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What it means to be a top 1000 Amazon reviewer (and a bit about Mary Whipple)

10th August 2016

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Long before the dawn of TripFiction, I would peruse books on Amazon. I often caught sight of reviewers with Top 50 Reviewer/Top 500 Reviewer/Top 1000 Reviewer discreetly placed by their username, not to mention those reviewers in the Hall of Fame and VINE VOICE, (which it seems, doesn’t necessarily involve being a top reviewer). It was all rather mysterious but I never really gave it a second thought…until recently. Nor did I have a particular ambition to join those acclaimed reviewers.

top 1000 amazon reviewerAs an amateur reviewer (and that doesn’t mean I am necessarily a professional nowadays), the name Mary Whipple often caught my eye, a book reviewer, who achieved Hall of Fame/Top 1000 Reviewer/Community Forum 04 status. She had always posted a review before me, whatever the book I was about to review. I truly felt I was lagging well behind her footsteps with a paltry number of reviews under my belt in comparison. She contributed for 20 years to Amazon and has now  retired from the site, having clocked up a staggering 30,933 Helpful votes, maintaining a reviewer ranking of #547 (as I write) and has moved on to run her own website Seeing The World Through Books (we are delighted that she classifies many of her reads by where they are set). She has still kept her charming book mouse avatar, which she used during her Amazon years. In her time she must have read 1000s of books and has been a real credit to authors. She surely deserves an Amazon lifetime achievement award.

But I digress. As the TripFiction reviews have grown in number, I have assiduously re-posted from our blog to the big book sites because reviews really help authors with their own ratings. The Amazon algorithms work on the number and quality of reviews (and other intangibles at which one can only guess). A combination of several factors will boost an author’s standing on the site, so it is always worth posting a review, however short, as Amazon now permits one liners.

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Thus it was one day, with perseverance and determination apparently, that TripFiction happened to enter the hallowed halls of being a top reviewer. How did we discover our new found glory? Our e mail inbox started to fill up with review requests for all kinds of products (none of them book-related), and from all kinds of odd sounding companies: poninventoryeu craved our indulgence, asking us to review pet products; florry asked for a few positive words on RUIMIO Makeup Brush Set Bamboo Handle; and mekouk was very chummy in their opening gambit, solicitous of our well-being and alerting us that Our new items have already arrived UK amazon warehouse these days, their product being a B&D 2PCS Economical Pac. Or, salutations from xiong lingzhi who wanted us to have a Nice day! and went on to explain that This is James from  gvanthpse who is selling on Amazon (unclear exactly what). Some companies offer the reviewer a discount code for 98% of the product price, leaving you to pay a nominal amount so that the product shows up as a Verified Purchase. A bit of a murky underworld, really. Not a single review request has had a company logo, not a single one has felt kosher or tempting. Google Translate has been exceptionally busy, you can tell. You probably get the gist.

As I write, a certain Mr Baz is the all round #1 Amazon reviewer and must spend all his time acquiring items and then posting reviews from 0.2ML Silver Conductive Glue Wire Electrically Paste Paint PCB Repair White New to Sadolin extra durable woodstain 500ml, natural. He has 23,915 helpful votes. Can he live off his reviews? Is it a full time occupation for him? How does he have time to paint and test and try out all these products and then write a review? Does he have a life?

We know when TripFiction drops out of the top1000 Reviewer fraternity because the drip of e mails dwindles significantly, but inevitably we pop back in as we post further reviews and the e mails start up again. They do add a degree of entertainment to our day and we ponder what might happen when we move into being a top 500 Reviewer or even a top 50. Does your status then accord you the chance to sample a lawn mower, a knife throwing kit (seriously!) or even test out a Maserati (someone has to review them, surely?). And as for Vine Voice, that is surely one to hold out for (posh, as it’s invitation only). No doubt our journey in the Amazon family will probably never end at this rate. It is certainly quite an industry but we have yet to be tempted to take up any of these alluring offers.

What is your experience?

Tina for the TripFiction Team

And do come and connect with Team TripFiction via Twitter (@tripfiction), Facebook (TripFiction), Instagram (TripFiction) and Pinterest (TripFiction)… and now YouTube



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  1. User: Jan Lambert

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 6:39 pm

    I’m not even in the top 1,000 just the top 2,000 and I get 100s of emails every month offering free and discounted items to review mostly from China, I accept about 10% of what I’m offered and still receive parcels most days I’ve had some brilliant stuff and some hilariously bad too x


  2. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 6:12 pm

    That is strange Jo Robertson. I wonder what the trigger is – do you display your e mail? x


  3. User: Jo Robertson

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 6:07 pm

    I have also been in top 1000 for a while now and hover around the 580 mark most of the time but I again have never had ONE email offering me anything to review! Gutted!!


  4. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:18 pm

    Oh, they must be in your spam filter, surely, Rachel Gilbey, if you are flirting at 500. You can’t be let off the hook so easily 🙂


  5. User: Rachel Gilbey

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:11 pm

    I’m disappointed been in the top 1000 for quite a while now and flirting around the 500 mark, but unless my spam filter is catching them all I haven’t had any non book requests via Amazon ranking, and very few books for that matter!


    1 Comment

    • User: PAMELA Fernandes

      Posted on: 26/06/2018 at 4:16 pm

      If its books I can rectify that. I write romance and romantic suspense, would you be interested in an ARC?


  6. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you Cass. We have had some fun, onwards and upwards…. 🙂


  7. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:05 pm

    Jessica Norrie – nah it’s loads less, and perfectly do-able!


  8. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:05 pm

    I think it’s great you are a Vine Voice, Anne Cater. Will be looking more carefully at those e mails from now on!


  9. User: Jessica Norrie

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:01 pm

    Oh dear. Only about 20,000 reviews to go and I’ll be able to empathise with you…


  10. User: Cass

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 5:01 pm

    Loved reading this, Tina, especially the paragraph about the nature of the emails you received when you entered the top 1,000!

    Gosh, Anne, that’s impressive!! Good to hear you’ve managed to find some fabulous things worth opting for!


  11. User: Anne Cater

    Posted on: 10/08/2016 at 4:34 pm

    This made me laugh. I’m a Vine Voice (sorry). I’ve just checked and it seems that I’m reviewer number 125 !!! Yes, I get those emails – I delete most of them, but you know what? Some of them I accept, and I’ve had some really fabulous things. You just have to be picky!


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