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Free pedal for a review on Amazon--scam or what?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by archiemax, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. archiemax

    archiemax Tele-Meister

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    Recently bought a handful of Sonicake mini-pedals & I think they're great....AND they're true bypass. Bought 'em off Ebay; the whole shebang (5 pedals: OD, EQ, tremolo, reverb, & delay) ran me a total of about $170. Great. So I get this message from a rep at Sonicake:

    hello Michael

    I hope you are well. This is Boris from Sonicake Ltd in China and we checked you bought pedal from our Ebay Store.
    Actually we have Amazon Shop in US site and we think you are the best tester for our products
    Please search "SONICAKE" on amazon.com and we are the exclusive selling agency on www.amazon.com

    If you are interest, please reply this email and then we will send you which products need be tested & reviewed
    All of our goods are in FBA warehouse and they can be delivered very soon .
    Normally we can refund the payment to your paypal & payoneer account in 1-2 business days after checking your order number & review

    Your further enquiry is highly appreciated
    Have a nice day!

    Best Wishes and Regards
    Boris Fu

    OK, so I wrote him back & said tell me more. Just got a reply saying that they want me to go to their Amazon store & buy their auto-wah (which currently has no reviews) for $49.86, free shipping, send them a screenshot of the order #, & supposedly they refund me in 1-2 business days. I get it; they want to get a positive review on their Amazon page from a bona fide buyer. I don't want nor need an auto-wah, though there's a couple other pedals in their Amazon catalog that I might be interested in. Are there other companies out there who reward you with free merch so they can get a toehold in Amazon? Your thoughts would be much appreciated. BTW, here's a pic of my new board; have switched out to all blue LED's.

    [​IMG]
     
    24 track likes this.
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Boris Fu?
    Could be a possible Russia, China collusion?
    Proceed with caution. Maybe see if they have a ebay store so you have some protection?
    Those pedals look to be of a decent construction considering the price.
    If you do end up reviewing them on video i'd be interested to see it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    Archtop Bill likes this.
  3. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    At least on Amazon, if anything goes south with the seller, you can return them no problem. Might be worth a try—I'd love to get free stuff!
     
  4. Scottz

    Scottz Tele-Holic

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    Solicited reviews are against Amazon's terms of service.
     
  5. sergiomajluf

    sergiomajluf Tele-Meister

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    Sketchy...
     
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  6. viccortes285

    viccortes285 Tele-Afflicted

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    Scam
     
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  7. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Buy it. As long as you’re not giving them your card number directly. Worse case scenario, you got a $50 autowah pedal. I got several, they’re fun.
     
  8. archiemax

    archiemax Tele-Meister

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    All things considered, and especially since like Scottz pointed out, solicited reviews are prohibited on Amazon, I declined his offer. Since I had expressed interest in one of their delay pedals, he sent me a 20% off promo code if I decide to go ahead & order it. Fair enough.
     
    Bill likes this.
  9. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I see you have already drawn a conclusion (IMO, the right one) but I wanted to add.

    This is a scam!

    Key word here is "normally". That means if you don't get your money refunded, "oh well"!

    Amazon has no obligation to help you because it's not part of "their agreement" with you or the company - it's a side deal. If the company really wants you to have this for free, they should be giving you a COUPON that discounts it accordingly.
     
    JustABluesGuy and JayFreddy like this.
  10. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ouch. Hurts my eyes to just look at the photo.

    Actually I shouldn't discriminate against blue, I recently got a Chinese pedal with a red LED that's too bright.

    It's really annoying, it's so bright I can't even see the notches on the knobs.
     
  11. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Slightly off topic but somewhat relevant...

    I recently purchased some outdoor solar lights. They have a small solar panel, a battery, and a motion sensor.

    They charge up during the day, and light up at night when needed.

    Cool product, but I was saddened by the inclusion of a preprinted card in the box offering a $10 refund in exchange for a positive Amazon review.

    I had actually chosen the slightly more expensive version due to all the positive reviews. Had I known that 90% of the 5 star reviews were shills I would have just bought the less expensive version.

    I'm not sure who is the bigger scum...

    The businesses that violate Amazon policies, or the people who compromise their fellow citizens and sell their integrity for ten bucks.
     
    Iago, RetroTeleRod and Mouth like this.
  12. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Internet isn’t the only place this happens. It’s becoming the norm with insurance contracted services. I keep AAA, mainly for towing services. Every time I’ve used them in the last few years the tow truck operator hands me a pre-filled out customer survey and wants me to sign it, actually tells me it’s so AAA will keep their service. Of course the survey has all the high marks checked. Glad they are so confident in the quality of their service.

    Edit: let’s just say I’m hesitant to refuse or downgrade their score, while stranded on the highway somewhere in the middle of the night.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  13. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Many years ago I was sent a pedal to review on Harmony Central, from George Dennis, a Wah+ pedal. When I asked them where to return it they told me to just keep it. I guess they liked my review. I think that one was legitimate as they didn't have a distributor in the US and wanted to get some exposure. I didn't feel it was a kickback or anything. And I didn't know it was a free pedal until after I reviewed it and I didn't lie about a few minor shortcomings I felt it had.

    The OP's situation sounds more like a work around to get good reviews on Amazon.
     
  14. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Boris? Couldn’t they come up with a more innocuous name?
     
  15. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I had a friend in Vancouver that contacted Peavey about one of their products a Peavet PC 1600 midi fader banks they discussed some modsto to the Eprom that would be benificial , in return he was sent several eproms in the mail and now has a collection of custom eproms that make the unit perform far beyond the initial expectations, and Peavery released the Peavey 1600X with many features that John was able to initiate with them.

    so they may be looking for consumer feedback to initiate some mods from the field.


    by the way you could ask them for a phone number to talk to them directly
     
  16. archiemax

    archiemax Tele-Meister

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    They look really bright in the pic, don't they? Reason I switched out to blue: We do a lot of outdoor daytime gigs here after Labor Day has rolled around, and I found out a long time ago that blue LED's are WAY easier to see in the daylight than red or green. Something about how your eye reacts to the wavelength; same reason police cars have blue lights.
     
  17. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd say it's legit. They need a real transaction to complete in order for your review to show up as verified purchase.

    Scam doesn't make sense, it's a known company and if they screw you 1) you're protected by Amazon (its fulfilled by Amazon) and 2) you will put a 1-star review on a product with no reviews.

    But as mentioned above, Amazon put the kabash on solicited reviews a couple years ago. It was getting out of hand, so many reviews bought and paid for.

    If you want the pedal, do it.
     
  18. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

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    How is the graphic EQ? Any quieter than a Boss GE-7?
     
  19. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Afflicted

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    A company I used to work for bought positive reviews all the time.

    Customer Satisfaction Index is heavily manipulated. If the company has a budget for it, they can look great on paper.

    The flip side is people will threaten to leave a bad review to get what they want when the service was good.

    I think there should be an index for the reviewers also to see what their character is. And to be able to rate their review.

    Then add the insanity of what some people think is good service.
     
  20. archiemax

    archiemax Tele-Meister

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    Have never used the GE-7; have been using the same DOD EQ for about thirty years now & it's quieter & cleaner than that one.....and it's true bypass & takes up half the space.
     
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