If you’re shopping on the Amazon website, you need to read this!
- As you prepare to travel are you looking at travel supplies, items, or clothing on Amazon?
- While slow traveling or digital nomading, are you thinking of buying something at Amazon because it can be sent to you?
- Are you living in a country that lacks certain products and using Amazon to get them?
I’ve been reading articles and press releases from TheCounterfeitReport.com for a few years now. The things they report are always disturbing — and important!
- Wherever you live, if you end up with a counterfeit power cable, your device may become damaged, and even fire is a possibility.
- If your SD card is counterfeit, you may lose your cherished travel photos.
- And what good will a fake not-waterproof raincoat do for you on wet travel days.
In everyday life, counterfeit products are a disappointment, perhaps with a serious cost. But as you travel, your loss may well be even greater. So, I want you to be aware of what’s going on at Amazon. (Other sale sites too but today the focus is on this most popular website.)
Rather than try to write this all for you, I have received permission to reprint the press release in full.
I hope you’ll read it.
Who Are You Really Buying From On Amazon?
Buying on Amazon doesn’t mean the product is from Amazon, authentic or cheapest.
July 31, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – Consumers buying from Amazon may think their purchase is authentic and coming from Amazon or an authorized retailer. The fact is, over half of Amazon sales are from unvetted third-party global sellers. Amazon, Amazon’s premium Prime Program, and products “Fulfilled by Amazon” service are ripe with counterfeits, replicas and scams.
Some common scams on Amazon;
- Unvetted Amazon sellers can list just about anything they want, including counterfeits and products they don’t possess, and then forward your order to unknown sellers (often from China) for delivery to you.
- Global sellers list items and advise of delayed delivery. The sellers offer a tracking number, but never ship the item. After a few weeks, Amazon forwards the payment to the seller, but the buyer never receives the product.
- China sellers can offer an inexhaustible supply of counterfeit, fake and replica items, often with claims of “Genuine” or “Authentic” in the listing title to deceive buyers, and ship them to the U.S. under reduced First Class Terminal Dues for as little as $1.50 for a 2 lb. package, costing the U.S. Postal Service millions in losses.
- Many online items are “grey market” or unauthorized imports that do not carry a manufacturer’s warranty. Deceived buyers learn they have no warranty when the product fails or is deemed counterfeit.
- Search results and product reviews are no indication of authenticity, quality or even related to the product listed. Worldwide scammers work to outsmart and trick Amazon’s automated ranking systems with fake reviews and ratings, while some sellers pay off workers inside Amazon to gain competitive information reports the Wall Street Journal.
- Sellers can list a cheap “teaser” products to gain a history of positive reviews and seller feedback, then change the listing image and description to a counterfeit, replica or poor quality item, retaining the reviews and ratings.
If that’s not enough to discourage consumers from buying on Amazon;
- Amazon’s shady counterfeit practices have not escaped the attention of federal investigators. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently conducted an undercover investigation of e-commerce counterfeit goods sales. The GAO reported that about 50% of the items it purchased from e-commerce websites, including Amazon (AMZN), were counterfeit.
- Apple® reported that 90% of Apple products it purchased directly from Amazon were counterfeit, while Birkenstock, the global footwear icon, slammed Amazon as “an accomplice” of the fraudsters. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) placed orders with Amazon and found that 44 of the 194 top CD’s delivered were counterfeit. Swiss watch company Swatch (Longines, Omega and Blancpain) scrapped selling on Amazon when Amazon refused to “proactively police its site for counterfeits and unauthorized retailers.” Smaller manufacturers complain that their business is being destroyed by Amazon counterfeit sales. [Bolded by Deb]
- Alarmingly, when Amazon learns of the counterfeit items, they won’t tell the buyers they received a fake, even dangerous or potentially deadly items. Of course, the buyers would then be entitled to a refund. [Bolded by Deb]
- Amazon uses a crafty excuse; “Your trademark must be in registered status in [each country the item is sold in]” to avoid removing counterfeits on any of its 13 global websites.
- Collecting half of every U.S. retail dollar spent online, Amazon won’t pay any federal income taxes after topping $5.6 billion in income in 2017.
Through huge legal loopholes, and virtually immune to prosecution, IP laws and safety standards, Amazon continues to enable and facilitate criminal activity and profit from counterfeit sales which destroy manufacturers and directly impact consumer safety, jobs and public trust. Consumers can support local retailers and often buy at better prices if they check other online websites. “Costco is the cheapest by a landslide, with an average discount of 19% on items where there was a price discrepancy” reports Business Insider, and many retailers will price match online sellers. [Bolded by Deb]