Amazon wanting me to answer customers questions

If you had known before purchasing the product that buying it meant you would eventually be invited (not mandated) to answer a question from another customer, would you have chosen not to buy it?

As far as Amazon hiring professional Q&A staff, yes, they certainly could do that, but their salaries won’t come out of Bezos’ pocket - it’ll come out of ours.

This. I’m happy to have esoteric questions answered by people who have actually used the product and are interested in sharing what they know, especially when it doesn’t add to the purchase price. And while I haven’t yet been asked a question from an Amazon purchase, I have on Home Depot, and have taken some time to answer those questions.

A very common question I’ve received for various items is “where is it made?” from people wanting do buy things made in the US.

Someone asked this about my favorite cloth face mask. Another purchaser answered that the mask had a US flag on a tag, so it was obviously made in the US.

I pointed out that the other side of the tag had “MADE IN KOREA” clearly printed on it.

I’ve asked questions on Amazon, home Depot, and one other site. I got several answers, most useless (i hadn’t realized until reading this thread that people felt like they were supposed to answer. I guess that’s the source of “i don’t know” and similar useless replies) and in every case i got an actual useful answer to my esoteric question.

So i think this is a great feature.

Just to follow up, Amazon is pretty revolutionary. Instead of going to the mall or having a local business put it on order for me, I can get almost every consumer product in the world shipped to my home in two days. That business model has made Jeff Bezos rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

A discussion should be had about how this hurts small and local businesses, and tax policy discussions should be had about taxing people who have such wealth. These discussions should be had on the SDMB and any other semi public forum—that’s just good healthy democracy.

Where they shouldn’t be had is on Amazon in the Q&A section for a particular product, and I don’t blame Amazon at all for telling the OP to knock it off.

I had a review rejected by Amazon this week. Since Fry’s Electronics is no more I was looking there for a cheap keyboard to go in the ready replacement drawer. A Marketplace one from a Chinese-sounding company was the cheapest but it would take two weeks to be delivered – no big deal because I have no immediate use for it anyway.

I ordered two at $8 apiece but just before pulling the trigger, saw that the shipping was $45 each. My review had the headline Watch the shipping and the body mentioned the amount. Amazon did not like that.

I think that is completely relevant to the product and that Amazon should have allowed that review/Q&A that you posted. In fact, I don’t believe that as a respected company, Amazon should allow such outsized shipping prices relative to the product at all.

I suppose that what they’re doing is making it part of the review/Q&A vetting to stick to the product itself rather than to the externalities. Still, this one IMO would be relevant to comment since it does affect the buying decision, it’s not really an externality.

If I were standing in a Walmart (another huge, wealthy company) and someone was standing near and asked if I knew anything about a product that I had purchased in the past, I’d answer their question. I really don’t see any difference in the situation other than the fact that it’s happening digitally instead of IRL. It’s called Being a Nice Human.

I don’t see the big deal. I bought a treadmill, and then answered a couple of questions about it. The only thing that irritated me was getting the same question twice. Obviously someone couldn’t be bothered to read prior questions. But it’s just as easy to ignore the emails as to get all bent out of shape about it.

Yes and no: If they changed the shipping price, or if other companies sold the same product, that review would still be stuck to the product.

I have long though it would be nice if Amazon had a way to review the seller separately from reviewing the product.

They do.

It’s under ‘Leave Seller Feedback’ button, and you can rate the seller and leave comments. Very similar to eBay.

Plus, you can view other people’s comments and ratings.

Eh. If I saw a review like that on another product I’d be inclined to say, “Hmm. 1/3 less than the next lowest price; let’s check,” click on on it then either, “Three bucks shipping; I guess they learned a lesson,” or “Still $45 shipping – hard pass,” as appropriate.

I don’t know if this applies, but Amazon has a rule that you are not supposed to negatively review a product because of shipping or packaging issues. Someone I know has a three volume scientific book, supposedly only sold as a unit, and Amazon often screws up and sends only one random volume. He’s gotten bad reviews because of this.

But does the review stick to the product, regardless of who is selling it?

I think the inflated shipping is important information, but it’s information about the seller, not the product.

BUT, if I go to buy the same make/model of the widget and I select a different vendor, am I going to see reviews about people’s experiences with other sellers?

If it’s part of the same listing, yes. If not, then it usually doesn’t.

Most of the time, I find that all the vendors selling the same product will be under the same listing. Amazon will list its price if there is one, and say you can check for prices from other sellers.

However, I have seen situations where it’s the same product, but two different sellers listed it with different descriptions. In that case, the reviews don’t stick.

I’ve also occasionally seen companies that claim they are selling a new product, but it seems to be exactly the same as the old one they no longer sell. I have wondered if they do that to get rid of the reviews.

No matter what, though, if they want us to just review the product, then there also needs to be a way to review the seller. A big problem I see are sellers telling you to review them for some gift card. If you can’t mention that, then you can’t know that the reviews are biased.

(They used to actually specify that it had to be a five star review. Yes, I have run into this multiple times.)

I had no idea snake tongs existed. I learned something from this thread.

Somebody asked me if a toilet I bought was “comfort height.” No mention of it in the product description, so I highlighted and Googled. Sure enough, there was a Wiki page for it. Who am I to eschew modern technology? I replied “17 inches from top of bowl to floor” and thanks to serendipity, I can post about it and be relevant.

I snickered.