CABILLY & CO. BLOG

Amazon Product Inserts – Is It Still OK To Include Them With Your Products on Amazon? In 2024?

Is It Still OK To Include Inserts In With Your Products on Amazon (1)
Is It Still OK To Include Inserts In With Your Products on Amazon (1)

Let me just put this out upfront: from an account health perspective, we’re not big fans of inserts. We have seen relatively mild inserts lead to long, difficult suspensions. We have seen sellers forget to remove their inserts from FBA products after being reinstated and go right back to an even longer, even more, difficult suspension. And we have seen people gleefully report their competitors for inserts.

Yes, Amazon has a Seller University video on how to not violate their policy, and it’s very clear. All your insert can contain is the following:

  1. A thank you
  2. A ­neutral request for feedback.

But even given such clarity, we’ve simply seen way too much sorrow stemming from inserts to feel comfortable recommending them.
Still, there is a large subset of people who are fond of inserts. It’s the first thing your customer finds, it’s a good way to connect with them, and yet it’s very easy to run afoul of Amazon’s rules. So our pocket-sized answer to this question is yes, but…know the risks.
So it might be more instructive to have a little game we like to call ”Violating or Not Violating?” (a game we frequently play in this line of work…). Given Amazon’s aforementioned rules, and knowledge of Amazon’s Seller Code of Conduct, which we are absolutely confident that you have read in its entirety, let us commence.
A little caveat before we begin: just because you’re not violating does not mean you’re in the clear. You could be edging towards a violation, and your competitor could report it, and the person investigating is near lunch break, and you become the victim of a false positive.

VIOLATING OR NOT VIOLATING?

The Free Gift
The Free Gift

Is it Violating Amazon’s rules?

WAY VIOLATING. This is an efficient way to violate multiple Amazon policies in one shot. Here’s what we see could get you for Code of Conduct violations:

  1. From the section on Ratings, feedback, and reviews: “[You may not] Pay for or offer an incentive (such as coupons or free products) in exchange for providing or removing feedback or reviews.”
    That definition is pretty clear, but there is also this:
  2. “[You may not] Ask customers to write only positive reviews or ask them to remove or change a review”. Often, sellers will use a link like that to see how the transaction went. This way, they can address any painful shopping experiences and resolve the problem, or at least make the customer feel like s/he has been heard, all away from the eyes of Amazon. Furthermore, they can supply customers who had positive experiences with instructions about how to leave feedback and/or a review on Amazon.
  3. And, arguably, from Communications:” You may not send unsolicited or inappropriate messages. All communications to customers must be sent through Buyer-Seller Messaging and be necessary for fulfilling the order or providing customer services. Marketing communications are prohibited.”
  4. Also arguably, “Circumventing the sales process: You may not attempt to circumvent the Amazon sales process or divert Amazon customers to another website. This means that you may not provide links or messages that prompt users to visit any external website or complete a transaction elsewhere.”
    As far as your competitors are concerned, this insert is a free gift.

Is it violating Amazon’s rules?

the Five Stars
the Five Stars

Yes, VIOLATING. Did this not seem fair? You could be forgiven for thinking so…but not by Amazon. Yes, Amazon does allow inserts to request a review, but anything that seeks to bias that review will be seen as manipulation. That stretches from the offer of a free gift, as seen above, to the visual cue of 5 stars or the word “positive” appearing in close proximity to the ask. While you can receive a Review Manipulation suspension from this, it is a feasible Code of Conduct as well.

Is it violating Amazon’s rules?

Come to US
Come to US

Probably VIOLATING, but LESS ENFORCED. This is not as obvious. You probably think “But we should be able to direct customers to our friendly and effective customer service!” And we agree with you—they should have access to that information, but on the product’s packaging, the instructions, the warranty…all the places we have collectively been conditioned to expect such contact information.
However, placing this on an insert could cause Amazon to think that you are attempting to circumvent their sales channel or away from Buyer-Seller Messaging where you can do with the customer what you will without Amazon’s prying eyes as we described above. That, sadly, is a Code of Conduct violation.
While there are other purposes to the other media—instructions, packaging, etc—the insert serves a solitary purpose, and that is usually to get the customer to take the next step. If that step takes the customer away from Amazon, that is where you get into trouble.

Is it violating Amazon’s rules?

The Thank You insert
The Thank You insert

OSTENSIBLY NOT VIOLATING. This one follows the rules to the letter. As Amazon says in their video, you can send an insert to A) Thank the customer, and B) Neutrally request feedback/review. We have seen Amazon itself include such inserts with their own products.
But would we recommend an insert going at all near the subject of feedback? We would not. There is simply too much risk of a false positive
An Insert We Would Feel Comfortable Including
=
Here it is, a simple thank you. You get to let them know a little about you and your story, make the connection, and that’s it. If you simply must include an insert, we would feel comfortable with something like this, with better copyrighting, to limit any chance of a tragic insert-related suspension.
Should you have any questions about this or any of these policies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Legal Disclaimer: The articles published on our platform are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice in any form. They are not intended to be a substitute for professional legal counsel. For any legal matters, it is essential to consult with us or a qualified attorney who can provide advice tailored to your specific situation. Reliance on any information provided in these articles is solely at your own risk.
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