Amazon and other big online "marketplaces" are becoming a haven for fraudsters and counterfeiters

Feb 2011
17,158
6,149
Boise, ID
Amazon Wants Brands to Fight Fake Products Themselves
EVEN AMAZON’S OWN PRODUCTS ARE GETTING HIJACKED BY IMPOSTER SELLERS

Lately I have been deciding to buy more and more retail items at reputable brick and mortar retailers because of the seeming increasing prevalence of reviews on Amazon from people who get scammed, received fake products, etc. Fake micro-SD cards. Pre-owned or "refurbished" laptops sold as "new." Sellers flooding their own reviews with fake 5-star reviews. This is probably the biggest and most frustrating downside to these sprawling online marketplaces.

And it's not just Amazon. Another one is app stores. The number of games and other apps in these places that are free but have "in-app purchases" has utterly exploded, and some of the most popular app developers are getting extremely rich. But one of the ways they're doing it is creating endless money pits where people have to empty their bank accounts to keep using them. Not all of it is even illegal. Games kids like to play are designed to get them to spend unlimited amounts of their parents' money. It's like giving your kid your credit card in an arcade, only considerably worse and more sinister. It's gotten to the point where you can't really trust the legitimacy or good faith of the sellers from whom you're purchasing in these marketplaces.

App Store scammers are using Touch ID tricks to steal money
How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store

Going back to just the Amazon thing for a second, there are ways to get good at avoiding fakes, but before long, all of the inconvenience of going to a local retailer is surpassed by the inconvenience of having to investigate each every item you're contemplating buying online.

I've long assumed e-commerce would eventually just push brick and mortar retail to extinction, but things like this make me wonder. I wonder if pervasive distrust could become the Achilles heel of these "marketplace" behemoths.
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
78,773
48,925
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
[T]here are ways to get good at avoiding fakes, but before long, all of the inconvenience of going to a local retailer is surpassed by the inconvenience of having to investigate each every item you're contemplating buying online.
I do not know about that ... I hate fighting traffic to get to a store where I end up disliking the product anyway, then have to go to another store. However, many (most?) retailers have their own online sales, so it is not necessary to go through Amazon for everything.
 
Feb 2011
17,158
6,149
Boise, ID
I do not know about that ... I hate fighting traffic to get to a store where I end up disliking the product anyway, then have to go to another store. However, many (most?) retailers have their own online sales, so it is not necessary to go through Amazon for everything.
Fair point, and a lot of these retailers would be elated it if more people would shop on their websites instead of Amazon. I may start giving them more of a chance, because I have a very adverse reaction to unmitigated scams and fraud. The evidence that Amazon is trying to dodge a sense of responsibility about it is a real turn off for me.
 

HayJenn

Former Staff
Jul 2014
72,771
64,204
CA
Amazon Wants Brands to Fight Fake Products Themselves
EVEN AMAZON’S OWN PRODUCTS ARE GETTING HIJACKED BY IMPOSTER SELLERS

Lately I have been deciding to buy more and more retail items at reputable brick and mortar retailers because of the seeming increasing prevalence of reviews on Amazon from people who get scammed, received fake products, etc. Fake micro-SD cards. Pre-owned or "refurbished" laptops sold as "new." Sellers flooding their own reviews with fake 5-star reviews. This is probably the biggest and most frustrating downside to these sprawling online marketplaces.

And it's not just Amazon. Another one is app stores. The number of games and other apps in these places that are free but have "in-app purchases" has utterly exploded, and some of the most popular app developers are getting extremely rich. But one of the ways they're doing it is creating endless money pits where people have to empty their bank accounts to keep using them. Not all of it is even illegal. Games kids like to play are designed to get them to spend unlimited amounts of their parents' money. It's like giving your kid your credit card in an arcade, only considerably worse and more sinister. It's gotten to the point where you can't really trust the legitimacy or good faith of the sellers from whom you're purchasing in these marketplaces.

App Store scammers are using Touch ID tricks to steal money
How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store

Going back to just the Amazon thing for a second, there are ways to get good at avoiding fakes, but before long, all of the inconvenience of going to a local retailer is surpassed by the inconvenience of having to investigate each every item you're contemplating buying online.

I've long assumed e-commerce would eventually just push brick and mortar retail to extinction, but things like this make me wonder. I wonder if pervasive distrust could become the Achilles heel of these "marketplace" behemoths.

Same here.

Unless its something I have bought before and a name brand I trust, I ALWAYS run the Amazon reviews through here


Fakespot | Analyze and identify fake reviews and counterfeits

At one point, one company sent me free stuff for my "reviews". I was pretty honest in my reviews and they stopped sending me "free stuff". :)

We were looking a buying fire pit. I had to go through 10 of the them before I found "legit" reviews.

I still do try to frequent as many other brick and mortar stores as I can. I like to see most things before I buy it. Guess I'm old fashion that way!
 
Mar 2010
21,167
14,577
Indiana
The thing that kills me is I can't get a lot of things locally because the local brick and mortar stores don't carry it, but "we can order it for you." Well for crying out loud I can do that too and probably cheaper! And they are not esoteric things. Possibly don't sell very often but still fairly common things.

That said I rarely use Amazon. I'm more of an Ebay guy. And the rating system for the sellers on Ebay is very effective. Sellers are paranoid about getting bad comments.

Additionally on Ebay you have to be a verified buyer of a product to post a review on that product. Not sure about Amazon.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2014
40,588
11,065
midwest
Online shopping is great.

Actually ordering online...not so much.

Research your sthuff online, then go buy in person is normally the best policy...
 
Mar 2012
60,128
41,546
New Hampshire
The thing that kills me is I can't get a lot of things locally because the local brick and mortar stores don't carry it, but "we can order it for you." Well for crying out loud I can do that too and probably cheaper! And they are not esoteric things. Possibly don't sell very often but still fairly common things.

That said I rarely use Amazon. I'm more of an Ebay guy. And the rating system for the sellers on Ebay is very effective. Sellers are paranoid about getting bad comments.

Additionally on Ebay you have to be a verified buyer of a product to post a review on that product. Not sure about Amazon.
I actually have found Amazons prices to be quite high anymore. They get you with the free shipping part. But I find myself googling a product and often getting better pricing elsewhere. Costco has a lot of stuff online they dont in stores and their returns are wonderful and easy. A lot of things I get from Amazon are either opened, used or expired.
 
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Mar 2012
60,128
41,546
New Hampshire
lol what fake counterfeit shit are you people buying?
Bad stuff I think. lol I once ordered a coffee maker on Amazon and it came with pieces missing. So I ordered another. It too came with pieces missing. I told them about it and they rushed me another one. That one came opened and looked used. I returned them and got a refund and ordered it from Williams Sonoma. It was ridiculous.
 
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Rev. Hellh0und

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Bad stuff I think. lol I once ordered a coffee maker on Amazon and it came with pieces missing. So I ordered another. It too came with pieces missing. I told them about it and they rushed me another one. That one came opened and looked used. I returned them and got a refund and ordered it from Williams Sonoma. It was ridiculous.

Was it sold by amazon or a third party reseller on amazon?