How Fraudulent Sellers on Amazon Are Stealing Christmas

Having looked at millions of feedback reviews, lately all of them tell the same story - customers are realizing that their order is not going to come before Christmas, and there is not enough time left to order something else. This is a very frustrating situation since while they will likely get a refund, they are still left with no presents to gift.

This is the true negative impact of fraudulent sellers - customers end up getting a refund, so the net loss is $0.00, however they are left with no product after weeks or months of waiting. Almost always they still need it, so they order again and wait more. This waiting period is a bad experience, and pushes customers to reconsider buying from marketplace sellers when buying next time.

When looking at reviews they all are very similar:

I have not received this item! Must have this by Christmas, PLEASE!

I’m pretty upset that my order was cancelled. The notification says the order was cancelled by the customer and I did not cancel the order. Even if I re-order this item I won’t get it in time for Christmas without spending $50 for shipping. Not Impressed!

This company is a fraud. Please do not use this company, I have not received any of my items from this company as of 12-9-16 and I promise to have them by 12-6-16 the latest. And they were Christmas gifts!

They still have not arrived after ordering over a month ago! Christmas is next wk and these were meant to be Christmas presents! Not impressed!

We have been seeing 50-100 new fraudulent sellers every day. The list of updates on Scam Sellers is changing every hour as the system detects new sellers.

Nonetheless we are continuing to work on this as we want to be able to alert about scam sellers even before they are able to have a single sale. We also want to provide information about most common traits on fraudulent sellers and how customers can figure this out without any reviews available. For example, if the seller name looks cryptic like “ASSSSW” or “YNT HIA MAXW”, chances are they shouldn’t be trusted. Most trusted retailers choose representative names.

Legit marketplace sellers need to pay attention to this and make their own seller page as trustworthy as possible. The seller name should look real, the about page and description should have full information, and in busy periods like Christmas the seller needs to be communicating often to manage customer expectations. Failing to do so will continue to reduce trust in sellers not offering Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) shipping, as that program ensures products exist and can be shipped.

To put this in perspective, in October we wrote on Why Amazon Buy Box Is Not the Lowest Price where one of the main reasons was that different sellers have different trust levels. Thus the buy box represents the most affordable and trustworthy option. Often the cheapest price on Amazon is offered by new sellers, which Amazon rightfully doesn’t trust to give them the buy box. All of our research on fraudulent sellers agrees with this, all of fraudulent sellers are only Amazon for a few weeks to “take the money and run”.

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Juozas Kaziuk─Śnas

Founder of Marketplace Pulse, Juozas wears multiple hats in the management of Marketplace Pulse, including writing most of the articles. Based in New York City. Advisor to other startups and entrepreneurs. Occasional speaker at conferences.

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