How to Deal with Bad Amazon Reviews

Negative reviews are a bane for every Amazon seller. 

A one-star rating can significantly harm your product’s overall rating. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Amazon FBA or FBM seller, a single bad review can devastate your reputation especially have fewer sales and/or reviews for the product. More than a few bad ratings and you could be done for.

But don’t despair! All is not lost – there’s still a way to turn things around and use a negative review to your advantage.

Check Amazon’s Product Reviews Policies 

Amazon’s customer review system is one of its best features as a marketplace. Most customers buy products based on other customers’ testimonials and experiences. The company is therefore very strict in enforcing guidelines to ensure that reviews are as honest as possible and the system can’t be gamed.  

This also makes it harder for Amazon sellers to remove bad product reviews. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. While the chances of Amazon removing a negative review are quite low, this is still a viable route for sellers. And it takes minimal effort on your part. 

Amazon always puts customer welfare before the interest of sellers, but they do draw a line when it comes to their product review policies. So it’s best to check the rules and see if that negative review violates any of their guidelines. Here are some of the possible instances: 

  • The review was posted by another Amazon seller, or their family members and employees, who happens to be your competitor 
  • The review was made by a customer in exchange for some sort of compensation or reward from one of your marketplace competitors

If you strongly suspect that a customer is in violation of the above, you have good cause for action to have that review deleted by Amazon. 

But what if the review was made by a real customer? There are other grounds for review removal that can help you. Aside from fake product reviews, Amazon doesn’t tolerate the following:

  • Inappropriate content
  • Reviews with libelous, defamatory, harassing, threatening, or inflammatory speech

Sometimes customers will mistakenly rant about their whole shopping experience in their review and give you a 1-star for things that are out of your control as an Amazon merchant. For instance, they might complain about long delivery time or their package being lost or stolen. In this case, you can ask Amazon to remove the review since it’s totally unrelated to your product. 

Also, there is a chance that the customer may have been furious while writing the review. With emotions running high, the review could contain harsh and inappropriate language, or may even be exaggerated. If you notice that, you can definitely report the review, and Amazon might just remove it. This can reduce the number of reviews, but at least one-star ratings won’t be bringing the average down. 

Respond to the Negative Product Review 

If you’ve gone through Amazon’s review policies and can’t see anything that would merit the removal of that negative write-up, then it’s time to bite the bullet and respond.

Yes, publicly comment under the customer’s review.

Now you’re probably wondering, “How on Earth is that going to help my case?” Well, responding to the comment won’t change the rating, but it can at least improve your seller reputation (see this HBR study for proof). For one, you’ll look more responsive to customer complaints, which customers always appreciate. Second, it’s an opportunity to salvage whatever good faith and trust the reviewer still has left for your business.

But what do you say to the customer then? Here are some tips:

1. Start with an apology. It doesn’t matter whether the customer is right or wrong. Right now, it’s more important to show them that you understand their feelings and that you are sincerely sorry for their bad experience.


2. Explain but don’t argue. No matter how good you think your product is, there will always be customers who won’t be satisfied with it. So you can address whatever it was that compelled them to write the negative review. Be careful, however, that your reply doesn’t come across as argumentative. It’s a bad idea to go