Is That Amazon Seller Legitimate?
Amazon is the number 1 online marketplace for a reason. For shoppers, the site makes it easy to get your necessities alongside novelties and treats, all conveniently delivered right to your door. For sellers, Amazon is a successful existing e-commerce site, so they merely list items to start turning a profit.
On both sides, Amazon is a valuable tool.
However, although Amazon does its best to vet sellers, that doesn’t mean scams are completely nonexistent. Because so much of Amazon’s stock is sold by third-party companies, it’s incredibly important that you make sure you can trust the sellers behind your items of interest. Make sure you take these things into account as you peruse Amazon listings.
What things should you keep in mind to verify if an Amazon seller is legitimate?
- The number and types of products they sell
- The quality of product images
- Amazon user reviews
The Number of Products
Most genuine third-party stores on Amazon only offer a select grouping of products. Amazon itself, of course, provides a huge variety, and physical retailers that you visit in person will provide hundreds or even thousands of products. However, Amazon third-party sellers are usually small or mid-size businesses that don’t bring in enough revenue to have their own e-commerce sites, and they usually specialize in a specific type of product.
One of the biggest red flags is if a company has literally thousands of products listed, especially if those products all have keyword-heavy titles, no reviews, and generic thumbnails. Check how new the seller is. See where the products are shipping from. Scammers sometimes pump out product listings in bulk in an attempt to get a massive amount of orders fast on items it’ll never deliver.
The Product Images
When you submit a product to Amazon for sale, you need at least one image. Most genuine sellers have multiple images. If you’re interested in buying a product, pay close attention to all these images. Scam products will still have pictures–and they may look genuine–but those images were likely pilfered from elsewhere.
If the company has a number of pictures for a single product that all look different or have different styles, reverse search a few images. You may find that it’s a picture stolen from another retailer’s listing.
Most people use reviews to an extent to decide whether they want to buy a product. Having other people tell you about the flaws in a product can make it easier to decide against buying it and experiencing those flaws for yourself, and the same holds true for positive reviews. However, the star rating of the reviews isn’t the only thing to look at.
Review faking is a problem on Amazon’s platform. And although the company does its best to take down false reviews as soon as possible, it still happens. Even if you see a product with hundreds of positive reviews, make sure you read those reviews in detail. If they’re all written in some type of pseudo-English, or they all came in within a two-day span, then it’s a good idea to be wary.
On the other hand, if the review comes from a verified Amazon buyer, you can feel more confident in its legitimacy.
Should I Rely upon Amazon’s Policy Guidelines?
Amazon has policy guidelines in place to fend off scammers as much as possible, but it still happens. Rather than relying upon Amazon, you should instead take things into your own hands. Use a site like PeopleFinders to make researching companies easier.
When you first find a new company on Amazon that’s unknown to you, search online to find more information about it. Try to find a phone number, CEO name, or address that the company has claimed.
Then, you can use PeopleFinders to try and see if it actually does own that information. Perform a people search on the CEO or company board members. Plug any phone numbers you find into the reverse phone lookup. Check the headquarters using the address lookup. Starting with those small pieces of information, PeopleFinders may be able to help you turn them into usable knowledge for your next Amazon purchase.
Millions of people use Amazon without running into any problems. Even products that don’t work very well can sometimes just be the product of lazy manufacturing rather than an intentional scam.
However, if you do run into a scammer, it can be difficult to get your money back. It also sets you back because you don’t have the item you ordered in the first place. Don’t blindly trust Amazon to control these factors. Take matters into your own hands, and use PeopleFinders to check out these companies on your own.
Image attribution: William W. Potter – stock.adobe.comTags: Amazon, Online Safety, Safety Tips, Shopping Online
Categorized in: News