I’m curious to know if Amazon mixes its own stock in with FBA inventory.
My son recently bought a set of BONES ball bearings (for skateboards) directly from Amazon. He was already smarting from a set he bought off ebay that turned out to be Chinese counterfeits, and he was leery of buying from Amazon for the same reason. These bearings are generally quite expensive (about $50), and after his ebay experience, he had learned that lesson we all eventually learn - that a price “too-good-to-be-true” ($18) generally is.
But I assured him that as long as he was buying direct from Amazon, and not from a secondary seller, he was okay. And Amazon’s price was about $35 - less than the usual price, but we all know Amazon can sometimes offer good deals because of the large quantity it purchases from manufacturers. I was sure that Amazon would not directly sell counterfeit products and that he would receive genuine BONES bearings.
So he gets a set from Amazon and they appear to be the real deal, but when we open the box, they are all scratched and used-looking. I figured someone bought them and switched out their old ones and returned. So we ordered a replacement set and they arrived today - and lo and behold, they look like counterfeits. He was able to tell the difference because the counterfeits often have the wrong date on the box (these did, just like the confirmed ebay counterfeits) and do not have MADE IN SWITZERLAND printed on the box. Our first box from Amazon had MADE IN SWITZERLAND actually printed directly on the box, but this new box instead had a sticker that said MADE IN SWITZERLAND and underneath the sticker - nothing. The boxes look identical except for these two discrepancies.
After reading his skateboarding forums where they discuss how to tell the difference, both from the box and the bearings, I have to agree with them that these appear to be fake. But I am shocked, as we were careful to buy from Amazon directly and not from a marketplace seller. I know Amazon would not intentionally sell counterfeits, so I wonder if maybe they mix their stock with FBA stock?
We are, of course, returning this replacement set. But now, unfortunately, it looks like the only safe move is to buy direct from the company at nearly twice the cost when you add in shipping.