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Washington Post Surveys Shoppers about Fakes on Amazon

Washington Post Surveys Shoppers about Amazon Fakes

The Washington Post is surveying shoppers about their experiences with fakes on Amazon (whose CEO Jeff Bezos owns the newspaper).

A Post piece, titled, “How Amazon’s quest for more, cheaper products has resulted in a flea market of fakes,” cites reports from former Amazon executives and outside consultants who characterize the marketplace as having a “continued abundance of counterfeit goods” and who say it is the result of Amazon’s decisions to “prioritize a broad selection of products and cheaper prices over the deployment of aggressive technologies and policies that could further stem the problem.”

The newspaper provided an opportunity for the company to respond, writing, “Amazon goes “well beyond our legal obligations” to snuff out fakes on the site, spokeswoman Cecilia Fan said. In addition to staff that investigates fraud claims, the company has developed algorithms to sift through the more than 5 billion changes to its worldwide catalogue each day, she said. For every case reported, the company blocked or removed over 100 proactively with its systems, she said.”

At the end of the article, the newspaper asks readers to share their Amazon shopping experience – “We want to hear about your perspective and may contact you to learn more.”

Here are the questions it asked:

  • Have you recently ordered something on Amazon that wasn’t what you expected? Was the product you ordered unsafe, counterfeit, or different from advertised? Describe the issue.
  • Did you report this issue to the company?
  • If so, what was your experience and what was the company’s response?

It will be interesting to see how much additional space the paper will devote to stories from readers about their experiences shopping on the Amazon marketplace. It asks survey takers for their name and email address and states, “We will not publish your story without contacting you first.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.