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Client asking you to buy from Amazon

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Active Member
Irish T. L Member Since: Aug 29, 2015
1 of 23

Hi, is it risky to accept a job that requires you to buy books from amazon? But the client promises to pay you the cost only after you submit the book reviews? Is this a legitimate practice on projects such as writing book reviews? Thank you.

Community Guru
Craig A Member Since: Jan 18, 2016
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2 of 23

That sounds like a big red flag to me. I would be very wary of any job that requires out of pocket expenses. 

 

I'm sure there is also a TOS somewhere that it goes against. 

Active Member
Irish T. L Member Since: Aug 29, 2015
3 of 23

 

This is how it is stated:

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Active Member
Jack C Member Since: Nov 17, 2015
4 of 23

Well it is not my field but it certainly sounds wrong and exploitative to me.  In the real world of course books are provided to reviewers.  If you're not sure you want to report the client maybe open a ticket with support asking for advice.

Active Member
Jack C Member Since: Nov 17, 2015
5 of 23

According to the FAQ at https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211063118-Report-Suspicious-Activity you should actually report any client who:

 

"Asks you to pay money to get a job, including things like reimbursable site registration fees and assurance deposits."

Active Member
Aki T Member Since: Mar 8, 2019
6 of 23

I'm wondering about a similar job that I've been invited to, where they are asking me to order a product from Amazon and write a review for it. The invitation states that I will receive a certain amount up front for the item and shipping, and I would get paid an additional amount afterward for the review itself. Is it still against TOS even if the "reimbursement" for the product comes before the actual purchase, and not after it?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 23

re: "I'm wondering about a similar job that I've been invited to, where they are asking me to order a product from Amazon and write a review for it. The invitation states that I will receive a certain amount up front for the item and shipping, and I would get paid an additional amount afterward for the review itself. Is it still against TOS even if the "reimbursement" for the product comes before the actual purchase, and not after it?"

 

Aki:

There are two completely separate issues at play here.

 

You must not accept the job you referenced, because writing PRODUCT reviews for pay is a violation of Amazon ToS, and Upwork ToS requires that user not violate Amazon ToS.

 

It IS GOOD that the client is offering to pay up front for the item and for shipping. Obviously that is what any client should do if a freelancer needs materials in order to do the job. So you are correct in your understanding that by doing this, the client is avoiding violating one specific Upwork rule. Another example of this would be: The client wants you to bake a cake and take a photo of it. The client uses the Upwork Reimburse Expenses tool to send you the money for the materials before you go to the store to buy the materials.

 

But that has nothing to do with the other issue, which is that the client is asking you to violate Amazon ToS by writing a paid product review. Amazon has DIFFERENT RULES for books versus non-book products. And those rules prohibit paid reviews.

 

You may read more here:

Screen Shot 2019-03-08 at 9.39.17 AM.png

Active Member
Aki T Member Since: Mar 8, 2019
8 of 23

Thank you for your clear explanation, Preston. I definitely had reservations about this job the minute I read the invite, so I hadn't accepted it, and I definitely won't now!

Active Member
Mary T Member Since: Oct 1, 2018
9 of 23

This is a good and clear explanation. I got mixed up with a client asking me to do the same thing only she did not tell me ahead of time it was an Amazon review. She wanted me to "write a description of a product, 125 words for $20. Sounded like a good deal so I accepted it. Then I found out the real deal was she wanted me to purchase the product for $15, plus because of the type of product it was (fake eyelashes) I'd have to book a salon visit to have them applied. 

Would not listen to reason. She never paid me, yet Upwork charged me the $4 fee for the job.

I'm just telling this story so others will be careful about  any job for "writing product descriptions."

 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
10 of 23

Mary T wrote:

This is a good and clear explanation. I got mixed up with a client asking me to do the same thing only she did not tell me ahead of time it was an Amazon review. She wanted me to "write a description of a product, 125 words for $20. Sounded like a good deal so I accepted it. Then I found out the real deal was she wanted me to purchase the product for $15, plus because of the type of product it was (fake eyelashes) I'd have to book a salon visit to have them applied. 

Would not listen to reason. She never paid me, yet Upwork charged me the $4 fee for the job.

I'm just telling this story so others will be careful about  any job for "writing product descriptions."

 


How could UW charge you a fee if you were never paid for the job?

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