Why I Don't Do Amazon Reviews- Amazon Policies:
After an attempt to submit a review this is the message I received. (see Below) I don't do online shopping and because of this, I am unable to post reviews on Amazon. Even after contacting customer service I was told that I can't submit a review unless I have a credit card on file indicating a recent charge.
"Want to write a customer review?
To submit a customer review: you need to use an Amazon account that has successfully been charged for the purchase of a physical or digital item. Free digital downloads don't qualify. You don't need to have purchased the product you're reviewing. There's a 48-hour waiting period after your first physical order has been completely shipped, or your digital item has been purchased, before you'll be able to submit your review. Learn more about writing customer reviews.
Who can create customer reviews?
Anyone who has purchased items from Amazon.com. All we ask is that you follow a few simple rules (see "What’s not allowed" below).
If your purchase was completed more than 48 hours ago, let us know here. "
Basically, you MUST make a purchase and have a credit card on file indicating a recent purchase. It doesn't matter if it is dog food, bed sheets, a watch or computer- you had to have made some sort of online purchase from Amazon and a credit card must have indicated recent or past purchase activity as proof.
If you are an author and contact customer service they probably simply told you the reviewer doesn't need to purchase your book or any book to post a review. That is PARTIALLY true. The whole truth to the story is that the reviewer must have a purchase history of some sort to do a review. Considering so many people do make online purchases with Amazon for other items this is usually not a problem. Nevertheless this alienates people who don't do online shopping- (not that Amazon cares about nonpaying customers anyway). Since when does making online purchases of other items give more credibility for a book review? (I can almost understand limiting reviews to the purchase of the particular item in question). SO if you an author offering free digital downloads for your book in exchange for a review on Amazon, only book reviewers with a purchase history can post a review.
And no, insisting simply you do not need to buy the book to post a review, does not change this policy that a purchasing history is required. Most likely if you probably also bought from Amazon, something and this limitation does not apply to you, nor will customer service tell you about this limitation unless you specifically ask about it or among those living on a strict budget who can't buy things online and find out the hard way that you can't post your review.
Also please note for Amazon reviewers- if the reviewer did not actually purchase the specific book or item he reviews- everyone will know it. Amazon now has a special icon "Amazon Verified Purchase" in bright orange font to designate authenticated purchases of those who do reviews of a particular book or item they actually paid $$$ for. The review will only get this icon if the reviewer actually purchased the item he reviewed. SO basically, any review without this bright orange AMAZON VERIFIED PURCHASE icon loses credibility. It means that the reviewer got the book for free without compensation and this is a tell tale sign. Barnes and Noble does NOT make that distinction.
Barnes & Noble does not have a restriction on writing reviews. You don't need to have a credit card on file to do a review and it doesn't matter if you have NEVER purchased anything- you can still submit a book review.
Verified Purchase Reviews
What's an "Amazon Verified Purchase" review?
When a product review is marked "Amazon Verified Purchase," it means that the customer who wrote the review purchased the item at Amazon.com. Customers can add this label to their review only if we can verify the item being reviewed was purchased at Amazon.com. Customers reading an Amazon Verified Purchase review can use this information to help them decide which reviews are most helpful in their purchasing decisions.
The Amazon Verified Review label offers one more way to help gauge the quality and relevance of a product review.
How can I make my review an "Amazon Verified Purchase"?
When you write a new review, you will be given the opportunity to mark your review as an Amazon Verified Purchase. If the checkbox doesn't appear, we were unable to verify you purchased the item at Amazon.
If you wrote a review for an item you purchased at Amazon previously and would like to mark it as an Amazon Verified Purchase, simply edit your existing review and the Amazon Verified Purchase checkbox should appear. After checking the box and saving your review, your review will immediately be marked as an Amazon Verified Purchase. You can also opt to mark all of your past reviews for products purchased at Amazon as Amazon Verified Purchase reviews using the corresponding checkbox during review editing or creation.