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Mon June 13 2022 15:41:30

Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's Metrics

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
AMAZON SCAM ALERT. I've been selling on Amazon for 5 years, and this past week became the victim of a scammer using a twist on Retail Arbitrage. In reading some Amazon forum posts, it seems there has been a recent spike in this type of scam, but it may be an old game at play.

Here's how it works. The scammer lists the item on another platform (I believe my scammer was a Chinese seller on Walmart). When they sell my item, they then use me as a drop shipper to ship to their customer. I have received 5 orders like this (that I know of), but each time a "drop ship" order is placed by the scammer, they've used a different "Contact" name. 

Anyone that sells on Amazon knows that Amazon does it's darndest to prevent any interaction between buyer/seller. I'm not able to see who purchased the item other than a "Contact Name", and the address of the recipient. So, if the Contact Name is different from the recipient, there's no way for me "not" to tell if this is a gifted transaction.

So, here's the twist on this scam: Once the item is delivered, I receive a message from the Contact Name with this canned message: "never received my order.Refund pls." (it's the same identical message in each order). 

I replied with tracking details showing the package delivered and asked them to verify their shipping address, but I received no response. Then, a few days later, they open an A-Z Claim with Amazon. After the third claim, that's when I noticed a pattern. Amazon denied the scammer the claim (after I entered a lengthy response to the claim stating what this scammer was doing). The scammer then appealed and won. I then appealed, and Amazon funded a refund back to me. This was just on the first claim. I still have 4 more A-Z claims that are in the appeal process.

I have reported this scammer to Amazon, but not sure if anything will come of it. As I mentioned above, there's no way to see what Amazon sees on the back end regarding the scammers account. Are they using different accounts? Different emails? Fake account addresses? I do not know. 

The bottom line, not only may I be out the funds, but each A-Z claim I lose hurts my seller metrics - which is the lifeline to remaining an active seller on Amazon.

Amazon does nothing to protect Sellers from this sort of scam activity.

(please omit my name from this letter, thank you).



Comments (8) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: WalmartClassAction This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 14:10:45 2022

Just use Amazon Buy Shipping and make Amazon pay the frauds off

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jun 14 14:16:24 2022

What is "Amazon Buy Shipping"?

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: WalmartClassAction This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 15:23:06 2022

Negative Customer Feedback: If you ship on time with tracking via Buy Shipping, and the buyer leaves seller feedback solely related to delayed or undelivered packages, you can request to have the feedback reviewed. If approved, the impact of the feedback is removed from your Order Defect Rate, and the buyer’s comment will display with a strike-through and the statement: The fulfillment issues associated with this order were not due to the seller. To learn more, see Can Amazon remove buyer feedback?
The customer feedback policy ensures sellers are only responsible for shipping their products on time and are not penalized for delays out of their control.

A-to-z Guarantee claims: If you purchase Amazon's Buy Shipping and ship on time, you are protected against claims where a customer reports problems with delivery. Amazon will cover the cost of these claims and they will not affect your Order Defect Rate.

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 08:09:38 2022

Op, it seems that the item you're selling is low enough for the drop shipper to make a profit.  Increase the price 2 fold and see what happens.  IOW, if you're selling a $5 item, increase the price to $10 and increase the shipping also and see what happens to your sales.
OP, I also sense that you're selling only ONE product?

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 08:12:18 2022

Another thing - get signature confirmation of delivery to see who's signing the shipment.

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: lisapar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 08:25:29 2022

AMZ ''Buy Shipping'' = purchasing a shipping label through Amazon.  Yes, AMZ will then protect a seller if they use a Buy Shipping label against any A-Z Claim.  

However, this does not work for many Amazon Sellers that ship directly from the manufacturer due to size/weight of the item.  As an example, many furniture brands offer Drop Shipping for their dealer accounts (due to size/weight).  It wouldn't be profitable to ship inventory to the dealer, sell on Amazon, then ship directly to the customer.  There are thousands of products that are just too large to house inventory.  Scammers don't need to know if an item was shipped directly from the manufacturer, or shipped using AMZ's buy shipping.  A-Z claims for INR are always found in favor of the buyer, and if the seller used a Buy Shipping label and an A-Z claim was filed, AMZ pays for it out of their own pocket.

Another level to this is that it was hinted that these scammers may be using stolen gift cards.  So, they sell on Walmart, place an order on AMZ using the gift card, then file an A-Z claim and get a full refund.  They reap a 100% profit.

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: fusgeyer This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 10:36:19 2022

It is a scam. The best way to protect yourself is to be proactive. Looks like the scammers have your "number". For now, this is what I would do but it may decrease your sales somewhat.
1) require a signature at delivery - pass this cost onto the customer.
2) require that the shipping address matches the billing address (or the address on file with Amazon). If not, reject the order.
This will prevent the drop shipping scam and force the scammer to move on. You will take a slight hit in sales, but it might offset the cost of time and effort and refunding that you are putting into scammers right now.

Perminate Link for Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M   Twist on an Amazon Scam that Is Hurting Seller's M

by: NYSteve This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 11:48:51 2022

i still dont understand why anyone would buy anything on Amazon (except books which is how they started and what they are good at AND it is clear who the seller is).
they do everything to make it seem like they are the seller, except of course eat refunds.....

speaking of which, you said you won the 1st case, good luck with the others, some teenage CSR along with AI will see a pattern and decide 2 or 3 is enough refund for you, now its their turn....ive seen this on ALL platforms including Uber and Air bnb.....in addition, you will 'building a reputation of your own'

sorry, that's how it works.....



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