Amazon Vine Reviews are flagged because we believe the Amazon Vine program ("Vine") is flawed and opaque. Vine is a pay-for-reviews program run by Amazon where Amazon Sellers give away free products to Vine reviewers. This helps to seed Amazon sellers' product listings with reviews. Vine reviewers do not purchase the products they review leading to inherent biases in the reviews they post that are difficult to reconcile when compared to a review from an actual buyer.
Vine History for Amazon Sellers
2019: Vine opened up to third-party sellers (sellers who send their inventory to Amazon for Amazon to fulfill the orders, aka FBA) and they could participate for free. Their only cost at this time was the cost of the free goods they provided Vine reviewers.
Prior to October 12, 2021: Only Amazon first-party sellers/vendors (aka brands that sell inventory to Amazon) paid steep enrollment fees of $2,500 to $7,500 per product/ASIN to participate in Vine.
After October 12, 2021: Amazon also required third-party sellers to pay a fee to $200 per parent product/ASIN.
These fees make Vine a pay-for-review program administered by Amazon itself. Amazon also uses the Vine program to seed reviews for its own products.
For Vine reviewers, it is an invite-only program, and participants are supposedly chosen at random by Amazon to join the program. All Vine reviewers get free products to review.
In addition, as an Amazon Vine reviewer, you can list a public email and receive more solicitations for reviews from vendors not in the Vine program. This means a Vine reviewer who leaves a lot of positive reviews is likely to be sought after by sellers who want positive reviews to promote their products.