One month ago, Amazon-first gadget brands Aukey and Mpow suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the giant online retailer’s storefront, with almost all their electronics vanishing from Amazon’s shelves. Today, popular battery and charger brand RavPower has completely disappeared as well (via Nicole Nguyen).
All of the company’s product listings have disappeared, leaving blank white spaces in RavPower’s Amazon storefront. Searches for “RavPower” don’t bring up any listings for products made by the company. Existing links to RavPower products either point to Amazon’s “Sorry, we couldn’t find that page” cute 404 dogs, or listings that read “Currently unavailable.”
By and large, this is exactly what happened to Aukey, Mpow, and other lesser-known electronics retailers last month — except here, whoever did this has been a bit more thorough. You can actually still find a couple of Aukey listings on Amazon, while RavPower seems to have none. Another important difference may be that RavPower has its own separate online shop that ranks high in Google search, so it may not strictly need to depend on Amazon.
Amazon and RavPower didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, but we’re not expecting much: Amazon would not tell us last month if it actually removed Aukey and Mpow, merely giving us a generic statement that suggested it generally suspends sellers that violate “the integrity of our store.” Then, Aukey and Mpow didn’t respond to requests for comment at all.
But it’s not hard to imagine what happened here: on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Nguyen ran a story about how her new RavPower charger included an offer for a $35 gift card in exchange for a review, something that Amazon confirmed was a violation of company policy. Amazon banned incentivized reviews in 2016.
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
Fake, inflated, paid, and other forms of scammy reviews run rampant on Amazon (and other online platforms, to be fair), and I get cards like these in my random Amazon purchases all the time. It’s weird to think that RavPower would need to stoop to this behavior, though: we’ve regularly featured good products that the company makes, including our favorite wireless charging pad.
Amazon is actively trying to clamp down on this kind of fraud, though it’s not always successful. Below, find some of our recent coverage.