Amazon hits over 600 Chinese electronic brands with the banhammer

Soupreme

Posts: 36   +2
Staff
In brief: Amazon continues its crackdown on fake reviews as it shuts down thousands of merchants that sell hundreds of electronic brands. Although most of the offending sellers are based in China, Amazon says it is not targeting Chinese retailers.

Amazon has so far shut down 3,000 online merchants linked to 600 Chinese electronics brands sold on its online sales platform as part of its ongoing campaign against paid feedback and similar activities. Although Amazon officially banned "incentivized reviews" in 2016, its current crusade against such practices—beginning with the high-profile booting of familiar names like Aukey and RAVpower from their platform earlier this year—is more expansive than anything done prior.

In an interview on Chinese Central TV, Cindy Tai—Amazon's vice-president for Asia Global selling—also stated that the crackdown was not intentionally targeted towards China or any other country or the overall growth of Chinese online merchants selling via Amazon. However, the South China Morning Post had previously reported that the industry had been grievously affected to the tune of $15.4 billion, between lost sales, blocked funds, and withheld inventory.

"Customers rely on the accuracy and authenticity of product reviews to make informed purchasing decisions, and we have clear policies for both reviewers and selling partners that prohibit abuse of our community features," Amazon stated, adding that the company "will continue to improve abuse detection and take enforcement action against bad actors, including those that knowingly engage in multiple and repeated policy violations, including review abuse."

While it may be unfortunate for consumers looking for cheap-and-cheerful battery banks, Bluetooth speakers, and the like, the scale and reach of Amazon's marketplace means that any attempt to manipulate product rankings and review scores is undoubtedly a big deal. However, the reverse could also be said of the matter, as many of these brands and merchants were competing against Amazon's value-oriented Basics line, and their removal is likely to help funnel consumers towards own-brand alternatives.

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trparky

Posts: 958   +1,027
Knowing that some of the cheap Chinese knockoffs caused property damage and sometimes even loss of life, this banhammer is a welcome thing that if you ask me, should've been implemented years ago before Amazon's public image was tarnished.

Even today, I'm very hestitent to buy anything from Amazon in fear that I'm going to get a fake product. Lately I've found myself shopping locally in actual stores more than on Amazon.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,241   +7,013
The unstated problem still exists. These vendors can change their name & mailing address and re-register again doing the same thing over and over again. They simply need a more effective method AND should be held accountable for any loss the customer suffers if the purchase is handled or referred through Amazon. The FTC needs to get directly involved with Amazon and hold them accountable. That will incentivize Amazon to get the job done right or at least protect the consumer.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,119   +2,125
I know people will see "China" and get jingoistic about it but counterfeiting is pretty far from depending on China for either distributing or even producing the fake goods.

So while I don't necessarily advocate against ever using Amazon (I know they're ubiquitous and this means you often won't find a better deal at all, specially outside the US where Amazon bypasses much if not all of the importing red tape) but what I can say is that if a deal seems too good on Amazon, 99 times out of 100 the actual vendor will be third party: Just stick to "Sold by Amazon" and you'll greatly reduce your chances of getting scammed.
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 53   +44
Browsing Amazon is like a street market these days. The engine promotes cheap junk, no-name brands, knockoffs and dodgy sellers. It's permanently damaged the Amazon brand imo. There's no trust in it anymore.

Amazon is pretty much my local chinese store here.

Alot of (good) things priced for very cheap; untill you take it home and start using it. Ive seen bathtub brushes, metallic looking nuts, anything that you can use inside the house, crack with usually one day. And trust me I didnt even apply enough force.

The quality of these products is such ****; its mimmick but thats about it. Some people tend to buy off knock-rimms for their ride. People have no idea what kind of garbage casting there is to it.

Sorry, but the Quality of these chinese things, wont ever match the real thing.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 295   +353
The only thing I buy from Amazon is audio books for my audible subscription.

There are lots of stores in Australia that sell online and they have their reputation to protect, Australian consumer laws to obey etc, I find their products are good and their prices are good enough I have not been tempted to switch to Amazon.
 

