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Sun Mar 31 2019 20:25:41

Why Amazon Pay Suspended iOffer Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon Pay suspended the accounts of iOffer sellers after an anti-counterfeiting group waged a coordinated campaign against the marketplace.

Earlier this month we reported iOffer had gone offline for a week followed by reports that it lost listings. Five days later, the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) issued a press release stating that along with payment industry partners, it had "disrupted the sale of dangerous counterfeits sold on iOffer."

The IACC press release stated, "The popular online marketplace temporarily shut down its website after the partners took steps to stop payment processing on the site. iOffer has been a tremendous point of frustration for brands and the IP community. Counterfeit goods were easily found across the site, putting well intentioned shoppers at risk of buying fake goods."

The incident is a reminder that actions sellers may have taken years ago and that they might not even remember, can cause them headaches today. In 2008, iOffer began allowing merchants to offer Amazon Pay (or Amazon Payments, as it was called at the time) as a payment method for sales on iOffer. And in 2015, iOffer updated its instructions to sellers on how to integrate with Amazon Payments.

On Sunday, a seller tweeted a message to iOffer containing the message they'd received from Amazon Pay: "We have closed your Amazon Pay account canceled any pending transactions and placed a temporary on your account. Any new accounts you open will be closed. We took these actions because the website http://www.ioffer.com may be in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy." (2:05 PM - 31 Mar 2019) 

Another seller shared with EcommerceBytes the notice Amazon Pay had sent him when it suspended his account last week. "I have been inactive on iOffer over a year and was stilled banned because "iOffer is known for selling counterfeits,"" he said, "though I only sell genuine items and have never been accused of selling a counterfeit. Thinking the email could be a phishing attempt I went to Amazon website directly by tying it in the browser and sure enough my account was "deactivated" with an opportunity to appeal."

Here's the message he received from Amazon: 

"We have closed your Amazon Pay account, canceled any pending transactions, and placed a temporary hold on any funds in your account. Any new accounts you open will be closed. We took these actions because your website www.ioffer.com may be in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy. This policy prohibits the sale of counterfeit goods. To learn more about this policy, click the "User Agreement/Policies" link at the bottom of the Amazon Pay site and then click "Acceptable Use Policy" (http://pay.amazon.com/us). We encourage you to take appropriate steps to resolve any pending orders. 

"Note that any amounts paid as a result of A-to-z Guarantee claims and chargebacks may be deducted from your account. After 90 days the hold will be removed and any remaining funds will be available for withdrawal. 

"If you have questions about your funds, write to amazon-pay-seller-confirmation@amazon.com.   If you would like to appeal this decision, click the "Appeal" button on the "Notifications" page in the "Performance" section of your Seller Central account."

Whoever is behind the iOffer Twitter account refers to the February downtime as "maintenance" and as recently as March 27 made the following suggestion to shoppers:

"If an item is unavailable or you are unable to see any items in your watch list, it’s likely the item has been removed or the seller is no longer active on http://iOffer.com . Please search http://ioffer.com for the same or similar item from another seller." (3:41 PM - 27 Mar 2019).

According to the IACC, it had gathered input from its brand members and worked with its payment partners to address the sale of counterfeits on the iOffer marketplace with the help of a program called RogueBlock, describing it as follows:

"RogueBlock, the IACC's payment processor initiative, is a collaborative effort of the IACC and the payment industry to create a streamlined, simplified procedure for members to report online sellers of counterfeit or pirated goods directly to credit card and financial services companies. With a goal of facilitating prompt action against counterfeiters' merchant accounts and diminishing the ability of such sellers to profit from their illicit sales, the RogueBlock program offers members a cost-efficient tool for IP enforcement. To date, the program has terminated over 5,000 individual counterfeiters' merchant accounts, which has impacted over 200,000 websites."

IACC specifically mentioned Mastercard in its press release about iOffer, but we don't know if Amazon is a member of its RogueBlock program or joined the bandwagon against iOffer sellers after the crackdown.

Let us know if you've been impacted and how.



Comments (8) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 1 06:42:30 2019

Gesh wouldn't it be nice if this happen to greedbay.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 1 07:31:22 2019

When I go to forums across the internet, Ioffer is the one that people have many many complaints about.  That should be a clue to sellers and buyers not to use it.

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 1 08:50:09 2019

WOW.   I hate Counterfeits AND CounterfietERs, but this seems like Over The Top IRRESPONSIBLE GROUP PUNISHMENT of an entire CLASS of users / sellers without DUE PROCESS or reasonable manner of contesting the Arbitrary and Capricious GROUP PUNISHMENT.  ( For those not familiar with the TERM it is the same as your 7th grade Phys Ed teacher making the ENTIRE CLASS run LAPS because one or two from the 120 guy class did something WRONG or at least QUESTIONABLE.  Sort of like arresting and giving tickets to ALL Asian drivers just because a COP is prejudiced against ASIAN drivers.

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by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 1 12:17:53 2019

I purchased something from an iOffer seller a month ago. A week later, I went back buy something else and the site was down for "maintenance". For over a week. I messaged iOffer asking if this happened a lot because I was considering being a seller and was worried about them randomly closing down their site.
Their reply was rude and vague. When the site came back up, it's search feature brought up broken links and my seller had totally disappeared. He sold a unique item and now I have no idea where he's gone to. I'm sure he's not too thrilled about what happened either.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 1 12:37:39 2019

why doesnt that same thing happen to ebay?

Just type lego mini figure and gaze upon the thousands of fake legos for .99 cent and free shipping



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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Apr 1 12:44:32 2019

I battled iOffer for years. They stole my luxury goods listings and lowered the price substantially. When prospective buyers were doing their due diligence and researching my items they would see the lower priced listings and assume that I was selling knockoffs. Their legal department helped me get the listings removed but it took a huge chunk of my time to find and report the listings. I eventually gave up. iOffer is rife with replicas and unscrupulous sellers.  

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 1 17:29:55 2019

that site should have been gone a long time ago.

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This user has validated their user name. by: WdrWmn

Mon Apr 1 19:49:38 2019

Hello everyone.   Well, I'm not shocked about ioffer counterfeit goods story.  I'm only shocked that it took everyone this long to realize that this turned into a counterfeit and fake goods site, also people were selling drug paraphernalia. SERIOUSLY!  

I was actually an ioffer seller up till about 7 years ago (yes, I sold legitimate & officially licensed goods, nothing illegal).  I want to say something really weird happened to this site.  I noticed that more and more counterfeit & fake goods were being sold.  

One day, I wasn't able to import my goods from eBay anymore.   But, when I contacted ioffer support I also received a vague and unhelpful response.  In fact, the response had nothing to do with my question?  I only asked why I wasn't allow to import my items from eBay anymore?  And I got a weird response stating site gave inaccurate info or something like that.    

So, after 5 tries on contacting ioffer I just gave up.   But, what I found interesting, is that the responses were in english and chinese?   Did the original ioffer.com get taken over by a chinese organization.  That would explain why most of the merchandise was being shipped from china, and why customer support send me both english and chinese responses.   Oh well.  Ioffer.com never made me much money, so I ended up sticking with eBay.  I'm just surprised this site wasn't shut down years ago, due to counterfeit goods.  



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