Caveat Emptor at Amazon

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Feb 21, 2018
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#21
[QUOTE="technomage1, post: 94123, member: 734" These storefronts are actually just shell sites. The seller doesn’t have stock.

[/QUOTE]

Many of the listings I see on Amazon will tell you "shipped by Prime Pantry" or "shipped by XXXXX"...they also may say "potentially available for a lower price from other sellers" with links to those sellers.

What did the listings indicate that you purchased from?
 
Likes: jsmithw

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#22
I have no idea what amazons policy is. But I do believe the buyer should be aware the item is not coming from the seller but a third party. And jacking up the price that much is just plain shady. Why shouldn’t other people be made aware this is the case, in a review, even if it’s not forbidden by policy?

If they objected to me naming walmart, they could’ve asked me to edit that out in the review. I’d have been happy to do so. But to remove it altogether takes down negative feedback and the warning to others.

I will say Walmart has come light years in its online presence in the last year or so. They used to, frankly, suck. Now their store and policies and really quite good. I never would’ve realized until I researched this issue. Amazon’s definitely losing some trade from me in future, not out of spite, but because I’ll be checking Walmart first for these items now vs. them and seeing who has the better deal.
I’m thinking that feedback mainly is for the Buyer to rate the product, not who shipped it.
They want you to know if Buyers liked or disliked the product.
I really can’t imagine why amazon took down your review, unless it was because they see no real reason for you to care how it was shipped to you. They want t to know, if it is a good product.
eBay asks Buyers to rate the Seller on item description and shipping time only; method of shipping or who or where it came from doesn’t seem to matter.
If drop shipping is against the rules it is hard to understand why they didn’t enforced it. Since drop shopping is a valid business model, I really don’t unterstand the objection.
As an astute consumer it is absolutely in your best interest to buy from the vendor who suits your needs the best. That is always my goal. Sometimes I mess up and find out later I could have done better, but that’s one me.
 

Neil Maley

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#23
Technomage1 it sounds like the seller violated the dropshipping policy:

Examples of drop shipping that is not permitted:
  • Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers; or
  • Shipping orders with packing slips, invoices, or other information indicating a seller name or contact information other than your own.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the suspension or removal of your selling privileges.
Have you tried reporting it that way?
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#24
Technomage1 it sounds like the seller violated the dropshipping policy:

Examples of drop shipping that is not permitted:
  • Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers; or
  • Shipping orders with packing slips, invoices, or other information indicating a seller name or contact information other than your own.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the suspension or removal of your selling privileges.
Good to know. I actually sent the first contact on the company contacts a short, polite email explaining the situation to Amazon and asking that if it was okay for the seller to do this, why feedback explaining this was removed, and asking my feedback be restored. That was before you posted, otherwise I would have referenced it, too.

I’ll give it a week then move on if I don’t hear anything to the next contact.

I wouldve been surprised if amazon was okay with being a storefront for arguably their biggest competitor, which is what essentially is going on.

To answer others, no, there was no indication of lower prices elsewhere (that only works for amazon to amazon prices anyway), or that the item was shipped from a third party anywhere in the listing.

I’ll let everyone know if I get an answer.
 
Likes: jsn55

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
2,018
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#25
I’m thinking that feedback mainly is for the Buyer to rate the product, not who shipped it.
They want you to know if Buyers liked or disliked the product.
I really can’t imagine why amazon took down your review, unless it was because they see no real reason for you to care how it was shipped to you. They want t to know, if it is a good product.
eBay asks Buyers to rate the Seller on item description and shipping time only; method of shipping or who or where it came from doesn’t seem to matter.
If drop shipping is against the rules it is hard to understand why they didn’t enforced it. Since drop shopping is a valid business model, I really don’t unterstand the objection.
As an astute consumer it is absolutely in your best interest to buy from the vendor who suits your needs the best. That is always my goal. Sometimes I mess up and find out later I could have done better, but that’s one me.
There are two types of feedback, feedback for the product and feedback on the seller. I left feedback on the seller. It should’ve been kosher. As Christina noted, dropshipping violates their policy. Even if it didn’t, why would feedback mentioning that be removed? If it’s kosher to drop ship, it should be kosher to mention it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#26
The vendor offered to ship you a product at a certain price. They did exactly that. There is no manipulation or dishonesty going on here.

