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Re: Client asking you to buy from Amazon

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
11 of 28

Aki T wrote:

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?



This is easy. You tell the client to send you the product from Amazon, and then you test it and then review it. You don't pay anything.


Amazon is a global platform. I live in France and if I want to send something to the U.S, using my own account I go to, order the product and send it (I pay for it in euros). So your client should be able to do the same wherever they or you are.


You don't pay upfront for anything.  Nor do you agree to accept a check the client offers to send you to pay for goods. You tell the client how much you will charge to test the product and then to write the review. The client pays you via Upwork for the work you have done. End of.



Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
12 of 28

Nichola L wrote:


This is easy. You tell the client to send you the product from Amazon, and then you test it and then review it.


No. She tells the client that any form of paid review is a violation of Amazon's terms of service (even writing a review for a free product is, except for free ebooks where it must be disclosed) and therefor not allowed on Upwork.

Any job that involves writing an Amazon review = forbidden.

Active Member
Aki T Member Since: Mar 8, 2019
13 of 28

Thank you for that clarification. I have rejected the invitation and I wrote something very similar to what you just posted as a message underneath it.

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
14 of 28

Hi Irish T. L,


Please stop communicating with this client and report them directly to Customer Support. Please share the specific job details and screenshots of your communication so our team can take immediate action.


Note that jobs that violate the ToS of another service, product or website are also prohibited on Upwork, and you shouldn't be paying in order to apply to a job or as part of the work requirements.


I edited your comment since it's a violation of our Community Guidelines to share private communication in the Community.



Active Member
Irish T. L Member Since: Aug 29, 2015
15 of 28

Hi Vladimir, thanks for the reply. Actually that was not a private message from the client. I copied that from the job posting itself. I applied but then I've already withdrawn after realizing that it might indeed be a scam. Thanks for your help guys! 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
16 of 28

A client asking you to buy something (from or anywhere else), and promising you to reimburse you later after you review stuff?


I definitely believe this is against Upwork ToS. So you should definitely not do it.


BUT... EVEN IF this were not against the rules, I would advise against having anything to do with this. I see no possibility that this would benefit you. This certainly seems like something which will only benefit the client.


There ARE jobs in which a worker may legitimately incur expenses using their own money and then submit expense reports and get reimbursed.


But realistically speaking, anything you encounter like that on Upwork or anywhere else online that involves you buying products to review is likely to be a scam.


In the brick-and-mortar world, where you work with real people you meet in an office and there is a real HR department and a real accounts payable officer, etc., this kind of thing isn't so unusual. An online company, especially one that is recruiting you and starting you out buying things with your own money, is simply going to be a scam that is trying to take advantage of the fact that you're looking for a job, and the fact that you have a vague sense that reimbursed expenses exist in some parts of the real world.


But like I said, NOT on Upwork.


Keep in mind, that Upwork has a legitimate way for clients to reimburse contractors for expenses. The ONLY WAY to do this is by paying reimbursement money THROUGH UPWORK. But in practical terms, the situations where this is necessary are vanishingly rare. Because you and the client are both working online, right? So if you need to buy something, such as stock images to use on a website, you can just have the client buy them.


If you need special software, the client can buy the software. If you need to be registered with a paid account, they client can pay for the account directly and send you access codes.


A rare legitimate use of reimbursements might be when a contractor is purchasing things offline, in local stores. For example, I might hire a contractor to bake a cake the promotes my business, and take photos of it, and I'll use the photos on my website. A contractor COULD buy local supplies with which to make the cake, and I could reimburse her for the supplies. But even then, I wouldn't want to use reimbursement. I would post the job as a fixed-rate job and state that the amount I pay the baker will be all-inclusive, so they they should factor in what they're charging for labor AND materials.

Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
17 of 28

tut tut tut.....


I have many author friends....and one of the things they have been moaning about is the numberof fake reviews on amazon and how their 'competition' gets people to buy their books (refunding them) in order post these fake, brilliant reviews.....and Amazon is clamping down on the accounts of those who are doing such!!!>....


Stay away...not only is it immoral, but could get you a suspended Amazon account to boot.

Active Member
Irish T. L Member Since: Aug 29, 2015
18 of 28

You're right, Irene. Actually, I also love to read. So if ever I do get to write reviews, it would be an honest one. Smiley Happy 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
19 of 28

Irish, you are obviously a clear thinker who wants to do the right thing.


Thank you for sharing this story.


Maybe there are people actually making money writing fake reviews, or maybe these writers are just wasting their time and make little or no money. I don't know.


Either way, I agree with Irene. This is a pretty low-down thing to do. didn't set up its review functionality so that companies could use fake reviews as a form or corporate warfare.


There may be people who actually make money knocking little old ladies over the head and stealing their purses. Obviously the fact that they can actually make money that way doesn't make it okay.


Having said all that, let me be clear that there ARE JOB POSTINGS on which ARE indeed immoral by your personal standards, but which should NOT be reported or flagged, because they do NOT violate any Upwork ToS.


And there are Job postings on which DO violate Upwork ToS. THOSE job postings should be reported.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
20 of 28

"You're right, Irene. Actually, I also love to read. So if ever I do get to write reviews, it would be an honest one."


Irish there is nothing in the world to stop you writing as many reviews as you like. What Amazon (and not only Amazon) does not like is people getting paid (or getting any other kind of compensation) to write them - honest or not. It is against their ToS.


The only time it is acceptable in Amazon's eyes is if a customer receives a book (or a product) in return for a review, but the author has to state clearly - publicly - that this is what he or she has done, and so must the review writer state that he or she received the book or product in exchange for a review - favourable or not.