Beware Fake Products on, Third-Party Sellers Under Microscope

So far, Amazon has managed to stay away from most controversial matters in regards to the quality of the products it sells. However, ever since third-party sellers were accepted into Amazon’s retail model, there have been problems.

Of course, any product you buy from can still be returned as part of Amazon’s return policy; nonetheless, a recently publicized incident throws up doubts about non-Amazon products.

The incident in question happened to a writer from How-to-Geek, and goes something like this:


This is actually a very common problem with marketplace retail sites such as Alibaba or even for that matter. Because marketplaces are open to third-party sellers, practically anyone can sell what they claim to be “original, authentic and genuine” products.

The writer of the above story was clearly duped by MarsKing and therefore left a negative review. On its part, Amazon does penalize sellers for receiving poor reviews. Their review rating is considered sacred because millions of people depend on them for their purchase decisions. Such an incident – a highly publicized one at that – can seriously damage’s credibility as a site for authentic branded products.

It is extremely difficult to deal with fake products in a marketplace site because of the sheer volume of products that are bought and sold each day. The bulk of Amazon’s products are bought by the company, inspected and only then shipped to the customer. Third-party products are also subject to physical inspection but in this case, it was pirated software that was the culprit. That’s probably why Amazon missed it even though they were the ones who shipped the product to the customer. However, they do take the responsibility for the quality of the product no matter who sells it on their site.

In this case the customer was offered compensation in the form of a new PC with original licensed Windows software but didn’t take it up. What about customers who don’t have the luxury of publicly exposing their poor experience?

This is a bad precedent for Amazon, especially because of the massive popularity of Amazon Prime. With 54 members in the United States alone, this is exactly the kind of incident Amazon can do without.

So remember, when you purchase something from Amazon, don’t just read the product description but also check the product rating and the seller rating. The second rating is extremely important because it tells you what kind of reputation the seller has on Amazon. if they’re good and they’ve been on for a while, it will show in their seller rating.

You may get a full refund if your product is fake or has pirated software as in the case above, but it’s definitely an experience you’d prefer not going through – especially if you’re buying a gift for someone and it’s being shipped directly to them.

I hope this article encourages you be more aware when you shop online.

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