People are scamming Amazon and how you can be affected


I knew people were scamming Amazon, but I haven’t been a victim myself.  However, a few readers got scammed lately when they were trying to buy a Skybell SOLD BY AMAZON.COM.  The video is self explanatory.  Kudos to my reader for He-Manning the box with his bare hands.  Watch the video and then come back.

Let’s recap – the reader bought a Skybell.  He received an item wrapped in a polythene bag with the UPC of the Skybell.  When he opened up the bag, it was a box for a 128GB Compact Flash card.  Then when he opened that up, it was a cheap camera lens cap.  Clearly not the Skybell he ordered.  Let me reiterate that this was SOLD BY AMAZON.COM and not an FBA listing.


What happened

There are 2 possible scenarios I can come up with:

  1. Someone bought the Skybell and then returned the fake item with the UPC of the Skybell.  Then when it was returned, the warehouse doesn’t know what the item should look like, so assumed the fake item was the actual item.  Then they re-sold the returned item.
  2. When Amazon is low on inventory, they will sometimes buy from an FBA person and ship it out as if it was from them.

The most likely scenario is #2.


What now

The reader can always complain to Amazon and get a refund, but what if the person really wanted the item and Amazon has no stock?  Then you’re sorta screwed here.  You may get some compensation out of it, but you still won’t have your Skybell.  I actually feel bad for Amazon cuz they are paying $$$ for a lens cap.  Hopefully this issue won’t get worse, but I have a feeling it will once scammers find a way to get by the warehouse systems.  This may also be why Amazon wants FBA sellers to start listing the weight of their products.  Of course a rock and a Google search will skirt around that hurdle.

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  • Ken

    I know exactly what’s happening. Let me try to explain this. Amazon [stupidly] allows comingling inventory when you use the UPC on the item as an identifier. The scammer sends in boxes and boxes of hundreds of these fake items with the correct UPC. AZ adds the fake items to the legit pool of items that it pulls from to fulfill its own orders. Basically AZ was trying to be cheap and have 3rd party sellers ship their “same” stock to different warehouses so AZ doesn’t have to pay to distribute their items closer to their buyers. AZ will pull from comingled stock from any seller to fill their orders.

    This could all be avoided if they no longer allowed comingling stock together, but for whatever reason they still allow it. It’s why I will never comingle my FBA items.

  • HanksTravel
    • Miles per Day

      That was the link in my first sentence. I’m shocked it took them that long to catch on.

      • HanksTravel

        Caught on by Gmen! Amazon had no clue. That’s what happens when it’s only a number to them and a rounding error

  • Carl Pietrantonio

    I never understood making a “unboxing” video, but now it makes a lot more sense. Being able to show from the get-go that you’ve been scammed is easier if you need to make a claim.

    Thanks for posting this one!

  • Mr. Jumpstart

    A few years ago, the Sphero BB-8 was the hot new toy. I managed to buy 5, and listed them for sale with FBA. Amazon sold them directly for 150$. All the FBA sellers list them higher, and hope for sales once they are out of stock from Amazon. In my inventory, the BB-8 kept switching back and forth out of availability. Amazon kept losing them and then finding them. It seemed like when they ran out of stock, they would steal mine claiming they “lost” it and then mysteriously replace or “find” it later when the demand was down. It was really frustrating watching them selling at $200+ while mine were “lost”.

    • Miles per Day

      That’s messed up. Speaking of BB8s, I still have 5 in my house. Ugh.

      • Mr. Jumpstart

        LOL. I never have actually gotten to play with one. They looked really cool.

      • Dev

        I still have 1 😕

    • Adam Suhy

      I saw the same thing with airpods last fall.