Uncovering Fake and Fraudulent Amazon Marketplace Sellers

In August we started paying attention to the fraudulent sellers issue when we noticed that there is a growing amount of scamming activity on Amazon. Sellers would join the marketplace, promise great pricing for popular products, but fail to ship any of them. However by noting a 2-4 week shipping time they are often able to deposit their earnings from Amazon before they get suspended, and by the time customers start to wonder.

Due to the way Amazon is designed, many customers are unaware of the possible risks when buying from unproven sellers. Once they realize their products are not coming, often there is a long wait before their money is refunded. Resulting in a bad experience, negatively affecting other sellers and the marketplace as a whole.

There is also a growing amount of sellers who are able to convince customers to handle the transaction off-Amazon. By having an email address in the seller name like “®NEWWarranty® Before you make the order, please contact me at »emily.ni****@gmail.com” they ask potential buyers to email them first, and then try to execute a convincing trick to get them to pay directly. Which Amazon cannot help with once it happened, since the whole interaction happened outside.

The reviews are always the same:

“The seller never shipped! DON’T buy from them. Not only they failed to shipped I ended up loosing the Black Friday discounts. Now I’ll have to pay 80 pounds more for the same item!”

“Said it was in stock so ordered for xmas,,, got a dispatch notification then a week or so later past the delivery date i get an e-mail from amazon saying they are re-crediting my card as the order has not been dispatched.... not acceptable”

“My order was cancelled - this was a Xmas present for someone. I now have to go and purchase an alternative. Not happy!”

“Crap didn’t arrive Carnot believe amazon can run this way very very disappointing”

“Item didn’t arrive, now with Amazon to resolve.”

There are thousands of new sellers joining Amazon every day, some of them continuing to replay the same tactic. Amazon has already started working heavily to address the counterfeit products issue, we believe fraudulent sellers is going to become priority number two as it is such a toxic behavior to have on the platform.

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Juozas Kaziukėnas

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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