It's extremely common for retailers to not stock the item they are selling and to have it drop-shipped from a manufacturer or distributor. Even Amazon does it for many items.
Ah, we live in such interesting times! Long live the capitalistic society. I don't know much about Amazon or WalMart, but it looks to me that someone has figured out how to charge you a dollar for an item they can get WalMart to ship to you for fifty cents. I suspect that Amazon is investigating, so they don't want to rock the boat with reviews of the so-called seller.
 
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Likes: technomage1
Mar 14, 2018
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#28
Ah, we live in such interesting times! Long live the capitalistic society. I don't know much about Amazon or WalMart, but it looks to me that someone has figured out how to charge you a dollar for an item they can get WalMart to ship to you for fifty cents. I suspect that Amazon is investigating, so they don't want to rock the boat with reviews of the so-called seller.
Realistically, there's not much consumer harm here, as you get the product for the advertised price.

But the seller would need a pretty big markup to get any profit after paying Amazon's seller fees. So often this is done as part of a money laundering scheme with gift cards: (1) Have people send you Walmart gift cards as part of some illegal scheme; (2) Sell products on Amazon and fulfill them from Walmart using your gift cards; (3) After paying Amazon fees, you have "clean" cash from Amazon that's 80-90% of the gift card value. This is probably why Amazon is trying to block the practice.
 
Likes: brillohead

brillohead

Verified Member
Sep 21, 2018
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#29
I wouldve been surprised if amazon was okay with being a storefront for arguably their biggest competitor, which is what essentially is going on.
I don't understand your complaint.

First of all, you agreed to purchase two items for a certain price, and you received those items for that price. You didn't get "taken" other than the fact that you did absolutely no due diligence for pricing the items. That's on YOU, not on Amazon or the third party seller.

Secondly, Amazon made money on selling a product that they didn't have to put up capital up-front to purchase, plus pay people to warehouse it, plus pay for the warehouse, plus pay people to pick the order, package it, and ship it. They made money off the fees to list the item and fees to facilitate the purchase. They spent a twentieth of a cent to pay for the IT to handle the process, and the rest is simply pure profit for them. That's a GREAT business model!

If you want to get bent out of shape because you didn't price-shop, you should at least get bent out of shape at yourself, not at the website and not at the reseller.
 
Likes: LDVinVA
Sep 19, 2015
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#30
I don't understand your complaint.

First of all, you agreed to purchase two items for a certain price, and you received those items for that price. You didn't get "taken" other than the fact that you did absolutely no due diligence for pricing the items. That's on YOU, not on Amazon or the third party seller.

Secondly, Amazon made money on selling a product that they didn't have to put up capital up-front to purchase, plus pay people to warehouse it, plus pay for the warehouse, plus pay people to pick the order, package it, and ship it. They made money off the fees to list the item and fees to facilitate the purchase. They spent a twentieth of a cent to pay for the IT to handle the process, and the rest is simply pure profit for them. That's a GREAT business model!

If you want to get bent out of shape because you didn't price-shop, you should at least get bent out of shape at yourself, not at the website and not at the reseller.
Amazon forbids a seller to do what was done to Technomage—


Examples of drop shipping that is not permitted:
  • Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers; or
  • Shipping orders with packing slips, invoices, or other information indicating a seller name or contact information other than your own.
Apparently Amazon does not agree that this is a great business model. Why? Because when one sees the box directly coming from Wal-Mart the person stops shopping on Amazon and goes to Wal-Mart.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#31
I don't believe that WalMart is considered a distributor or manufacturer, we're getting tangled up in semantics.
This is true. Walmart is a middleman, just like the Seller on Amazon, who is now somewhere left or right of the middle. LOL.
In any case, what diff does it make if it came from the amazon warehouse or the Walmart warehouse.
Wanting the Seller topay to have the item shipped (from Walmart) to them and stored on their shelf and then repacked and shipped to ultimate consumer is one of the most UN-GREEN things that could happen. And a huge waste of postage.
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#32
I don't understand your complaint.

