Amazon’s Curated Gift Guide: The Truth
Another Holiday season is around the corner and with that comes Amazon’s Curated Gift Guide, a list of wonderful items that have supposedly been handpicked by “experts”. This however is a bit far from the case, sponsorships for the Amazon Holiday Toy List can actually pay as much as $2 million to be included on that list, according to documents that were reviewed by Bloomberg. The Amazon Holiday Toy List is supposed to make it easier for those busy shoppers to make the best choices when it comes to their holiday shopping lists. However, now we’ve learned that they might not actually be the best, but rather, just marketed by companies with the deepest pockets.
While it is perfectly legal for Amazon to sell advertising on their platform(s) it becomes a bit of a conflict of interest when the world’s largest retailer online begins giving “expert” recommendations that are in fact paid advertisements by sponsors. Due to the fact that customers place a lot of value on reviews and opinions of other consumers, companies tend to prefer to keep the fact that there is financial incentive hidden. The more a sponsor pays to Amazon, the more products can be nominated to be on the list along with more prominent visibility, according to documents. Amazon was aiming to sell about $20,000,000 in sponsorships for this year’s Holiday Toy List. A summer toy list was also published by Amazon which had lower sponsorship prices than the one for the upcoming holiday season.
In a statement from Amazon, they stated: “Every product on our annual Holiday Toy List, which features family gift ideas from new releases to customer favorites, is independently curated by a team of in-house experts based on a high bar for quality, design, innovation and play experience. We source product ideas from many places, including our selling partners who have an opportunity to nominate their best toys for the season and increase visibility of those toys.” But what exactly does the law say? It is actually pretty confusing. A full page ad which is blatantly obvious actually does not have to be labeled as an advertisement, however, if the same full page ad was supposed to be a news story about the benefits of using said product, it would have to be clearly labeled so that potential customers are not confused.
Finding Honest Toy Lists
Wondering where you can find truly independent recommendations for your holiday shopping? Toys, Tots, Pets & More along with Toy Insider can be great places to look. There are also other third-party reviewers for toys and other products. Just make sure to verify the opinion you are listening to was not paid to say something.
Happy Holidays from Bunion Bootie
Bunion Bootie is happy to be sold on Amazon (however, as a small business, we don’t have the pockets to compete for the sponsored “curated” list) along with our very own website. We have thousands of reviews from honest customers and are dedicated to providing the best bunion treatment products available to our customers.