Fake reviews are a real problem in online commerce. If you're trying to shop for a new gadget, you're bound to look at customer feedback to see the real pros and cons of real-world owners. A month after cracking down on fake reviews from Aukey, Amazon has returned to continue cleaning out its storefront. This time, RavPower, TaoTronics, and dashcam company Vava have all found themselves in the hot seat, as all three companies have disappeared from the world's largest marketplace.
Though Amazon started with RavPower on Wednesday, the delisting expanded to include TaoTronics and Vava on Thursday morning. All three brands share a parent company in Sunvalley, specializing in various consumer electronics like chargers, headphones, USB lights, and more.
Just like with Aukey, Mpow, and several other brands before it, these takedowns spawn from promised gift cards in exchange for leaving reviews for products sold on Amazon. After posting, users could contact the provided email address with their order ID and review URL to score some free cash. Amazon's actions come just a few days after Nicole Nguyen of The Wall Street Journal ran a story about RavPower's offer included with her charger.
Following my fake review story, listings for Amazon-native electronics brand RAVPower are gone.
The company offered $35 gift cards for reviews on a product that was sold directly by Amazon itself. RAVPower acted as a wholesale vendor on that listing.https://t.co/6nazZZ5Wtb pic.twitter.com/znp9u48YHV
— nicole nguyen (@nicnguyen) June 16, 2021
While actual buyers do leave these reviews, Amazon doesn't allow incentivization in its store, considering these posts just as "fake" as any other scam. It's a shame to see RavPower delisted for its review strategy since its products are genuinely excellent, especially for the price. I personally own a RavPower charger and power bank, and both have served me well over the years. Unfortunately, this could be it for yet another major seller on Amazon. After all, it's been more than a month since Aukey was banned from the site, and its products have yet to return to its store page.
RavPower's blank store page on Amazon.
Amazon verified its actions in a statement to The Verge on Wednesday while also finally confirming Aukey's takedown after refusing to comment last month. All three companies do offer online stores with free shipping, though it's unlikely anyone who doesn't already know about these brands would find their way to their respective sites. If you're looking to buy chargers exclusively through Amazon, your selection for recognizable brands is starting to look pretty limited.
Taotronics and Vava too
Two more gadget companies have had their Amazon storefronts wiped clean. Just one day after RavPower had its virtual shelves stripped bare, TaoTronics and Vava were also hit (via The Verge). Amazon has yet to confirm either of its recent takedowns, but parent company Sunvalley verified that it would be relying on its individual websites to carry out sales from here. We've updated our story.
RAVPower's parent company has issued a statement saying that three of its brands (incl. Taotronics and VAVA) were suspended from Amz yesterday, affecting 31% of the company's revenue, and it will rely on its DTC site.
The stock is down 12% today. https://t.co/6hKeLiyvgm
— nicole nguyen (@nicnguyen) June 17, 2021