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Sat Nov 26 2016 12:32:36

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is requiring sellers to provide proof of their legitimacy to sell certain brands or in certain categories amid a series of crackdowns, but at the same time, reports are surfacing about fraudulent sellers flooding the Amazon marketplace.

The problem is exploding as the shopping season kicks into high gear, according to sellers in this discussion thread on the Amazon boards, where they discuss ways they think the marketplace could prevent the problem from occurring.

One seller who said they were seeing "tons of new sellers popping up on Black Friday" suggested Amazon expand the same strict holiday-season requirements in the Toys category to all categories - and they said they believed said no new sellers should be approved right now.

The 2016 Toys & Games category policy went into effect on November 17th and run through January 5, 2017 and include restrictions such as, "Your first sale on Amazon.com must occur prior to 19th September, 2016," and, "You must process and ship at least 25 orders from 1st September, 2016 through 31st October, 2016."

Other suggestions including limiting the number of ASINs a new seller could list, others said all sellers should be required to pay a monthly selling fee or a deposit. But another seller said the fraudulent sellers on their listings were already paying a monthly fee, "as our listings are in a restricted category which requires a pro selling account."

Another seller said the bad sellers were trying to take transactions off of the Amazon system by including instructions for shoppers to contact them if interested in their item.

"They pop up as fast as they are removed," said a seller, who called it "the wild, wild west of ecommerce."

"Complete madness," said another. " I'm seriously wondering if Amazon has lost control of its marketplace?"

A flower-bulb seller said the problem has impacted product reviews and profitability and is looking for alternatives after she says Amazon has failed to protect her and other longtime sellers in her category.

Have you been seeing bad sellers flood online marketplaces in recent days/weeks? What do you think Amazon could do to prevent such problems?




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 26 12:39:56 2016

Opening up a new account on either Ebay or Amazon is easier than turning on the computer. Some of these scammer artists open up accounts and let them sit for months and only use them when needed.

No matter what Ebay or Amazon claim, its all smoke and mirrors as neither is going to do anything that will effect the bottom line.

So I would just get used to it as I don't have the time to report or complain about something no one is going to do anything about.

Time to get a life and move on.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 27 05:39:38 2016

When a 'venue' deems it more beneficial to pad their own bottom line with policies that only appear to increase 'trustworthiness' but actually only effectively discourage long time high service quality sellers in favor of mass produced low quality volume sellers, that which is reported here will result.

Vetting that actually vets, costs.  Protection that actually protects, costs.  Solid infrastructure behind facades costs.

True quality, costs.  

"Smoke and mirrors"?  Indeed.  Much cheaper.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Nov 27 14:13:07 2016

Well, you know, when you squeeze out all of the _legitimate_ profit that a seller can make, what you're left with is the illegitimate.  I literally cannot make a dime under Amazon's rules selling what Amazon wants me to sell.  These are the options that I have:

1. sell only rare collectibles that I can get a 25%+ premium for (but they want new new and cheap)
2. sell counterfeits as real (because fakes have the same price pressure if sold as fake)
3. list imaginary products and don't mail anything
4. don't sell on Amazon

Actually, it's not like I really have a choice, because those clowns lock me out of toys two weeks before Black Friday every single year as punishment for not being able to sell enough under their oppressive conditions during the slowest sales period of the year.

So Amazon can choke on every one of the Chinese frauds that they're beset with as far as I'm concerned.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Nov 27 15:56:46 2016

E commerce corporations like Amazon, ebafia, etsy have sociopathic cultures.

Seller boycotts and departures have reduced ebafia to a twitching near corpse. Unhappy and angry, these sellers took and continue to take their buyers with them to other venues or their personal websites, stopped buying on ebafia, and spread the word to buyers and other sellers just how evil this corporation is.

If Amazon, ebafia, and etsy continue to abuse their sellers, at least etsy will meet the same fate as ebafia.

Amazon will be damaged but won't fail for obviously reasons.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 27 19:28:12 2016

What is happening is a frank purge of all the small and medium size sellers. I think it has to do with some sort of hidden government regulations that are about to kick in, or perhaps something far worse...

