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Amazon suspends popular electronics manufacturer for buying reviews (theverge.com)
38 points by stickfigure 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 18 comments

> When Nguyen bought a new charger from RavPower, she received an offer for a $35 gift card in exchange for an Amazon review. That kind of manipulation has been against Amazon’s rules since 2016, and Sunvalley’s statement suggests that’s also the reason why these brands were suspended.

Legimately don't remember the last time I bought a product on Amazon that I found for the first time on the site that didn't come with one of these. Kitchen gear, USB Cables, Knickknacks, Clothing, "Wanna leave a review for a 15 dollar rebate?".

I also got a free umbrella on a freelance site once for leaving a review for said umbrella. I didn't understand what the motivation was for the sellers and I really only found out after I had gotten the umbrella what the TOS Violation was, so I immediately mailed the appropriate Amazon email to report the violation. Naturally literally nothing happened. Umbrella has been nice enough though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

RAVPower, Vava, TaoTronics today – Aukey, MPow in May – these are all brands whose names I search for when buying electronics, because I've had mostly great experiences with their products.

TIL they operate their own DTC sites (of course). Will give those a try next time.

My experience with RAVPower products has been great as well, but last time I ordered they literally put a card in the box saying "get a $35 gift card for giving us a 5-star review." I'm surprised it took this long for Amazon to do anything.

I also saw that recently from one of these brands. The review prompt cards have definitely gotten more aggressive over the years.

~2016 I worked for an Amazon Marketplace seller – avoiding the banhammer was our biggest priority, having been banned once because a unisex fragrance (perfume) we sold "smelled too masculine" and therefore the customer told Amazon it was counterfeit.

Half the third party sellers on Amazon are doing this now though.

Anker and Pluggable have also been good brands for me.

I bought from Aukey directly and got a box from Amazon, so I went back to ordering from Amazon directly.

When I worked for an eBay seller ~5 years ago, we sold a lot of product on both eBay and Amazon Marketplace.

Given we often had inventory available in FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) and not in our own warehouse, we often fulfilled eBay orders via FBA.

I've been out of the business for awhile, I think the rules around this from eBay's end have changed. Regardless, it's common for sellers to use 3PL (third-party warehousing and fulfillment) services, FBA or otherwise.

What stops a company from buying fake reviews for their competitors listings?

Every time I read about businesses getting banned on FAANG listings due to SEO tricks, I get extremely concerned about the other side: how easy it is for a third party to get someone innocent banned.

If you read the article you would know that the issue was them including offers for gift cards in the box you received after making a purchase, in exchange for posting a review. This is not the same thing as buying reviews posted to the product pages.

Dunno about Amazon, but in SEO this message is quite common. Has been from the start.

My greater suspicion is that Amazon will soon come out with similar "basics" products that cover 95% of banned products.

I left a bad review for one of these company's products on Amazon a while back because it caught fire when plugged in.

Somehow they got my email address and keep sending me vaguely threatening untraceable emails to "reconsider" my review in exchange for gift cards.

Super shady. Glad Amazon is finally doing something

After one less than positive review, I found that Amazon gave them my home address. I stopped posting reviews after that.

Wonder if they're going to rebrand. MPOW got the can earlier, I was a big fan of their products. Obviously reviewing buying works, but they were generally pretty fantastic with no question RMAs and service.

I’m happy with the one TaoTronics device I have. In the future, I guess I’ll use the DTC site. No chance of counterfeits there!

My TaoTronics headphones weren’t amazing, but they’re pretty solid for the price.

Good. :)

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