In context: Recently Amazon has begun ejecting retailers suspected of posting fake reviews from its seller program. The first two to go were Aukey and Mpow. Both are earbud manufacturers. However, at least one of them is still selling its products on Amazon, seemingly circumventing the embargo.
Both Aukey and Mpow were recently found still selling various earbuds models on Amazon despite having been banned back in May. The Verge notes that it notified the company and that Mpow's listing was removed, but as of two days ago, Aukey still had at least three sets of earphones listed under its "Key Series" branding.
It appeared that Aukey was paying Amazon for "sponsored" search results on the products it had listed. It could be that Amazon was willing to overlook Aukey's ban so long as it could pocket some side cash. However, Amazon declined comment on the situation, so we may never know if there was another reason for it.
Sometime after The Verge published its findings, Amazon removed the Key Series listings that could visually be tied with Aukey through their logo branding or in the product description. As of now, there remains one set of Key Series earbuds on Amazon's storefront.
The model T18NC has a suspicious seller listing of "Brand: Key Series." Its case is emblazoned with the company's key-like logo rather than the Aukey name branding. So, on the one hand, it could be a matter of confusion. On the other hand, video reviews posted to the product's listing clearly indicate it is an Aukey product. It is also not a sponsored listing.
Reviews for the T18NC are mixed, and most of the top reviews are poor to mediocre, so review tampering doesn't seem to be present. It may be a model sold through a third-party vendor. If it is an independent seller, then it would appear Amazon has taken care of the offender. Although, it is troubling to see that it only happened after The Verge caught Amazon with its hand in the proverbial cookie jar.
Screenshot credit: The Verge