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 reportedly launched an internal investigation to determine which employees are violating the company’s policies.
Amazon didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.