Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Oct 29 2016 17:36:34

Amazon Sued over Hoverboard Sale

By: Ina Steiner

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Just as the holiday shopping season is ramping up, the Ghost of Christmas Past is haunting Amazon. The hottest product from last year turned into a nightmare for some buyers when the batteries of some hoverboards allegedly caught fire.

This article from Fortune from Friday says a buyer has sued Amazon because he believes the hoverboard he purchased from the marketplace was the cause of a terrible house fire and alleges that Amazon "failed to provide the correct information on where the board came from."

It's unnerving to think that a fulfillment service might not be able to say with certainty that it shipped your product to your customer. Can you track your products through the supply chain to the final customer with absolute certainty?




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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 29 17:44:38 2016

Waste of the courts time. Ain't going anywhere. Like no legs on it. Amazon didn't sell the item and seller on Amazon did. Doesn't make it right but its a waste of the courts time AGAIN.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Oct 29 23:26:36 2016

From the article: "...because he believes the hoverboard he purchased from the marketplace was the cause of a terrible house fire...."

I hope the state's fire marshal (or whoever is heading the investigation into the fire) is ready to testify that the hoverboard was definitively the cause of the fire. Because the courts don't find in favor of a plaintiff based on belief.  

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 30 06:51:02 2016

Hmmmm , would be nice to see the shoe on the other foot for once.
Hard case to win.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 30 11:20:25 2016

I think the real questions of liability, this allegation notwithstanding, reside in the last one posed.

With massive inventory accomodated from multiple seller input, where lies the chain of custody?  With the holder of the serial, I would believe.  Absent that, the provenance.  These assume being specifically published in the offer, and receved.

Absent that, left with only the global upc so favored, what data record can prove a seller liable for the item if a third party has assumed responsibility for operational control of a sale and inventory fulfillment?

This also incidentally is where Amazon and eBay for example differ.  Amazon clearly is modeled and promoted to be the provider, therefore, it is reasonable to hold them accountable where appropriate unless Custody chain proves otherwise.  eBay will otherwise - does - disown ownership despiting all increasing efforts to appear to the contrary.  As one of those efforts does however include potential fulfullment center warehousing, any clam of 'venuism' weakens.

So, as more and more third party sellers are horned into a mold of being regarded as no more than inventory sources, where does liability apply?  And if you are the third party, what data chain can or will you rely on to defend any claim upon you?

Following up, should the entity be responsible to provide control detail to their sources?  And could it be trusted and dynamic?

I also think there's a question missing?  Where is the manufacturer's liability?  They tend to specifically limit it assigned at first sale.  Do small sellers need similar supply chain protection for cases where they may not have supply chain control?

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Oct 30 13:15:24 2016

I have often wondered who had the liability of used tools.

If someone hurts themselves or someone else using a tool I sold on ebay who is liable? The manufacture, ebay or me the seller?

Does the buyer assume responsibility of such used tools?

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by: Mongoose This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 30 15:40:01 2016

Toolguy, do you guarantee they work?  What if one has a problem and doesn't work correctly, resulting in injury?

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by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 31 01:33:49 2016

I have often thought a RFID or similar very small cheap tracking device could be attached to higher priced items to help locate items of mine especially when they disappear or a scammer claims something like it caught on fire.

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by: 1fatgrama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 31 13:58:40 2016

Something I have always wondered about Amazon is do they put all like items together or do they keep each individual sellers items together? How can you guarantee  the item that got sent to the buyer was indeed the item you sent to Amazon.Can anyone answer that.

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 31 19:48:18 2016

On FBA you have the choice of co-mingling or keeping your own items separate. If you co-mingle, you will likely get someone else's junk back when you get your returns as well as the possibility that buyers will not like your competitors item and return it thus costing you the money. Do not do co-mingling on Amazon, unless of course, you are trying to unload some junk on unsuspecting competitors.



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