First of all, you agreed to purchase two items for a certain price, and you received those items for that price. You didn't get "taken" other than the fact that you did absolutely no due diligence for pricing the items. That's on YOU, not on Amazon or the third party seller.

Secondly, Amazon made money on selling a product that they didn't have to put up capital up-front to purchase, plus pay people to warehouse it, plus pay for the warehouse, plus pay people to pick the order, package it, and ship it. They made money off the fees to list the item and fees to facilitate the purchase. They spent a twentieth of a cent to pay for the IT to handle the process, and the rest is simply pure profit for them. That's a GREAT business model!

If you want to get bent out of shape because you didn't price-shop, you should at least get bent out of shape at yourself, not at the website and not at the reseller.
You do understand that I asked for nothing but my seller feedback warning others to be restored, right? I chalked the rest up to caveat emptor. If it’s kosher to do (and it’s not according to what chistina found out) then the feedback should’ve remained.
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
2,018
3,432
113
#33
Amazon forbids a seller to do what was done to Technomage—


Examples of drop shipping that is not permitted:
  • Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers; or
  • Shipping orders with packing slips, invoices, or other information indicating a seller name or contact information other than your own.
Apparently Amazon does not agree that this is a great business model. Why? Because when one sees the box directly coming from Wal-Mart the person stops shopping on Amazon and goes to Wal-Mart.
That’s the lesson I learned.
 
Likes: Christina H

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#34
This is true. Walmart is a middleman, just like the Seller on Amazon, who is now somewhere left or right of the middle. LOL.
In any case, what diff does it make if it came from the amazon warehouse or the Walmart warehouse.
Wanting the Seller topay to have the item shipped (from Walmart) to them and stored on their shelf and then repacked and shipped to ultimate consumer is one of the most UN-GREEN things that could happen. And a huge waste of postage.
If it is against Amazons policy, it’s a problem. I hope that if Tech goes up to the executive level with this, perhaps she e can stop the seller.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
903
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#35
You do understand that I asked for nothing but my seller feedback warning others to be restored, right? I chalked the rest up to caveat emptor. If it’s kosher to do (and it’s not according to what chistina found out) then the feedback should’ve remained.
I think you are proceeding correctly with your questions as to how this seller’s business model is even allowed considering the drop shop rules.
If they uphold those rules, you would think that they would have to disallow this seller’s practices, most likely by removing the seller’s account.
I still think though, that they can feel like your review issue is extraneous, as they don’t ‘absolutely’ disallow drop shipping.
 
Apr 23, 2018
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#37
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the free browser add-ins available to make "caveating" a little easier for the emptor." I like Invisible Hand, but there are others. I researched several of them before choosing Invisible Hand. When i click on an item on, say, Amazon, an unobtrusive box pops up telling me either I've found the best price, or else there are better prices available. You can expand the box to see all the different vendors offering the product and their prices, as well as whether shipping is included or extra, allowing apples-to-apples comparison. If you prefer a different vendor, clicking on it will take you to that vendor's product so you can review and purchase if you wish. I have encountered no advertisements or other pop-ups.

These add-ins are only as effective as the population of vendors in their system; I can only say I have been happy with the one I use. I chose it based on the amount of coverage they offered.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#38
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the free browser add-ins available to make "caveating" a little easier for the emptor." I like Invisible Hand, but there are others. I researched several of them before choosing Invisible Hand. When i click on an item on, say, Amazon, an unobtrusive box pops up telling me either I've found the best price, or else there are better prices available. You can expand the box to see all the different vendors offering the product and their prices, as well as whether shipping is included or extra, allowing apples-to-apples comparison. If you prefer a different vendor, clicking on it will take you to that vendor's product so you can review and purchase if you wish. I have encountered no advertisements or other pop-ups.

These add-ins are only as effective as the population of vendors in their system; I can only say I have been happy with the one I use. I chose it based on the amount of coverage they offered.
I’be never heard of this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
2,018
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#40
Update 2: No answer, and I’m not the only one who is upset about this. Someone else has a review up on the same thing. The only other person on the list is Jeff Bezos. I’ll pass on emailing him, it’s obvious Amazon is okay with their own polices being broken in this case.
 

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