November 21st, 2013

piranha - ophelia.

Lazy days in the house, due to Vine.

Last month I made the mistake of ordering a few too many books from Amazon Vine, so I have spent most of this week holed up in the house, reading as fast as I can so that I could complete all of my reviews in time for the next newsletter.

If you aren't familiar with Amazon Vine, I'll really quickly run through the process. Each month two newsletters are sent out.  The first is a targeted newsletter - there's usually 10-20 products, ranging from books to electronics to toys, and you can choose 2 items from that list.  Some people get laptops and fancy cameras and expensive exercise equipment on their lists, but I've never been that lucky.  But I've gotten some pretty awesome things - a printer, a Rosetta Stone program, a vacuum cleaner.  The following week, the second newsletter is sent out.  It contains all the leftovers from the first round, and you can pick two more items.  Any item that you select must be reviewed within thirty days (there is a little bit of leeway because Amazon gives an allowance for shipping time) or you will not be eligible for the next newsletter.

If a product makes it through the two newsletters and isn't claimed, it is sent to "Last Harvest".  Amazon members can claim as many items as they want from the Last Harvest shelf, at any time in the month, so long as their account has no outstanding reviews.  It's a pretty good distribution system.

Getting books read and reviewed in thirty days sounds like it shouldn't be too difficult, and as long as I have self-control and don't request too many, it isn't.  But I might have gone a little crazy on the Last Harvest last month, so there was a little more effort required this time 'round.

When I tell people I do this Vine thing, they inevitably ask, "How can I sign up?"  Like I've said in the past, I have no idea how one scores an invitation into the program.  I think there are some safe assumptions:

  • You've got to be an customer.  Not necessarily a big spender, but I doubt they'd invite you to join the program if you don't already shop with them.

  • You need to have some sort of review history.  I'm not saying you review something new every day, or that you write crazy long essays for products, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't offer a spot to someone who has never written a review, because they have no way to make sure you'll be a "good investment".

But honestly?  I have no idea how it works.