New Rule: You Have to Have Spent $50 (Minimum) to Post a Review at Amazon

New Rule: You Have to Have Spent $50 (Minimum) to Post a Review at Amazon Amazon Reviews

Any system that is important enough to be measured is going to be gamed by cheaters, and Amazon's reviews section is no exception to that rule.

Amazon has fought back by suing over fake reviews, deleting reviews where the buyer appeared to have a relationship with the author,  filing for arbitration against scammers, and putting a cap on the number of reviews you can post without buying the product.

Now Amazon has revised its reviews policy yet again, this time to target scammers who open new Amazon accounts just to post a review.

To contribute to Customer Reviews or Customer Answers, Spark, or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on using a valid credit or debit card. Prime subscriptions and promotional discounts don't qualify towards the $50 minimum.

It's good to see Amazon continue to fight scammers, but I don't know that this will have much impact. After all, a scammer can always buy the products they were hired to review and then charge their clients for a verified review.

This is basically a game of whack-a-mole, but fortunately, this time around authors won't get caught up in Amazon's fight against scammers.

About Nate Hoffelder (10069 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

17 Comments on New Rule: You Have to Have Spent $50 (Minimum) to Post a Review at Amazon

  1. I wonder how this applies internationally? I have a couple of reviewers who live in Scotland and Australia. The Australian one is great about logging on to Amazon US to post his review. I wonder if they will still let him do it? Hopefully, they won’t go back and delete it because it was a stellar and in-dept review!

    • Carmen, I live in Australia and have exactly this problem. I tried to post a review, and can ONLY do so on their Australian site.
      This is a very counterproductive move.
      My reaction is to avoid buying ANYTHING from Amazon if I can get it anywhere else. I have complained, and I hope other writers, publishers and reviewers do so as well.

  2. Have I missed something, because I thought already brought in this rule a few months back? However, I notice they now have it in Amazon UK – it’s a £40 minimum spend.

    I wonder if this will mean fewer .com reviews, but more posted to other countries’ sites?

  3. I think the valid credit card (not a gift card) is as important as the $50 since it is pretty hard to set up a lot of fake credit card accounts. Not perfect, but at least it’s something.

  4. New rule? This was introduced over a year ago.

    It was widely reported at the time that books were exempt from this regulation.

    • no, what was widely reported was that books were exempt from the review cap which was announced a few months later. I don’t think anyone reported on this part of the policy when it was enacted.

      (edit: or at least that is what I recall; I could be wrong)

  5. This rule went into effect in the US in September, 2016, but a reminder is always useful. I reported the changes in my blog in October 2016.
    “The New $50 Rule: To post a review, customers must spend at least $50.00 using a valid credit or debit card. Prime subscriptions and promotional discounts don’t qualify towards the $50.00 minimum. Customers in the same household cannot submit a review for the same product.” “

  6. Most of my reviews are posted on Amazon by way of GoodReads or the Kindle. I wonder if I already met the $50 requirement, or if GoodReads is a backdoor.

  7. I’m surprised you didn’t google this before posting about it. This has been a policy for over a year now. Not only did Anne R Allen post about it (her link is above) but several other sites covered the TOS change.
    As far as I can tell, it has had little impact on scammers, though. 🙁

  8. Until a couple of months ago, I was able to post a review of a book on every Amazon site I accessed. It is only this month that they prevented me from doing so because of this policy.

  9. I posted a review of a book on the Amazon site on the 10th April this year ( I haven’t bought anything from the USA Amazon site since 2015. I buy loads of stuff from the UK Amazon site though, £100’s every year.

    I want to increase the star rating from 1 star to 2 stars (the author is moaning at my rating in the comments below the review), but I’m not even allowed to alter the star rating!

    Anyway, I could submit a review just over a month ago, but cannot do so now, so seems a recent policy?

    Surely the policy ought to depend on the *total amount* spent at Amazon in the previous year, not at a specific branch?

  10. This policy is very poorly thought out, and they haven’t considered unintended consequences such as yours.
    Like you, until recently I could post reviews on any Amazon site, Now, I am restricted to my own country.
    Another aspect is, why should a poor person not be able to give an opinion on a book?
    And why don’t the 15 Amazon sites share reviews, since they already share titles?
    I encourage you and everyone else affected to make a complaint. Please read my blog post about it at

  11. Anthony A Aguiar // 26 July, 2018 at 3:38 am // Reply

    $50.00 to make a statement of how good or bad something is?

    Read this one I am not with amazon prime now when I buy at amazon. I need to make a minimum purchase of $25.00 of amazon stuff before I can buy anything not amazon.

    They will not let you buy the none amazon item unless buy $25.00 amazon stuff. When I tried to check out they would only sell me the amazon stuff, amazon says they will hold the none amazon item for my next buying trip.

    When did it become OK to charge a minimum to buy in a store, no matter brick or on-line. So from now on I will buy at Walmart because they have an in store charge card and Walmart is also on-line. So amazon one stinky finger you know the middle one to you. If that is not clear UP YOURS

    • This is rubbish (the review terms, not your post). I just bought something from amazon for a total of £39.98 so this applied to me. I want to post a review of the trainers that I bought. The only way I can do that right now is to buy a usb extension cable that I want. £1.50 from ebay, £4 incl postage from Amazon.

      I can imagine Amazon is going to make more money from this, but they’ll loose out on a lot of reviews.


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