Amazon Vine is arguably one of the strongest Selling tools a brand owner can utilize when creating new items, and for the moment its 100% free in Seller Central. This soon, will change. We have insider information which suggests later in 2021 Amazon Vine will be PAID, yes PAID.
Amazon Vine invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions. Amazon invites customers to become Vine Voices based on their reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers. Amazon provides Vine members with free products that have been submitted to the program by participating vendors. Vine reviews are the independent opinions of the Vine Voices. The vendor cannot influence, modify or edit the reviews. Amazon does not modify or edit Vine reviews, as long as they comply with our posting guidelines. A Vine review is identified with the green stripe Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program.
Vine allows for maximum of 30 unbiased (100% objective reviews) to be accused on your detail page in exchange for free product which is sent to Amazon Vine reviewers. In regular intervals those special customers who are part of the Vine program are send emails, newsletters, and have access to select any number of products which fit their demographic for review. They are not obligated to leave a review but it is heavily encouraged in order to stay active within the Vine reviewer guidelines. For the brand owner this is very powerful, it means you can launch a new product, submit to Vine and have up to 30 verified reviews within 60 days. Amazon has recently deprecated their ERP (earlier reviewer program) which was the only other authorized method of generating reviews via pay to play as per the amazon review guidelines. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=G3UA5WC5S5UUKB5G )
For the last few years Vine has been free for brand owners on Seller Centra, but has always been about $2200 for brand owners on Vendor Central. We have recently leaked info which supports the fact that the Vine program will be paid for all Seller Central brand owners sometime in 2021. This narrative goes with the typical Amazon programs, first they give you a taste, then they charge you for it. If we had to guess the fee for Vine will be somewhere between $500 - $2200 for future Vine submissions. This means you need to begin utilizing vine NOW, not last week, not a month from now, but today. When Amazon sent notice of discontinuation of the Early Reviewer Program, they only provided for about two weeks advance notice so we would not be surprised if we see the same sort of short warning to towards paid Vine.
We advise all of our clients to participate in Vine as part of any new product launch, unless the new product is already tied to a mature parent which has reviews. New free standing ASIN’s should also launch with VINE, A+ Content, 5-6 Images, Video, & Sponsored Ads, and a Coupon. This winning combination guarantees you put your best foot forward so the algorithm can more quickly and easily determine relevance on a recently established ASIN.
Customers not only trust products with reviews, but they trust Amazon Vine Reviewers specifically as they are seen as more experienced shoppers because Amazon has awarded them with special titles and privileges. Statistically customers also shy away from products which have no or few reviews. Their data suggests that products that have over 15 reviews can be trusted with moderate confidence level. These Vine reviews placed on the new product early in its lifecycle help speed up the discoverability and initial slow sales process for any newly launched ASINS. What this means is that for the product cost of goods (because you give them away for free in exchange for the Vine reviews) are a low investment to get those first 30 reviews, which most of the time are actually favorable. It’s a controlled group, the risk is low as well as the actual cost. Without any reviews your cost of advertising will be much more expensive, and you could also potentially rack up warehousing storage fees as the product sits waiting for several dozen reviews naturally.