Amazon has yanked another gadget company's products from its store following reports RavPower was bribing customers to leave positive reviews. RavPower, which sells phone accessories like batteries and chargers, has now all but vanished from the site.
No RavPower products appear in search results when you punch in the brand's name. As The Verge notes, links to the company's Amazon listings now lead to 404 pages or the products in question are "currently unavailable." RavPower's hub on Amazon is full of blank spaces where products used to be, too.
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Amazon has confirmed it took down RavPower's wares. It removed other notable gadget sellers Aukey and Mpow recently as well. Although Amazon didn't tell Android Authority exactly why it kicked out the three companies (as well as some smaller electronics brands), it's not exactly difficult to read between the lines.
In a blog post published soon after it scrubbed RavPower's products, Amazon spelled out some of the measures it takes to tackle scammy user reviews. Last year, it stopped north of 200 million suspected fake reviews from appearing on the store at all.
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that RavPower had offered customers incentives like gift cards if they submited Amazon product reviews. Incentivized reviews have been banned on Amazon since 2016. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why RavPower's products are gone. We've contacted RavPower for comment.
Reviews are vital for Amazon third-party sellers. It’s a buyer-feedback system that acts as a currency of trust for customers and strong reviews can have a major impact on Amazon search rankings. Unfortunately, Amazon reviews are ripe for manipulation.
Reports of fake reviews have plagued Amazon for years. A data breach reported in May indicated that gadget makers including Aukey and Mpow were allegedly paying customers to leave positive reviews. The companies' products didn't stay on Amazon much longer after that.