Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Feb 8 2016 13:23:33

Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

By: Ina Steiner

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"Watch out for old Wal-Mart goods for sale on Amazon," the Kim Komando website warns. The site gives a basic explanation of what sellers call "retail arbitrage" - sellers who buy items in stores and resell them on Amazon.

Kim Komando then explains that many resellers are scooping up heavily discounted items at the 154 stores that Walmart is closing and reselling them on Amazon.

It's not an overly negative article: "You can think of it this way: They're bringing great deals from stores that could be thousands of miles away from you, and delivering those products to your door."

But it does warn shoppers what they need to look out for. It also includes a "bonus tip" - how to tell if you're buying directly from Amazon.

The post also points out that Amazon will direct shoppers to items that it is fulfilling itself: "Look for a note like, "Not eligible for Amazon Prime," or a link to a product that says, "Available with free Prime shipping from other sellers.""

Sellers who are engaging in retail arbitrage might do well to heed the advice of Cynthia Stine in her guest column in EcommerceBytes Newsflash, How to Avoid Amazon Seller Account Suspensions:

"When a customer's expectations are not met, sellers can expect to see complaints like "Used Sold as New," "Counterfeit," and "Inauthentic." This puzzles a lot of sellers because they know their products were purchased new.

"In many cases, sellers are purchasing imperfect products from retail stores, liquidators, online retailers, etc., that they sell as new but which are actually used (as in the case of a repackaged return) or so ugly that they look like they have been stored in someone's attic for a few years (dirty, dingy, faded, dinged corners, torn shrink wrap, etc.)."

I had this experience when buying wedding presents from a friend's gift registry at a local brick and mortar store. One of the items I purchased in-store had a gift receipt inside the box! (Luckily I had glanced inside before wrapping.)

Going back to the store, I examined all the boxes really carefully, and most of them looked like returns that I would not feel comfortable giving as presents to the bride and groom.

Hopefully resellers are on the lookout for this type of problem, but it could be a reason to list such items as "Used, Like New." What do you think?




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Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 8 15:33:00 2016

She sounds good for business.  LOL

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 8 15:46:18 2016

Just what we sellers need: another ever-helpful buttinski to 'warn' buyers of how unscrupulous we are! I mean, how dare one legally acquire a useful item, in brand-new condition, and attempt to foist that merchandise on an unsuspecting sucker? I tell you, it's an outrage, and no one should stand for it. Thank God we have these muckrakers to inform the citizenry!

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 8 15:54:15 2016

If a seller buys stock from a store that's closing and can make a profit, more power to them. I'd worry too much that I'd be wasting money on a bunch of merchandise that no one wants.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 8 18:09:47 2016

So Kim Komando thinks there's a problem with a seller paying $5 for something at Wal-Mart and reselling for maybe $8 or $10?  Does Kim Komando understand that millions of online buyers have no problem paying $3 or $5 more for a product that is shipped right to their front door so they don't have to spend money and time driving to Wal-Mart and waiting in a long line?

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Tue Feb 9 00:19:27 2016

What she really means is look for for Wal-Mart "Made in China" goods on Amazon with Prime Shipping at always-low-low-prices to Spend Less & Hoard More  

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Tue Feb 9 00:34:09 2016

Amazon Prime is a bit of hype, really. The selling price is jacked up to exceed the cost of individual mailing, so buying multiples creates a shipping windfall for Amazon. Then the projected delivery date is sometime after next month while actual delivery on USPS First Class is often 10 days past the paid order date. Shipping costs and delivery times by so-called "third-party sellers" is actually quicker and better priced.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 9 09:06:02 2016

She could say that about any and all auction sites. Its just NOT AMAZON.

Fleecebay and the others have the same amount of Walmark junk on them.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 9 11:40:38 2016

She sounds like someone who has no excitement in her life so she makes up sh*t to post online. Some people get so upset when someone buys a product from, let's say, Walmart and then resells it. But how is this different from Walmart selling, for example,  Mattel items? Walamart is buying from Mattel and then reselling at a higher rate. Same d*mn thing!!!

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Feb 9 11:46:11 2016

These may not be new items that are sealed, but customer returned merchandise that is broken or missing parts, and then resealed & sold as ''New''.

There are folks who purchase these Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other returned goods by the pallet or other auction lot, and resell online.

Problem is that the seller does not know why the item was returned, or what parts are missing. These items are also sold repackaged at garage and yard sales, and the unsuspecting buyer/ reseller does not know that the item isn't new and factory sealed.

