- Some of Amazon’s online sellers are offering bribes to Amazon employees to take down bad reviews or retrieve confidential information, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- The practice, which is especially common in China, has reportedly launched an internal investigation within the company.
For Amazon’s online sellers, a negative product review can be extremely damaging to businesses selling their products on the retail giant’s site.
In order to quash bad feedback, some sellers are offering Amazon employees bribes to obtain bad reviewers’ email addresses or to erase the negative review from the site entirely, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, this practice is especially common in China, where small business owners sometimes pay Amazon employees around $300 for each bad review they take down.
These services are reportedly overseen by brokers who use the Chinese messaging service WeChat to connect sellers with Amazon employees.
Sellers can even contact brokers to get proprietary information on sales volume and data relating to shoppers’ online spending habits in order to boost sales, the sources said.
Amazon policies prohibit disclosing this information, and the online retail giant has launched an internal investigation to determine which employees are violating the company’s policies.
In a statement to Business Insider, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company holds employees to a “high ethical standard” and that anyone violating these codes “faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties.”
“In addition,” they wrote, “we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action.”