Review fraud is a real problem for online merchants, especially for a juggernaut like Amazon. I know many family members who base their buying choices on Amazon reviews, and that’s a big mistake. There are millions of fake reviews on Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, and many other online merchant sites, and they’re steering you in the wrong direction.
Amazon is attempting to fight back against review fraud and has removed listings from 600 Chinese merchants who have been accused of review fraud. Popular brands like TaoTronics, Mpow, RAVPower, Aukey, and Cheotech have been removed. It has been reported that Amazon has closed 3,000 merchant accounts from 600 Chinese brands that violated Amazon’s rules.
Many of these accounts were engaged in pay-for-play reviews in which they include a card in their products offering money for positive reviews. We’ve actually received these cards ourselves from items we’ve ordered, so we can confirm this is true.
According to the South China Morning Post, “questionable practices like paying for positive reviews often go unchecked on Chinese e-commerce platforms,” which may help explain why companies who are used to doing business in China have continued to carry out those practices when selling to global audiences through Amazon.
In the meantime, some of the companies that have now been permanently banned from Amazon are apparently trying to expand their presence on other international marketplaces, including eBay and AliExpress.
What’s confusing is, some of these brands actually make decent products, and we’ve reviewed some of them here in the past, though none of the brands have reached out in a long time. We’ve never been asked for positive reviews or any incentive, and we always review our products honestly. So we’re not sure why some of these brands are committing review fraud on Amazon.
Amazon has stated that they will continue to improve their review fraud detection systems and remove the violators. It is good to see Amazon finally moving on this, and it will hopefully save some people from buying potentially bad products.