In any event, a customer can return broken or not working merchandise for a refund, and not have to pay shipping. Ms. Komando makes it look like online sellers are out to bilk people out of their hard-earned cash, and the poor buyer has no recourse. She may have never heard of the Amazon A to Z Guarantee.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 9 11:47:10 2016

Great , this is how its done everywhere. Whats the problem? Oh , yah , there is none .

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 9 13:04:16 2016

gizmo, Kim obviously needed a story. I'm guessing what she actually knows about ecommerce could fill a thimble.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 9 14:17:27 2016

Not everyone lives within a reasonable distance to a Walmart. Some people don't live with a reasonable distance to a town that has a gas station. Some people are handicapped and some can not drive. There are many reasons people are willing to by online a pay a bit more.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Feb 9 14:57:13 2016

@Randy - Since you mentioned Mattel, here in Los Angeles County there are several Mattel stores that sell overstock and returned merchandise at below retail (and some times way below). I know there are lots of eBay and Amazon sellers who go there and buy tons of Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels, and other Mattel toys to buy for resale. The couple times I was at a Mattel store (years ago), 90% of the toys were in pristine condition.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: FLIPPER This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 9 16:23:56 2016

Here's a "newsflash" for Kimmy: LOTS of "legitimate" B&M retailers prucase overstocks and return items to sell. Marshalls?Homegoods/TJMax and Menard's being to prominent examples. (at least Menard's used to boast that they got their start by selling overstock that they bought cheap).  

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 10 00:19:34 2016

We are having the same problem here.  People purchasing Walmart return pallets, selling on Facebook yard sales and screwing people right & left with defective products

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

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

Wed Feb 10 00:47:26 2016

I don't think it matter where folks get their items for resale, but if the item is defective then it should not be sold unless the defect is put in the title. Nothing is worse than receiving a new or used item that is stated to work and it does not. As for China I am hoping to see all sellers start educating themselves, their family and their friends to never buy anything direct from China even if it is in a FBA warehouse. Better you buy a department store overstock item or from Walmart than straight from China. The business or job you save may be your own or someone in your own family.  

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Feb 10 02:29:01 2016

Wonder what Kim would think about an eBay purchase that a Seller listed without the item in possession & then bought on Amazon & sorta drop-shipped to her that originated from a Walmart closure. HaHaHa.

If I was doing this type of purchase/re-sale and wanted to maintain a good rep, I would certainly make sure all the parts were inside or in working order, etc, or I would not sell it as 'new' or complete.  No one wants part of an item if they expected all of it and I absolutely do not want a pissed off Buyer.

Anyone who doesn't spend some minimal time prepping items for the 1st impression at un-boxing runs the risk of unhappy customers - even if all the parts are there. A negative impression upfront gets a mindset that 'sees' all kinds of problems that might not bother them any other time.

One mistake that puzzles me is Sellers who do not spend a sec to take off original price stickers from Goodwill, a garage sale, or a clearance price and then seem dumbfounded that a buyer is pissed.  Why is that buyer THAT pissed anyway? They chose the item at the price they were shown on the listing.  Weird phenomena. Easier to avoid the whole mess by taking off the sticker (and wipe your fingerprints & the dust off it too).

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 10 03:13:44 2016

Anyone selling defective items will not be around long.
A lot more items (in my opinion ) are returned because of buyers remorse, wrong size, just changed mind.  Defective items are just a small percentage.
Sounds like Kim had a deadline and had to come up with something that has already been written about.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: brenda This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 10 06:46:00 2016

I don't know who Kim Komando is but apparently she does not know or understand this subject.  We sell our branded manufactured products...they are new items.. and sometimes we chose not to send these FBA and ship ourselves.  Not eligible for Amazon Prime means that we have chosen not to have Amazon FBA ship those items for us.  We do not sell Retail Arbitrage items and I do not appreciate someone telling buyers not to purchase my products just because we have chosen to ship these items ourselves.  Here's a news flash...Amazon does not own every product they sell...they depend on 3p sellers for 30% of their inventory.  I would remove Kim Komando off my reference list for informed advisers because obviously she does not have a clue about how the whole process works.

Perminate Link for Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers   Kim Komando Warns Shoppers to Watch Out for Amazon Resellers

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 10 07:18:21 2016

Nordstrom Racks re-sell their "returned" shoes all the time.  You can look at the soles and see they've been warn, but they discount them.  What's the difference between a lone person buying from the clearance rack and reselling on line -- I do it all the time.

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