RudyBob

Posts: 234   +241
It's up to me not Amazon, though they do have a responsibility, to insure I get what I want. The Amazon return policy has kept many sellers, such as myself, off of their site. When I buy from Amazon I have 30 days to decide. Recently I was sent some bogus Milwaukee batteries. In return for me keeping them I was offered a cash inducement at three separate levels of compensation which I turned down. I got my money back. I have branched out in my purchasing to other large retailers that I trust more. Amazon is good to get me maple syrup and MM's but a lot of other stuff I avoid
 

RedBear

Posts: 23   +20
Knowing that some of the cheap Chinese knockoffs caused property damage and sometimes even loss of life, this banhammer is a welcome thing that if you ask me, should've been implemented years ago before Amazon's public image was tarnished.
Ahem, it's not like Amazon's own Basics line isn't known for being prone to dangerous incidents:
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/10/business/amazonbasics-electronics-fire-safety-invs/index.html
In general if you're paying very little compared to what other retailers are asking for comparable devices you should be careful.
It's not possible to exclude that Amazon is looking after its bottom line and taking an anticompetitive stance in this case, taking advantage of the sinophobic climate in the US.
 

Norsiiii

Posts: 85   +110
Ahem, it's not like Amazon's own Basics line isn't known for being prone to dangerous incidents:
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/10/business/amazonbasics-electronics-fire-safety-invs/index.html
In general if you're paying very little compared to what other retailers are asking for comparable devices you should be careful.
It's not possible to exclude that Amazon is looking after its bottom line and taking an anticompetitive stance in this case, taking advantage of the sinophobic climate in the US.
No, but at least any genuine issues with an Amazon Basics product won't be hidden and suppressed by a torrent of 10 times as many fake/incentivized 5 star reviews
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,722   +4,257
I mean the chinese counterfeits are often made in the same factory as the real thing. Many will still list their wares on alibaba or on their own websites.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,916   +1,116
The unstated problem still exists. These vendors can change their name & mailing address and re-register again doing the same thing over and over again. They simply need a more effective method AND should be held accountable for any loss the customer suffers if the purchase is handled or referred through Amazon. The FTC needs to get directly involved with Amazon and hold them accountable. That will incentivize Amazon to get the job done right or at least protect the consumer.
They should just train computer vision to ban products that use the same/similar images as Alibaba listings. If I wanted cheap stuff from Alibaba, I would have ordered it from Alibaba.

I don't care if these resellers come back with a re-registered name and address, I care if they bring their knock-offs and "your brand here" stuff.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,916   +1,116
It's up to me not Amazon, though they do have a responsibility, to insure I get what I want. The Amazon return policy has kept many sellers, such as myself, off of their site. When I buy from Amazon I have 30 days to decide. Recently I was sent some bogus Milwaukee batteries. In return for me keeping them I was offered a cash inducement at three separate levels of compensation which I turned down. I got my money back. I have branched out in my purchasing to other large retailers that I trust more. Amazon is good to get me maple syrup and MM's but a lot of other stuff I avoid
Brave soul, to be ordering food items through a company that previous shipped your knock-offs. At least with knock-off batteries, you can just trash them in the worst case. Knock-off food.... how's your health insurance?
 

RudyBob

Posts: 234   +241
Brave soul, to be ordering food items through a company that previous shipped your knock-offs. At least with knock-off batteries, you can just trash them in the worst case. Knock-off food.... how's your health insurance?
Don't extrapolate for me or the masses. Are you a journalist ?
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,722   +4,257
They should just train computer vision to ban products that use the same/similar images as Alibaba listings. If I wanted cheap stuff from Alibaba, I would have ordered it from Alibaba.

I don't care if these resellers come back with a re-registered name and address, I care if they bring their knock-offs and "your brand here" stuff.
That would work about as well as wal mart banning any products with words written in english....
 

RudyBob

Posts: 234   +241
Uh, what? You're the one who talked about ordering food from a company shipping you fake batteries.
Look Pal, read my original comment. "It's up to me not Amazon..." So I took it upon myself to order and decide. I decided I was getting what I wanted. The real stuff. I am able to evaluate most products. I hope you will try to understand. If not the next angry meme is just around your corner
 
Chinese ripoff agents have, for a long time, made shopping on Amazon very much like walking through a mine field and playing Russian Roulette. It's easier to just go to Walmart.