PSA: Caution: Check Amazon Twice

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
40,092
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
This is why I always check the Ships From and Sold From on Amazon and decide if I want to do business with them.

From...


Last night, I searched for a specific item on Amazon. There were several sellers for the item, and the listing with the lowest price was at the top. I was about to purchase the one with the lowest price when I noticed that it was not being shipped from the manufacturer or from a highly rated seller; both the “ships from” and the “sold by” transaction information were all in Chinese characters. For this particular item, that didn’t make sense.

Upon deeper examination, I found that this seller had hijacked the listing and was saying that they had the exact item I wanted to purchase in stock. I won’t reveal the item I was looking for, but I will tell you it comes from one specific manufacturer and they only distribute directly or through Amazon.

Why does this matter? I contacted the manufacturer via email and learned that the listing was indeed hijacked and that the seller could not possibly ship the real item. As it turns out, this unauthorized seller had hijacked hundreds of listings and undercut prices on hundreds of items to get their false listings to the top of Amazon’s search results. I learned that this problem is rampant, especially this time of year, and that Amazon will not remove the “fake” listings unless the seller of the item has a registered trademark that has been filed with Amazon.

This morning, I did some additional searching for the same item. I found a company in India that says they also have the item. The catch here is slightly different; they manufacture a competitive product, and the product they are selling is guaranteed to be counterfeit. (I will confirm that it is counterfeit when it arrives, but there is no way it can be the actual product; again, it is only sold by the real manufacturer directly or through Amazon.)

I just got off the phone with a representative from Amazon who confirmed that Amazon will not take down the counterfeiter because the original seller only has a “common use” trademark (which Amazon no longer honors). Amazon will only honor a registered trademark (which is not how the trademark law works, but Amazon doesn’t care).

Importantly, these were not different listings; they were the exact same product numbers. That’s why you must check your Amazon listings twice. Look at both the “ships from” and the “sold by” fields before you make your purchase to ensure you are buying directly from Amazon or from an authorized dealer. Otherwise, who knows what you will get when your banana box arrives.


1669057652763.png
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
1,482
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for the reminder. I generally check both ships from/sold by fields and at least one has to be Amazon. Unless it is something I am happy to gamble with a counterfeit item on. But generally I like the stuff I buy to work, so I don't.

--Jeff
 

Mdragger88

0
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 1, 2018
7,314
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I try to be careful with this too- mainly for the sake of return simplicity. Also gotta check walmart too since it’s a marketplace now. Some third party sellers allow you to return the item to a Walmart store so if I go with one I make sure that’s an option.
Neither Amazon nor Walmart make it easy to filter out other retailers for less headache - you have to dig & find that every time you search a new product.
I wish it worked like the new content page on here where you set your default & you’re good to go so long as you don’t log out.
 

stevo777

Bronze Supporter
Mar 25, 2021
108
St George, UT
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
This isn’t only an Amazon or Walmart issue … shady vendors game the system to appear at the top of google search listings. Although we know better, recently we purchased tickets to a local event from a website that looked like the real thing, from what turned out to be a reseller, at nearly 3x face value. To an event which still had good tickets available at the venue on the day of the event.

Felt pretty dumb after that, an expensive lesson learned. There’s no shortage of scum ready to scam you.
 

Saturn94

0
Bronze Supporter
Mar 11, 2015
1,514
SE Virginia
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
This isn’t only an Amazon or Walmart issue … shady vendors game the system to appear at the top of google search listings. Although we know better, recently we purchased tickets to a local event from a website that looked like the real thing, from what turned out to be a reseller, at nearly 3x face value. To an event which still had good tickets available at the venue on the day of the event.

Felt pretty dumb after that, an expensive lesson learned. There’s no shortage of scum ready to scam you.

+1!

I had the same experience a few years ago. Fortunately, the tickets were legit and we really enjoyed the show.

The same show is returning next spring and we want to see it again. This time I went in person to the venue’s box office and bought tickets (at a MUCH lower price).
 
Last edited:

jseyfert3

0
Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,974
Southern WI
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
For a number of reasons, I effectively don't shop at Amazon anymore. The primary reason initially was just terrible service. Back in 2009ish when I started out on my own, the free shipping over $25 almost always arrived in just 2-3 days. Eventually that pushed out to a week or more, and I figured they were doing it on purpose to shove their Prime service. Eventually I noticed this started coming back down, perhaps too many people were getting annoyed with slow free shipping. Plus tons of competitors popped up. For example, Home Depot has really great online shipping now. I needed 12" wide furnace filters, which NONE of the big stores (including Home Depot) stocked. I could have shopped on Amazon. But I needed that $25 minimum or pay shipping, and didn't need anything else. I checked Home Depot online. I found a 3-pack of filters for $13. I could ship that to my house with FREE shipping (Home Depot doesn't seem to have a minimum order for free shipping). Ordered on Tuesday, it arrived on Friday.

