VAT News

Amazon outlaws incentivised reviews

Historically, Amazon have permitted sellers to provide products for no charge in exchange for honest reviews from the recipients. Whilst these reviews are expected to be impartial, there is some feeling that due to a combination of factors, this has not been the case, and the recipients of goods have been inclined to have some bias in their reviews, leading to inconsistencies in the process, and a commercial disadvantage to some sellers, together with an element of distrust from Amazon consumers.

Recently, Amazon has acted to remove the permission for such incentivised reviews, and sellers will no longer be able to collect reviews in this way. Indeed, incentivised reviews will only be permitted when the process is conducted through the Amazon Vine system, whereby Amazon selects trusted reviewers to review products, and no relationship exists between seller and reviewer, thus theoretically improving the impartiality.

Early indications show that these guidelines currently apply only to sellers on the Amazon.com platform, and not those within the EU.

This may lead more US based sellers to further explore the fast expanding EU market, and investigate how their product can reach this huge market (EU estimated population in 2015-508.5m).

As the movement of goods from the US to the EU represents a taxable import, there are many considerations, including the potential VAT implications. VATGlobal currently assist a number of traders operating in this way, and can provide a full range of solutions to those looking to expand into the EU.

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