, what would you recommend for brands? Yes. Like I mentioned earlier, authenticity is huge, right? Make sure that you try to differentiate yourself. from all the other items out there on the Amazon marketplace.

Like I said earlier, there’s 30, 000 plus at any given time. That’s just silver status, right? We made the [00:27:00] decision, like my wife and I together, to not even try to get gold for the reasons that I mentioned earlier. So that’s 30, 000 and some in just silver. You can probably double that into the gold. So make yourself stand out as a product and a brand.

I mean, a lot of that comes from that authenticity. I think it’s a made in America product. People love that. I personally am more likely to choose a made in America product than something made elsewhere. Make sure you’ve got a good brand story on there. Make sure the images that you choose are, The actual product or somebody using the actual product, maybe a video of the product in use.

We’ve seen some stuff lately where it’s very clearly like an AI image generator, where a person had two left feet or something like that. It was supposed to be a two inch by two inch product, but when the person was holding it, it looked like a eight and a half by 11 piece of paper. Right. Let’s make sure your pictures actually match that product.

And yeah, just be patient with the reviewers too. Cause if you’re [00:28:00] looking for a good. Quality, uh, review from a Viner. And most of us strive to, to really do that. Uh, it’s going to take a little while for us to, to get that done and give you that, that good quality feedback that you’re looking for. Great advice.

And it echoes some of the same stuff Ian was just talking about in terms of having a page completely built out, right. And having that content really solid that plays for both sides of it. So, you know, just. For audience sake too, we’ve seen a lot of success with using vine for not only new products, right?

So it’s obviously easy to think about this for, Hey, I’m launching new products at Amazon, but for existing brands are already on Amazon, maybe it’s their hero product and they’ve struggled to get started. Or maybe it’s just a line of products they haven’t focused on. It’s just out there and not really doing anything.

We’ve used vine for those products as well. And so. Success story that kind of comes to mind recently is a food company. We worked with, you know, the price we’re already on Amazon. I think they had 19 reviews of all their variants. They have one core parent page on Amazon, but they have a number of different flavors for their products.

And what we did is we actually. Just destroy the parent child relationship on [00:29:00] Amazon to have each of them have their own page temporarily, enroll the products in Vine. And then once they’ve enrolled and claimed and everything, then we combine them again. So what happens then again, we can maximize that 30 plus review limit to do that.

Right. And even before enrolling them in Vine, we. Uh, cleaned up the content right on the pages to make sure it was really good. And actually on one of their flavors, it never really got great reviews. So we actually did not enroll that deliberately did not enroll that flavor in vine because we didn’t want that bringing down the overall review rating.

Right. And just keep in mind for all brands, we can talk about destroying and reestablishing parent child relationships and waiting for the vine items to be claimed, or you can be talking about a month or so, maybe, or maybe two to have this all happen. So you really got to have things lined up in terms of.

Having product already at FBA and getting your content straight and then enrolling and kind of waiting for that. So a launch doesn’t happen overnight on Amazon. It does take some work behind the scenes and stuff. So other than that, I would love to jump into any resources. I know, Adam, that you had a couple of interesting ones that we were talking about [00:30:00] for Viners.

What would you say is a good resource for both maybe brands to check out or for Viners to check out? Honestly, like Reddit’s got a huge Amazon Vine subreddit on there. And if, yeah, if you’re a Vine reviewer and you want to link up with other reviewers and pick out more best practices for writing reviews or see pictures of the crazy things that some brands post on Vine, or sometimes you see some wild ETVs for products on there too, that too, or if you’re a seller looking at getting onto Vine, it’s a great resource, jump on there and you can see what all of us Vine voices are.

Talking about on there so you can avoid maybe some of the pitfalls that end up getting poked and called out on there. Yeah, that’s a great, a great resource. I think I definitely get a definitely new separate. I’m going to join for sure. Just to check out some of those things, as you mentioned. And again, I recommend that for brands.

And then obviously on, as far as brands are considered as well, obviously I think they should check that out. But also in addition, obviously Seller Central’s got their help pages, which are always hit and [00:31:00] miss. I think they’ve got a video or two on there with Vine as well. But if you have any questions too, you can always contact us at hello at expert cpg.

com. We’ll get you there. So Adam, thanks so much for joining us today. Thanks Uh, it’s been a great conversation. Very enlightening for me just to learn more about, especially on the reviewer side of things, but really to recap everything about Amazon Vine. So appreciate it. Thanks for having me. All right.

What a great conversation. Thanks Adam. My good friend, uh, talking to us all about Amazon Vine. It was great hearing some of the things about the reviewer side that Adam mentioned and how brands can really maximize the buying program, right. And how they can really make sure their products maybe get selected and claimed.

And it hopefully leads to a positive review. So hopefully you’ve enjoyed all the content you’ve gotten here on the expert CPG commerce podcast. All we ask is that please, if you, if you found this viable, you know, the biggest thing is just liking us, subscribing, uh, leaving a review, all that fun stuff that all the podcasts ask you to do for everyone.

It really does help us though. Um, and help get the word out [00:32:00] about all the brands can be doing on Amazon. Thanks again. And we look forward to seeing you on the next episode of the expert CPG commerce podcast.