In general, I've been much happier finding small websites to order things I want, over Amazon. Despite paying actual shipping most of the time, the prices are often cheaper (because prices are just adjusted to offset "free" shipping), so if you order more than 1 thing it's usually cheaper overall. Almost anytime I saw something for sale on Amazon sold by X company, I just went straight to X company's website and chances are I could get it cheaper (always if ordering more than 1-2 of the item), usually always faster than the free shipping on Amazon, and it supports the (usually small) company more as Amazon doesn't take a large cut. It's a win/win.

Also, "back in the day" (2009ish) Amazon was great for finding off-brand items of good quality at much lower prices than brand names. Then the market got flooded with people buying bulk cheap items from Alibaba and selling them under some random name, and the quality of off-brand things went down the toilet. Last year looking for telescoping pressure washer poles, and not being happy with any of the results, I realized that I could buy a Ryobi brand telescoping pole from Home Depot for the same price, or cheaper, than these no-name brand telescoping poles on Amazon, PLUS I'd have Ryobi's three year warranty, vs no warranty for the off-brand Amazon product, besides Amazon's 30 or 90 day return policy. And I was already very happy with my Ryobi 40 volt outdoor lawn tools (5 year warranty on tools plus 3 years on batteries) and my 18 volt Ryobi power tools (3 year warranty). So I knew I'd be happy with it. And here I though I'd "never" be brand name loyal. :LOL:

Later on, my motivation for avoiding Amazon was driven more in regards to their poor worker treatment.

So all in all, I now avoid Amazon, and I'm almost completely happy with that and better off for it to boot.
 

Mdragger88

0
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 1, 2018
7,314
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
For a number of reasons, I effectively don't shop at Amazon anymore. The primary reason initially was just terrible service. Back in 2009ish when I started out on my own, the free shipping over $25 almost always arrived in just 2-3 days. Eventually that pushed out to a week or more, and I figured they were doing it on purpose to shove their Prime service. Eventually I noticed this started coming back down, perhaps too many people were getting annoyed with slow free shipping. Plus tons of competitors popped up. For example, Home Depot has really great online shipping now. I needed 12" wide furnace filters, which NONE of the big stores (including Home Depot) stocked. I could have shopped on Amazon. But I needed that $25 minimum or pay shipping, and didn't need anything else. I checked Home Depot online. I found a 3-pack of filters for $13. I could ship that to my house with FREE shipping (Home Depot doesn't seem to have a minimum order for free shipping). Ordered on Tuesday, it arrived on Friday.

In general, I've been much happier finding small websites to order things I want, over Amazon. Despite paying actual shipping most of the time, the prices are often cheaper (because prices are just adjusted to offset "free" shipping), so if you order more than 1 thing it's usually cheaper overall. Almost anytime I saw something for sale on Amazon sold by X company, I just went straight to X company's website and chances are I could get it cheaper (always if ordering more than 1-2 of the item), usually always faster than the free shipping on Amazon, and it supports the (usually small) company more as Amazon doesn't take a large cut. It's a win/win.

Also, "back in the day" (2009ish) Amazon was great for finding off-brand items of good quality at much lower prices than brand names. Then the market got flooded with people buying bulk cheap items from Alibaba and selling them under some random name, and the quality of off-brand things went down the toilet. Last year looking for telescoping pressure washer poles, and not being happy with any of the results, I realized that I could buy a Ryobi brand telescoping pole from Home Depot for the same price, or cheaper, than these no-name brand telescoping poles on Amazon, PLUS I'd have Ryobi's three year warranty, vs no warranty for the off-brand Amazon product, besides Amazon's 30 or 90 day return policy. And I was already very happy with my Ryobi 40 volt outdoor lawn tools (5 year warranty on tools plus 3 years on batteries) and my 18 volt Ryobi power tools (3 year warranty). So I knew I'd be happy with it. And here I though I'd "never" be brand name loyal. :LOL:

Later on, my motivation for avoiding Amazon was driven more in regards to their poor worker treatment.

So all in all, I now avoid Amazon, and I'm almost completely happy with that and better off for it to boot.
I do the same with ebay, etsy, Amazon & walmart when it comes to 3rd party sellers for niche items like 4wheeler, gocart, & pool/spa parts for example. The checking for their own website thing to verify they’re legit or a better deal while supporting a small business. I have found alot recently though that things are often a little cheaper overall on the big 4 sites when shipping is included & returns are simpler likely due to the fact that sellers are able to take advantage discounted shipping rates when using those platforms. I have been perusing custom seat covers for a 1996 toyota truck as of late, there’s literally only like 1 company that makes them - on their website they state they don’t ship outside of California so I have to use one of the other platforms if I want to purchase. As a seller, I know this is the case for ebay.
We sure do live in an amazing time with so many options at our fingertips but definitely gotta be vigilant! Thankfully most all the payment forms used for purchases online these days have some form of fraud protection so if you’re scammed you can generally eventually be made whole again but it can be a pain to deal with for sure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jseyfert3

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread