An Aukey PD charger
Cameron Summerson

When it comes to portable batteries, chargers, and other affordable accessories, Aukey was a reliable and well-known name on the Amazon marketplace. “Was” being the keyword because Amazon seems to have removed all Aukey listings and shuttered the Aukey store. 

Head to the Aukey store, and you will find all the links are broken. Either they don’t exist, or they lead to products that are “unavailable.” At first glance, it’s a surprising turn of events considering the sheer popularity and ubiquitousness of Aukey products—it had dozens of entries, with more arriving all the time.

The few instances of in-stock products we can find don’t come from Amazon or Aukey, but third-party sellers instead. Since the storefront still exists, it seems unlikely that Amazon removed all of Aukey’s listings. Similarly, another well-known accessory manufacturer, Mpow, seems to be missing from Amazon as well. Check out Mpow’s store, and nearly every product shows up “unavailable.” But we found two headsets still shipped and sold by Amazon.

We don’t know for certain why Aukey (and perhaps Mpow) were removed from Amazon. But speculation provides a likely scenario: Fake reviews. Last week the folks at SafetyDetectives uncovered an insecure database that revealed a massive fake review scheme from third-party Chinese manufacturers.

As is often the case, the manufacturers used a simple method to scam Amazon’s review system. It would a new product, then contact reviewers outside Amazon’s systems. That reviewer would agree to buy the product, review it favorably, in exchange for compensation that paid for the product, and put additional money into the person’s product.

Once enough fake reviews came in, Amazon would take notice of the five-star quality reviews from “verified purchasers” and feature the product heavily. Then actually customers would buy the products and create legitimate reviews. Sadly, the products are worthy of high reviews in many cases, but the company paid people to jumpstart the process. And that’s against Amazon’s terms.

SafetyDetective’s reporting revealed 13 million records surrounding the scheme, but it didn’t identify directly which vendors were involved. But considering the timing, it’s not a big leap to assume the report led to Aukey and Mpow’s demise.

For now, we’ve reached out to Amazon for a statement, and we’ll update this post when we know more.

via Digital Trends



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