Some sellers are feeling the fallout from lawsuits Amazon filed last month against two websites it claimed were attempting to profit from generating “misleading and fraudulent reviews.”
Amazon began removing some listings for sellers’ products featured on one of those sites, Rebatest, but sellers say they weren’t even familiar with the website and did not participate in any incentives-for-review programs.
ASGTG (Amazon Sellers Group) issued an alert on Twitter on Tuesday linking to more information on the ASGTG Facebook group:
“Breaking…. RED… We can confirm that legit sellers’ listings are being framed on rebate sites that Amazon is suing where competitors will list your item and you will get it taken down for review manipulation.”
Some sellers believed their rivals had submitted their products on Rebatest in an effort to get them suspended from Amazon.
Others believed Rebatest itself was running a scam, though it wasn’t exactly clear how such a scam might work.
In its February 22nd press release, Amazon wrote, “The lawsuits aim to shut down two major fake review brokers, AppSally and Rebatest, who helped mislead shoppers by having their members try to post fake reviews in stores such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Etsy.”
Amazon also said it uses a “combination of machine learning technology and skilled investigators to detect, prevent, and remove” incentivized or fake reviews. Amazon sellers who had products removed and discovered they had been featured on Rebatest without their permission say they’re collateral damage in Amazon’s bot war.
The founder of ASGTG himself is facing criminal charges in a different matter as we’ve reported but continues to have a vibrant base of supporters who in this case, shared their experiences and strategized on how to deal with it.
On its website, Rebatest encourages shoppers to purchase Amazon items through its cashback program:
“Rebatest is a product trial website where you can get up to 100% rebates when shopping online! Rebatest’s fundamental aim is to help people find good stuff and test the potential development of new products, while offering fair and comprehensive trial report for customers. We’re the cashback site that gives up to 100% moneyback rebates and we don’t charge our members any fees either; Rebatest is free to join, free to use and free to cash-out. We’re also the only few one of cashback site that doesn’t have a minimum pay-out threshold, and you can cash-out as many times a year as you want.”
It also offers an affiliate program where shoppers who refer its site to others could earn rewards:
“In order to expand our business and attract more testers, the Affiliate&Refer program is launched You can earn referral bonus up to $20/person by referring friends and associates to join and complete the first order at Rebatest.”
Ironically, members of the Rebatest program left their own reviews of Rebatest on TrustPilot, which tell an interesting tale.