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Nov 27 20:04:29 2016

Why do people always leap to government regulation as their preferred boogeyman?  When was the last time anybody actually dealt with the government beyond telefiling your taxes?

This is a slow motion market collapse brought on by outsourcing industries, printing money directly into bankster bonuses, and these 3rd party venues trying to grab as much as they can before the bottom falls out.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 27 21:45:00 2016

It's a little hard to believe that Amazon can't screen out new sellers whose names look like "Contact_us_at_scamseller12345@gmail.com_before_ordering", and who are in most cases charging about half of the cheapest legit price.

Makes one wonder if Amazon and eBay share a single IT department.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 00:18:12 2016

I placed a several thousand dollar order from a new international seller with a couple thousand items listed. I figured that it was a scam as soon as they marked it as shipped, without a tracking number and via a carrier that doesn't handle packages that large. The seller does not respond to emails and I even lost an A-Z they didn't respond to because I didn't wait the close to 2 months the delivery time was estimated.

1. new sellers need velocity reviews.
2. Why isn't tracking enforced?
3. Why isn't replying enforced?
4. I thought not responding to an A-Z in 3 days was an automatic default for the seller and the buyer wins in that case.

It seems to me that amazon is protecting the scammer seller, more than the legit seller, me, thats been selling there over 6 years.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 00:19:54 2016

Actually, an email on 10/13/2016 states this.

Dear Seller,

Beginning November 14, the response time to an A-to-z Guarantee claim notification will decrease from 7 calendar days to 3 calendar days. This means that you will have 3 days to respond to Amazon via Seller Central to any claim filed against you by the buyer. Failure to respond to a claim in this timeframe will result in the claim being decided in favor of the buyer.


And YET I STILL LOST THE CLAIM AS A BUYER

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 03:24:57 2016

This month alone We have had 3 sellers on Amazon drop shipping our product (without our knowledge)

They buy our item from ebay and demand we ship to their customer which is a different address then their own.

We have had this happen in the past a couple of times but this month alone there have been 3 from amazon all from china.

The last guy had over 60000 items, all priced about double from what they normally would retail for, Buyers Beware, Amazon has an issue, that's for sure

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 04:13:22 2016

Strict policies for sellers do not apply to Asian countries. Learn it. Live it.  

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 07:06:18 2016

As a buyer on Amazon, thanks for posting this article as well as the comments. I am too small to sell there. It's a struggle no matter where you sell as all these companies that start trading on the stock market have to up their sales each year to please stockholders. Sellers and workers are cogs in the wheel.  

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 09:06:04 2016

Amazon does not treat all sellers equal.
Amazon doesn't have to follow the same rules that apply to 3rd party sellers.
Ten years ago I had a hot selling item. Only 3 total sellers. I had the buy box the majority of the time. Everything was great for 4 months plus then Amazon wanted proof of where the item came from. Sent copy of invoice that they required. Month later Amazon was selling cheaper.  Was not able to sell any more of that product. Did not want to lose money.  Not an ethical company.
Earlier this month bought an item item from Amazon LLC - through PRIME. Ordered on the 15th - received on the 25th. I always thought that Prime was a 2 day delivery?????  Told too bad or return.  Where can I leave a feedback for Amazon?  Just packaging feedback???  

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: QueenMab

Mon Nov 28 12:57:47 2016

I was royally screwed not only by a Bad Seller on Amazon but also by Amazon. I returned an item that was beyond SNAD but also broken, filthy and completely unusable. I have concrete proof that this rotten seller has the merchandise and my money and Amazon has refused a refund. This miserable Seller promised a refund and I received nothing. I reported bot the Seller and Amazon to the BBB, Mail Order Fraud Dept. at the USPS and to several other fraud agencies and still nothing. Worst of all, Amazon knowingly is still permitting this Fraudulent Seller to continue selling!  

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 13:17:20 2016

As a bookseller on Amazon I see sellers who have no stock who post insane prices for their books that they don't own. Now Amazon is sending me ''Listings deactivated for potential pricing error'' emails. Amazon doesn't understand that books have two values, one when the book is in print, another when the book goes out of print. Some titles go in and out of print every year. By removing my listing because the price is ''too high'' they are losing their commission when that title goes out of print, because my price is a fair price for the book when it is out of print. But I don't see them doing anything about sellers who have no stock who list a book for 50 times what it is worth, hoping that if they get an order they will be able to find a copy. After all these years Amazon must know who these no-stock sellers are but they choose to do nothing about them.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 30 08:08:38 2016

@maxmad I understand your anger at getting used by D/S'ers. If THEIR customers have a problem, naturally they will demand a return and who wants to get in the middle of that cluster?

