How to Use Negative Amazon Reviews to Improve Your Private Label Product

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Selling private label products on Amazon has become increasingly competitive. With this increase in competition, sellers have found it harder to find niches they can break into.


However, by crafting a unique product narrative that differentiates your product from your competitors’ products, you can ensure that your product captures a share of buyers.


A great way to help you craft a unique product narrative is to find where your competition is struggling and make that your strength. You can find this out by looking at your competitors’ negative reviews.


Selling Private Label Products on Amazon Is Competitive!


Gone are the days when you could stick any private label product on Amazon and it would sell 50 units or more a day. Gone are the days you could find a niche with large sales depth and with the top 10 selling products having less than 100 reviews.


Now, it’s hard to find any product in a niche where the first 10 ranking sellers having less than 100 reviews. If you do find this, it’s usually for a product in a niche with very little sales depth.


However, this does not mean you can’t make money selling private label products on Amazon. In fact, we believe this is the perfect time to make money selling private label products on Amazon. You just have to be more creative in your approach.

Differentiate….Or Drown


Because of this increase in competition, you have to build a unique product narrative that differentiates your product from that of your competition.


What is a product narrative? A product narrative is the same as any narrative; it tells a story. More specifically, your product narrative will tell a story about your product.


When selling your private label product on Amazon, your product narrative would be how you tell your product’s story on your listing page. Your product narrative would usually center around unique product features, brand recognition, your company’s great customer service, and so forth.


For example, you may want your product narrative to highlight certain features of your product, because these features are the main benefits of your product. If that was the case, you would want your Amazon listings to focus on these features.


For example, you would want to focus some of your pictures on these features. Maybe sprinkle in an infographic or two that would highlight these features.


You would also want to make note of these features in your bullet points and in your description. You may also want to add a money back guarantee backing these features, which shows your customers that you are confident in these features.


Why is this important? Because your narrative will have to speak to your potential buyers and persuade them to buy your product instead of your competitors’ products.


So how can you use a product narrative to persuade buyers to buy your product and not the competitors’ products in a heavily competitive market? In order to do this, you have to use your product narrative to differentiate your private label product from that of your competitors’ products.  


Use Negative Reviews to Shape a Unique Product Narrative


A great way to create a unique product narrative is to look at trends in the market. What do existing customers like about existing products? What don’t they like about existing products?  Then take these ideas and create a better product.


So how can you do this on Amazon?


A very simple way you can do market research on Amazon, is to look at the reviews of your competition. More specifically, you should be looking at your competitors’ negative reviews and asking yourself


  • What don’t their customers like about their products?
  • Why don’t their customers like their products?
  • What are their customers complaining most about?
  • Is there a common pattern of complaints?
  • Can I take these existing products and improve them to address their customers’ main complaints?


These questions will shape your entire product narrative, so make sure to take good notes.


By shaping a product narrative around improving on what customers are already complaining about, you address existing customers’ concerns. You get a glimpse inside their head and can see what they don’t like about this product and then improve on it.


Even if your future customers don’t know about these negative reviews, they are likely to do their research before buying any product. This research will include reading your competitors’ negative reviews.


If they are doing their research and find your product narrative addresses all their doubts created by negative reviews of other products, they will surely buy your product instead of your competitors. This is because your competitors are the ones with the negative reviews, and your product narrative directly addresses concerns brought on by these negative reviews.


How to Use Negative Reviews to Shape Your Product Narrative


For example, let’s say your product is a black pepper grinder, which is in an extremely competitive niche.


However, you spent your time and did your homework and discovered that the most common complaints for all similar products in that niche were


(1) they don’t grind the pepper fine enough, and

(2) the grinder gears break.


Now, you can go out and source a product that focuses on improving these 2 weaknesses. Then you would focus your product narrative – your pictures, your bullet points, your descriptions- on describing how


(1) your black pepper grinder grinds black pepper into fine powder, and

(2) the grinder gears are guaranteed never to break.


Can you see why this is such an effective method?


When customers are doing research on which black pepper grinder they want to buy, they will read negative reviews of black pepper grinders. When they read your competitors’ negative reviews, this will make them question the quality of your competitors’ products.


However, when they compare your product side by side to your competitors’ products and they see that your product narrative addresses their main doubts, they will opt to buy your product instead of your competitors’ products.


Not only does this help persuade potential customers to buy your product, but it could also allow you to raise your price while maintaining sales because your perceived value is much higher than your competitions’.


Use Negative Reviews When Researching Products to Sell


When researching private label products to sell on Amazon, you should be looking at how many reviews the first 10-20 top ranking sellers have for your main keywords, the amount of sales they are making, and the depth of the market.


However, you should also be looking at whether the top 10-20 ranking sellers have any negative reviews.


Read your competitions’ negative reviews, and see if there is a common thread in these reviews. If you can see a pattern of negative reviews, then ask yourself whether you can create a product that takes these weaknesses and turns them into your strengths.


