Newbie's Guide to Amazon Seller Reviews (aka Feedback)

by Colleen Quattlebaum

If you're a new seller on the Amazon marketplace, you might be trying to figure out how Amazon's rating system works. If so, you've come to the right place!

In this post, we'll get you up to speed on a few important fundamentals.

Amazon Seller Reviews are Known as "Feedback"

As the industry's leading reputation management tool for Amazon merchants, we keep a close eye on how sellers are finding us. Not too long ago, we noticed that the phrase "Amazon seller reviews" showed up in a few of our internal reports. As you'll learn below, this phrase is actually somewhat contradictory in the Amazon ecosystem.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. "Reviews" describe products, not sellers - If you've ever bought something on and rated your satisfaction with the item, you left a review. Sometimes referred to "customer reviews" or "product reviews," this type of rating is scored on a 5-star scale and is publicly visible on an item's product detail page. Reviews describe the customer's perception of the product, exclusive of the seller's involvement. Did the product meet or exceed expectations? Is it made from quality materials? These are the types of things that Amazon customers ask themselves when writing reviews.

2. "Feedback" describes sellers - In addition to rating products (by leaving reviews), customers are also permitted to rate merchants. When a customer rates a seller, he or she does so by leaving a feedback. Feedback is also based on a 5-star scale and is public, but it appears on the seller's Amazon profile page (rather than on the item's detail page). Remember, feedback measures the customer's satisfaction with the transaction itself. Things like packaging, on-time delivery and courteous service influence feedback.

3. Amazon's guidelines are slightly different for reviews and feedback - It's important to note that, Inc. ("Amazon") has subtle, yet distinctive differences in how reviews and feedback and governed. (To get up to speed quickly, check out our free guide, Feedback vs. Reviews: What's the Difference?.) For example, Amazon allows (and encourages) sellers to resolve negative feedback by promptly addressing the issue. Once resolved, the seller may ask the buyer to remove the negative feedback score. Conversely, asking a customer to remove a product review is a violation of Amazon's rules, which might get the seller in trouble.

If all of this is news to you, don't feel too bad! It's easy to get confused by the terminology.

Let's briefly recap what we've learned so far:

  • Reviews and feedback are two separate things on Amazon
  • Reviews = product ratings
  • Feedback = seller ratings
  • Both use a 5-star scale

Common Questions We Hear from New Sellers

Now that we've cleared up that confusion, let's get to the specific questions you may have on this topic.

Should I focus on getting feedback or reviews? Both are important, but most new sellers choose to first focus on collecting positive feedback. If your competitors have been selling on for some time, they likely have hundreds or thousands of feedbacks by now. You've got some work to do if you wish to compete.

Does feedback rating influence my order volume? The short answer is yes, feedback does influence your order volume. Amazon considers your seller metrics when awarding the Buy Box, which means feedback plays an integral role in winning orders. Click here to read more about winning the Buy Box.

Can I ask Amazon customers to leave me feedback? Yes, you can. Amazon has always permitted sellers to request feedback. Just be sure to follow the rules and never pressure customers.

Is there a way to automate feedback collection? We're glad you asked! Our FeedbackFive tool has helped sellers like you successfully earn more than 50 million feedbacks since 2009. Best of all, you can get started for free with no obligation.

How do I know if I'm making progress? You can see recent feedbacks in your Seller Central account (Performance>Feedback). For additional insights into your Amazon seller reputation, FeedbackFive provides a number of useful reports and charts that automatically track your feedback (and reviews).

What Other Questions Do You Have?

As a new Amazon seller, you have a lot of priorities to juggle. I hope that this article was helpful in clearing up some common confusion about Amazon's rating system.

So, what other questions do you have?

Comment below, and we'll get back to you ASAP!

Originally published on March 13, 2018, updated July 15, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.