There is a big scam happening on Amazon that most people are not aware of. It’s especially bad if you dropship from Amazon to eBay. I promise you that once you see this scam you’ll be just as mad about it as I was. More importantly, you can avoid it!
The $9.99 Five-Star Headphones
This all began when I was in the market for a pair of earbuds for my iPhone. I wanted a wired set that didn’t use Bluetooth. So, naturally, I went to the same place I go to buy everything – Amazon.
Whenever I shop on Amazon I always look at two things: the price and the reviews. Sadly, the search results were full of earbuds that were either more than I wanted to pay or that had terrible reviews:
But then it felt like I struck gold! I found a set of earbuds that was a good price and had great reviews. Check it out:
I was moments away from adding the item to my cart when I scrolled down to look at the reviews. And this is what I saw:
Let me sum up the review for you: “This microwave-safe glass lid cracked”.
Wait…what? A microwave-safe glass lid? I thought this was a listing for earbuds?
How The Scam Works
What I discovered is that this is a listing for earbuds but it used to be a listing for microwave-safe glass lids. This is how it works:
Seller A is selling Product A. Product A sells really well and gets lots of great reviews. Then Seller A goes out of business or runs out of inventory. Now the listings on Amazon for Product A just sits there unused.
Seller B comes along with Product B. He sees the listing for Product A and changes it. He gives it a new title, description, and photo so it’s for Product B. Now Seller B gets to use all the great feedback from Product A.
Pretty smart right? Smart for Seller B, but still a scam!
The Problem For Dropshippers
I think you know where I’m going here. If you’re dropshipping from Amazon to eBay, this scam could be a big problem for you. What if you had listed Product A for sale on eBay and then that Amazon listing was hijacked and turned into Product B? Now you sell Product A on eBay but it’s connected with Product B, which was supposed to be Product A so you buy Product B thinking it’s Product A…
How To Protect Yourself
This is why it’s always important to check your items before you fulfill your orders. During checkout, make sure that the item you are ordering is the same item the customer ordered from you. This takes one second!
If that’s too much work for you then consider this: I’ve been dropshipping for years and this has never happened to me. I’ve never had an item listed on eBay from Amazon that suddenly changed to an entirely different product.
So chances are, this won’t be an issue for you. But, just in case, I would still make sure you are ordering the correct item when you fulfill your orders.
Of course, if you’re buying something for yourself (like I was with the earbuds), always make sure to glance at the actual reviews at the bottom. Don’t fall for this easy scam.
What To Do If You Find A Scam Listing
In a recent BuzzFeed article that highlighted this problem, Amazon told BuzzFeed that this practice is not allowed on their platform. In fact, if you find a listing like this you can report it to Amazon and they will take action against it.
That’s great news. But I still don’t have a pair of iPhone earbuds with five stars… 🙁