Amazon Loopholes: Slipping Through The Cracks

Amazon continues to face criticism for how it handles advertising and the sale of counterfeit goods across its marketplace. Beginning September 1, 2020, it will require sellers and individuals in the U.S. to display their business name and address on their Seller Profile page.

The company has required Seller Profile pages across Amazon stores in Europe, Japan, and Mexico for some time.

In June, Amazon announced a Counterfeit Crimes Unit dedicated to find and prosecute counterfeiters who violate the law. The team consists of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts.

This latest measure will require sellers to become more accountable for the items sold and advertisements run.

Sellers also can add additional information about their business and products to help consumers make the correct choices, but should stop short of including an email address to prevent spam and abuse, Amazon wrote in the update.



Amazon remains at the top of eMarketer’s list for share of U.S. ecommerce, with 38% of sales share, followed by Walmart with 5.8% and eBay with 4.5%. On Friday the analyst firm released data on time spent in mobile apps, which continues to help Amazon’s cause.

eMarketer estimates U.S. adults will spend on average more than four hours on the mobile internet, with 88% of that time in apps.

Counterfeit goods is only one of many problems Amazon will need to solve this year. u/FollowThaWhiteRabbit describes another loophole Amazon must fix in a post on Reddit.

“Another Amazon seller has figured out a dirty tactic that allows them to leach off one of backpacking product listings that has a 5 star average rating with 200+ reviews,” the seller wrote. “Now, all of our reviews are showing up on their totally unrelated "knee brace" listing and all of their reviews are showing up on our listing. This raises their 12 reviews with a 3.5 star average to our 5 star average.”

The reviews are "’fused’ or intertwined with theirs,” the seller wrote, after contacting Amazon many times mostly without any success. One associate fixed the issue for a day, citing the problem as "incorrect relationship with a different variation."

Within hours the scammers managed to get the sellers reviews fused again with theirs. This tactic hurts u/FollowThaWhiteRabbit’s listing and gives a huge, undeserved boost to a 3.5-star product rating, misguiding customers into thinking they are buying a 5-star product. 

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