If you can find a way to turn your competitors’ weaknesses into your strengths, it may help you break into an already saturated niche by pulling some of your competitors’ sales away from them.


Use Negative Reviews When Sourcing Products


Assuming you have already done research on your competitors and their negative reviews, you now have a few product features that your competitors’ existing customers do not like.


Now it is your turn to see if you can find a manufacturer that will help you improve these features.


You will have to communicate to your manufacturer what features you want in your product, and how they should be made.


You may need to hire a QA company to test these products to make sure the manufacturers are complying with your instructions. And of course, you will want to get a test sample for yourself to make sure the manufacturer complied with your instructions.


Don’t forget to do a profit analysis of that product with and without those improved features. Having a feature that separates you from your competition is great, but if that feature costs too much so that you lose money on every sale, it won’t matter.


Use Negative Reviews When Making Your Product Listings


Once you have done your product research, looked at your competitors’ negative reviews, and sourced a product that addresses those reviews, you are now ready to create your on page product narrative.


When creating your product narrative in your Amazon listing page, you want to emphasize those features you improved on by highlighting those features in every area of your listings.


So for example you may:


  • Have a picture showing this feature
  • Have an infographic showing this feature and highlighting its benefits
  • Have an infographic showing this feature and comparing it to generic brands of the same product
  • Have badges and seals in your picture guaranteeing this feature
  • Highlight this feature in your bullet points
  • Use a money back guarantee regarding this feature and put it in your bullet points
  • Describe this feature in your description


Be creative and make these features the focus of your listings.


By highlighting these features in every area of your listing, you are creating a product narrative that separates you from your competition.


Use Negative Reviews When Making Your Product Packaging


Your product narrative does not have stop with your listing. In fact, you can add your product narrative to other areas of your marketing like your packaging.


Why not highlight your product’s features by using infographics on the packaging. You could also highlight these features in packaging inserts.


This will remind your customers why they bought this product and possibly persuade them to leave a review about the very features you are highlighting.


You can also continue to promote this product’s features through a mailing list and free ebook.


There are thousands of ways to promote your product narrative on and off Amazon. Be creative!


Real World Examples of How to Use Negative Reviews to Create Your Product  Narrative


  1. KitchenAid Spatula


amazon - kitchen aid spatula 1

Here the most common complaint is that the spatula melts under high temperatures. This is a common theme in most of its negative reviews.

kitchen aid reviews 2

In order to capitalize on this, you would try to source a spatula that is guaranteed not to melt under high temperatures. It would probably be very important to test this with a QA team on the ground in the country you are manufacturing this item in.


Once you test it and know that it won’t melt under extremely high temperatures, you can then start creating your product narrative.


Mention that it is guaranteed not to melt in your bullet points and description. Explain in your description that it was tested to withstand high temperatures.


Put a seal that states “guaranteed not to melt” in one of your pictures. Put a no melt money back guarantee somewhere in your listing.


  1. Vick’s Warm Mist Humidifier with Auto Shut-Off

vicks warm - amazon 1

A common complaint in almost all the negative reviews for this product is that it starts to leak after 2 months of use.

vicks reviews 2

vicks review 3

In order to capitalize on this common theme, you will need to find a good product that can be tested for quality and that will not leak. See if you can find a manufacturer that guarantees it won’t leak. You may have to pay a premium for this, but if the math works out then go for it.


Then, you can create a product narrative that focuses on the quality of your product and that it won’t leak.


To bolster your claims, put a 6 month money back guarantee that it won’t leak in your bullet points. Put content in your listing that details the rigorous tests it was put under to make sure it won’t leak. Put a seal in one of your pictures stating “guaranteed not to leak”.


  1. iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder

cell phone mount 1


With this example you can see that a number of customers are very passionate about their complaints, as this product allegedly damaged their cars’ dashboards. You can also see that some of them are so passionate about these complaints that they added pictures of the damage to their reviews.


cell phone mount 2 cell phone mount 3


If you wanted to enter into this product niche, you would have to find a product that would not damage your customers’ dashboards, while also staying on the dashboard.


Most of the complaints state that the damage was due to the adhesive glue, so maybe you could find a product that uses suction cups instead of glue.


Once you find this product you will want to test it several times on many different car dashboards to make sure it does not cause damage to them. Once you are confident your product won’t cause any damages, you are ready to start making your narrative.


Put in your bullet points and description that it has been tested and proven not to damage dashboards. Point out the suction cup feature in your pictures, and note that it was made with car safety in mind.


If you really want to be bold, guarantee that it won’t damage a car dashboard or you will refund the amount of the dashboard repairs.




Selling private label products on Amazon has become increasingly more competitive. However, by crafting a unique product narrative, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and  carve out a piece of the pie.


A great way to discover a unique product narrative is to look at your competitors’ negative reviews. Find a common theme in these negative reviews, and turn this into a strength of your product.


If you do this, you can attract customers away from your competition who are looking for a superior product.  If you have found additional ways to use negative product reviews, share them in the comments section below!

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