A NEW Problem Caused By the Fraudulent "Just Launched" Sellers & Hijackers


#7

I don’t think they have been hijacked. They run some of the most sophisticated web properties in the world. It seems that since they can’t be hacked, this is a roundabout way for bad actors to “hack” their customer data.

And their algos probably aren’t perfect, especially since LD is in beta. But these scammers really shouldn’t have that outsize an infuence on the algo for internal pricing. That is worrisome,

And don’t call me Shirley. :^0


#8

Datamining. Every order they get valuable info that can use used for ID theft and targeted scams.


#9

I agree 100%. To run an operation this big, you need automation. But there needs to be a human failsafe when problems like this arises. And they need to be knowledgeble and competent.

There is no reason in the world why a human can’t look at our problem here and see it is an obvious error, and just make a manual fix. But it has been 7 weeks, and the problem is getting worse.

I think the same with these fake sellers. If a knowlegable human was looking at these accounts, they would be shut down in a heartbeat, or wouldn’t get approved in the first place. But that problem is getting worse as well.

Amazon does many things right, and it is a great platform. But I believe they should hire a large and competent USA based workforce to serve the needs of sellers since we generate nearly 50% of its revenue. We could really use the added support.


#10

Maybe it’s not “A Problem”…Consider That?


#11

Very good incentive:

Accounts created before 2011, can request DAILY disbursements, in addition to data mining.

Since the new trend of older and dormant accounts being hacked, if these dormant accounts are grandfathered in to DAILY disbursements, they may be making a bundle.


#12

Since the marketplaces look at each other to determine if the price is good, it is also affecting sales on other marketplaces.

For example if PriceBlink sees that it is lower on Amazon (because of the scam sellers), then they will display that and customers are directed to Amazon.

Another example, Wal*mart marketplace unpublishes listings if “Customers would save drastically by purchasing this item on a competing website”.

So this is bigger than “just affecting Amazon”.


#13

Not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate a bit?


#14

First off @Rushdie, THANK YOU for your very helpful post on how to deal with the scammers. It is phenomenal advice for every seller here that needs help.

I agree completely with the incentive. And I wasn’t aware of the daily disbursements–it is an excellent point.

But how are Amazon accounts getting hacked? Amazon’s web services are among the very best in the industry. Unrecognized logins are subject to additional security measures before you can access the account. Pure speculation, but could there be some black market for these dormant accounts somewhere?


#15

At my wit’s end, one day, I mentioned, as the final blow to all confidence in Amazon’s apparent inability to stop these scammers, I wondered out loud, +is it possible+, that Amazon itself is behind this entire fiasco, in an effort to rid the platform of 3P sellers.

It was a tongue in cheek comment, that several others have picked up on and not unlikely, crossed others’ minds, but hesitant to come out and say it directly.

I think CabinFeverBooks, literally +has+ cabin fever and they have been “ending their marriage” with Amazon, for as long as I can remember.


#16

Every piece of code has a weakness - somewhere. With a system as large as Amazon’s and although their security protocols, are likely one of the best in the industry, they is obviously a coder out there, who is better.

Not even speculation, there is a very brisk market, on the dark web for +any+ kind of account you can imagine.

Accounts may have been hacked many, many years ago and they are held on to, for the very purpose of selling, replete with fraudulent names, social security numbers, bank accounts, credit card info, etc… all ready to be sold to the highest bidder.


#17

If Amazon wanted to get rid of 3P sellers they would just do it.


#18

+Not+ FBA, +only+ FBM. FBA, Amazon has more control.

As I stated, it was a +tongue in cheek+ comment, but one does have to admit, FBM accounts, are likely the sellers, who need the most help or hand-holding and in many cases, a thorn in Amazon’s side. It may reach a point, where the thorn needs to be pulled from the lion’s foot.

Of course, this is pure speculation, but it was hinted at, during an Amazon conference, last year, to eventually only support FBA.


#19

The 3P sellers are making Amazon a fortune. I think I read the number hovers around 50% of their sales. I can see them wanting to limit sellers that do outside fulfillment and retail arbitrage, but cannot imagine why they would want to do away with all of the unique FBA merchants.


#20

I am 100% FBM for 8 years with 100% 12 month rating, 99% lifetime, 0 negs, average 150 orders per month. I don’t need any hand holding and the cases I open with support are almost all to fix problems with their product pages.

Amazon is 20% of my total online sales, I don’t want to lose that but it certainly wouldn’t put me out of business. I don’t think Amazon really wants to get rid of solid 3P sellers but there is a lot of cleanup needed, and not just for the new scammers. Amazon definitely does require more of my time average per sale than what my other online sales do.

If Amazon decides to take a shotgun approach to solving the 3P problems they have allowed to occur, so be it, but overall they are the loser in that action.


#21

Thank you for your expertise in this subject matter.

It is my hope that Amazon impose a policy to limit the number of products offered by new sellers during an automatic vetting period to verify identity and banking. Followed by a slow progression or tiered progression regarding the number of offerings a new seller can list.

I think an approach like this would limit the immediate negative impact of the scam sellers while Amazon could check if these sellers are legit.

I cannot believe that Amazon is not doing everything they can eliminate these sellers, it must be costing them millions. I think Amazon should be more proactively communicating with their sellers so everyone can be aware of these fraudulent practices and more sellers could assist in removing these scammers.

Once actions like these or similar are enacted these scammers will move on to greener pastures. I hope Amazon acts soon. Again, thanks Rushdie for your support in these matters the selling community is grateful.


#22

EXCELLENT point! Nothing else need be said. Food for more thought… excellent point.


#23

Of course, I am not referring to honest, legitimate, long-time and hard-working FBM sellers; comments should be taken into context and read between the lines.

However, Amazon +has+ alluded to +eventually+ moving toward only FBA. Maybe if Amazon focuses on getting their house in order, instead of trying to be the biggest and best, at everything, they can have both and +everyone+ can continue reaping profits.


#24

It seems like the logic to introduce a manual screening should be simple enough…

If(“just launched seller” instantly loads 10,000+ products), then (freeze account to trigger manual review)…

I could almost write this in excel lol, OK at this point I’m just having fun.

But seriously, any legitimate organization with that breadth of products and the capacity to instantly load them with “Just Launched” Amazon experience should be able to furnish some proof of legitimacy without problem…

I’m sure this is a top priority at Amazon as it threatens their greatest value proposition which is consumer trust and security.

Have a great morning and don’t let the set backs stop you from moving your business forward!


#25

UPDATE: Amazon removed the fraudulent sellers from our listing—so the positive (for those that are frustrated) using Rushdie’s reporting methods DOES work. So keep at it–BUT whatever damage was done by the fake seller setting the price at $7.90, remains.

The lightning deals will not allow a price higher than $7.90 for a deal (again, even though the MAP is $24) which makes it a a massive money loser and completely untenable. Our support case has been open for 2 months now to correct this, with no resolution forthcoming.

It is disconcerting how a fake seller could have this much influence over the A9 algorithm, and cause unintended consequences like this.

I am wondering two things:

1. If any experienced veteran here has a suggestion as to an alternative contact in amazon to try to have them manually correct our issue (for example, would sending the details of this issue to the Jeff@ or seller-performance@ emails be helpful, or just keep plugging away with seller support)

2. If anyone here is having a similar or different issue with these fake sellers creating unintended algorithm problems (like pricing) in your listings or elsewhere.

I think the more issues that come to light and are discussed, the more motivation will be created to help them come to a more expedient resolution.


closed #26