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Nov 30 15:45:48 2016

After just reading the 411 article on Amazon, it's now crystal clear why Amazon isn't policing counterfeits: the brand owners REFUSE to sell their merchandise directly to Amazon to sell.

This violates all sorts of anti trust and fair trade laws, but e commerce giants like ebafia and amazafia thumb their collective noses at the rule of law.

The situation likely won't change.

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: CW This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 2 11:40:58 2016

Reporting new fraudulent sellers (probably same people, new accounts) every day via email to seller-performance@amazon.com ; keeping it simple-
 Subject: Possible Fraudulent Sellers
 Message:

  We believe the below sellers are engaging in fraudulent activity. Please investigate.

    1 Seller name:
       Seller storefront: (link)

    2 Seller name:
        Seller storefront: (link)

Sellers get removed in 1-2 days. But again, have to report new ones every day. It has become part of business.

Has it negatively affected business? I believe so. My sales have been down 70-80% since this started happening a couple months ago.

What can Amazon do?  They can require the following:
(1) proof of address
(2) proof of phone number
(3) proof of company (all sellers should be registered with state/government)
(4) proof of bank and credit card with company or individuals name
(5) no prior accounts using the same as any of the above items.

If fraudulent sellers and fake all of the above, then the documentation required for the proof is inadequate.

I think it would be great for us all to report this to all local and national news networks. Don't expect Amazon to do anything if you don't report to the larger news, which would spark a larger investigation and get those greedy lawyers involved. Large corporations usually don't fix these kinds of things without an audit.  I work for one.  I know.

Complaining here doesn't fix the problem.  Report it to news stations, private investigators and lawyers.

For the fraudulent sellers:
- clear fraud
- false advertising
- possible phishing / identify theft with buyer's information

For Amazon:
- knowingly hosting said fraudulent sellers and activities without taking appropriate preventative actions

Please reply with points of contact for reporting to news stations, private investigators and lawyers. I'll do some looking around, too. A report from just 1 person won't go anywhere.  We can only get traction if everyone reports it.  

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: CW This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 2 12:41:59 2016

To report to new stations I recommend:
- Type in Word first to be able to copy+paste (and not lose all your text in a broken online form)
- Have your main points in the beginning in 2-4 one-sentence bullet points, and have the details below it with bold subject headers
- Show links to fraudulent sellers, and a screen shot or two
- Provide contact information so they can reach to you for more information.

HOW TO REPORT:

Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media are great venues.  You can post directly to the news stations, Amazon, and - hey why not - @realDonaldTrump about this big corporation issue stunting small business growth.

Report to NBC News (online form): http://www.nbcnews.com/id/40220716/#.WEGttPkrKHs

Fox News (email/Social Media):
Email: Send a message to foxnewstips@foxnews.com
Email the Newsroom: newsmanager@foxnews.com
Twitter: ''Tweet'' at our main @foxnews account
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoxNews

BBC News (multiple options):
http://www.bbc.com/news/10725415

ABC News:
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/BrianRoss/page?id=3247430

CNN (online form):
http://www.cnn.com/feedback/?1

News 12 Long Island (email):
news12li@news12.com

7 News Boston (email):
senditto7@whdh.com

Report to News 13 (email):
storyidea@mynews13.com


Let's fix the problem - Spread the word - Report to the news stations!

The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown   The Amazon Paradox: Bad Sellers Multiply Amid Crackdown

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 2 17:57:52 2016

@CW

Reporting LOL: Not anymore ''been there done that, just a big time burner for the benefit of some large corporation who couldn't care less about me ''

I say let these greedy corporations self destruct, they have plenty of money to fix their own issues, why should I



We currently put ALL our time and energy into our OWN VENUES, Paid off large in the last two years, ebay amazon, etsy or any other venue other then OUR OWN can burn in hell.

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