A brand specializing in batteries has disappeared from Amazon. I would have offered gift vouchers in exchange for reviews.
RavPower, a brand of batteries, chargers and other accessories for smartphones and laptops, has disappeared from Amazon after a researcher published a method to get false reviews on the platform.
Can we trust the reviews that appear at the bottom of the product pages on Amazon? It is a question that the company would like us not to have. But it’s getting harder and harder, after some of the ‘tricks’ brands use to improve their scores and appear earlier in search results have come to light.
Amazon’s reaction has been the only one it could have had: kick those brands off its platform. It all started last month with the disappearance of popular accessory makers like Aukey and Mpow, but they weren’t the only ones. A few hours ago, Amazon confirmed the expulsion of RavPower.
RavPower kicked out of Amazon
RavPower specializes in products related to charging our devices, such as external batteries or power adapters; Like many others, it goes for aggressive tactics like discount codes and daily sales to attract customers. Last Saturday, an investigation by The Wall Street Journal of journalist Nicole Nguyen revealed yet another tactic: fake reviews.
RavPower is a brand specialized in batteries and chargers
According to Nguyen, RavPower included a $ 35 gift card in the boxes of his Amazon orders; the message, “Congratulations, lucky winners” implies that it was a drawing, but the instructions printed on the front for obtaining the gift voucher indicate otherwise.
RavPower wanted customers to send an email with the identifier of their purchase, and the address of a review they have made of the product. The implication here, of course, is that the customer is not going to give a negative review in exchange for receiving the gift.
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
This practice runs counter to Amazon policy, which in 2016 expressly prohibited sellers from “incentivizing” reviews . The weight that these have in the search algorithms is too great, and they influence sales; Buyers see a high score and reviews from real people as the best indicators that a product is legit.
Amazon has removed all references to RavPower from its store, and its products can no longer be purchased; although the brand has its own online store that does not seem affected. It is striking that Amazon has confirmed the expulsion and the reason, considering that it did not do the same with Aukey or Mpow, who simply disappeared without a trace after the publication of a similar investigation.
Clearly, Amazon doesn’t want these scandals to tarnish its platform, but it may be too late. The company itself confirmed this week that in 2020 alone it stopped no less than 200 million false reviews , which serves to get an idea of how common this practice is.