Amazon was founded in 1994, and it has come a long way since then. At first, it was called Cadabra, an online marketplace for books which was operated from Jeff Bezos’s garage. Now it is the largest online marketplace in the world as well as an AI assistant provider and cloud computing platform.
Retail was forever changed by Amazon.com and has altered the way we shop. There are over 100 million prime members. Consumers are now do a lot of their shopping online and are getting more and more comfortable about sharing their private data like home address, bank details and shipping habits.
Shipping expectations were also changed because of Amazon, most amazon prime members expect a shipping time of 48h even when shopping from other retailers.
e-commerce as a whole has amazon to thank for the status is has achieved. But like any other system, it is not flawless, and vultures will always be there to take advantage of those flaws. We are here to tell the things you need to avoid so you will not fall in the common Amazon scams.
How does amazon market work?
As you may already know, Amazon is selling all kinds of products from different categories directly to buyers. In this case, the probability of a problem occurring that Amazon’s customer service can’t quickly solve is almost nil. Amazon is well known for its great return policy and they can quickly solve problems with carriers.
However, Amazon also allows third-party sellers on its platform. From individuals to small shops to large retailers, as well as the possibility for sellers to provide used and refurbished goods. This is where things can go wrong. Below you will find out how malicious people can scam you. Here are the 4 signs that an Amazon seller is not to be trusted.
- Amazon seller feedback
The first thing you should check, is the seller’s feedback. Amazon’s system encourage buyers to leave feedback so the future buyer know what to expect.
Amazon’s specialist recommend to stay away from seller’s who have less than 90% feedback in the past month.
There is no need to take any chances, as you can easily find other sellers with higher feedback that offer the same product with similar price point.
- Product description
You should keep an eye on grammatical erros in the product description. And weird seller names. Some Chinese sellers register odd company names in the US to quickly get through the patent and trademark office because Amazon requires sellers to be legally trademarked.
Be careful of low quality product image as the seller might be trying to hide a product defect. And could also mean that the seller is not from your country and trying to sell counterfeit products in Amazon’s marketplace.
Shipping time is also an indicator, if you see a shipping time of three weeks or a month, while the product is in stock in other sellers, which means the seller will be shipping the product directly from china.
To prevent most problems and scams, always buy products directly from the brand or the manufacturer.
- Product reviews
You may not know this, but they are many ways to tamper and manipulate reviews in order to favor your own product against your competition. It is important to be able to identify fake reviews as they are the holy grain of multi-level-e-commerce markets. And for a good reason of course, they are usually honest feedback directly from the clients who have used the product and assessed its quality.
First thing you should check are the dates: usually when sellers buy fake reviews they dates will be within a couple of days of each other. To verify if this is the case for the product you want to buy, you can simply sort reviews by date and ascertain when they were posted.
You can also verify if the reviews match the product: some sellers use the same product page for different products.
Which means they could use the good reviews of the previous product to quickly sell a new one. This is completely shady tactic that will become obvious to buyers when they check reviews that are referring to a whole different product.
Fake reviewers: always check the profile of buyers with reviews as short as “great product” or “great value” with a 5 star rating. If you don’t find them to be legitimate reviewers, buy from someone else.
- Fake sellers
The saying “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is” applies to amazon sellers as well. If you see a product listed at half the price of its market value, you should be skeptical and not buy. Fake sellers use this technique too, they will ship you a much cheaper product when you place your order. So be careful.