Counterfeits benefit Amazon

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JMacDonald
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Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by JMacDonald » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:19 pm

Here is an article about counterfeits items being sold on Amazon:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technol ... story.html
I recently bought an item that was not counterfeit, but was a gray market item so I couldn't get the manufacture warranty.
I wonder how one is able to tell if an item being sold on Amazon is legitimate or not.
I know after my experience, I won't buy anything from Amazon that should come with a warranty.
Best Wishes, | Joe

crystalbank
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by crystalbank » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:25 pm

Lately, the number of counterfeits or shady items on Amazon is really high. I don't buy any electronics on Amazon anymore due to the hassle of trying to avoid a counterfeit product. This problem is especially rampant on the 'accessories' side of electronics (think chargers, cables, thumb drives).

To their credit, Amazon was always prompt to refund/RMA the fake item but it was still too much hassle for me.

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GoldStar
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:26 pm

JMacDonald wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:19 pm
Here is an article about counterfeits items being sold on Amazon:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technol ... story.html
I recently bought an item that was not counterfeit, but was a gray market item so I couldn't get the manufacture warranty.
I wonder how one is able to tell if an item being sold on Amazon is legitimate or not.
I know after my experience, I won't buy anything from Amazon that should come with a warranty.
How can you be sure the item wasn't counterfeit?

onourway
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by onourway » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:33 pm

I think this is Amazon’s largest long-term risk at this point. A growing number of consumers (including myself) are growing wary of Amazon because we can’t trust what we are getting from them. I’ve heard the same concern echoed among friends and coworkers. That may be good for numbers in the short term, but it will eventually bite them.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:00 pm

I read the article and I am upset, but perhaps not surprised, to see Amazon's response on the issue of counterfeits. I have purchased relatively low cost items at Amazon where the reviews clearly indicated a risk I might receive a counterfeit. Pictures and descriptions of key differences between the real product and the knock-offs are usually posted in the customer reviews. When the products arrive I look closely to see if I have received the real product. I have never received a counterfeit, but I realize it could happen.

When I need to purchase a more expensive product, like a camera or other electronics item, that comes with a serial number and a warranty, I try to only buy Amazon Prime items that will give me a full refund and free return shipping if there is a problem with the item. Then I register the item and serial number at the product's web site when it arrives. I have never received a warranted product where the serial number got kicked-out as a counterfeit, but if I ever do I expect Amazon will accept it for a free return and full refund.

Ultimately, I hope more articles like the one in the link will hit the media and Amazon will realize they need to take effective steps to prevent counterfeits in their inventory in order protect their own reputation.

Iorek
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by Iorek » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:27 pm

onourway wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:33 pm
I think this is Amazon’s largest long-term risk at this point. A growing number of consumers (including myself) are growing wary of Amazon because we can’t trust what we are getting from them. I’ve heard the same concern echoed among friends and coworkers. That may be good for numbers in the short term, but it will eventually bite them.
I agree. I am starting to look for alternatives to Amazon. There was a great podcast about how Amazon decided Alibaba was their biggest competition so they decided to let overseas sellers sell directly on the Amazon platform, and now they are overrun with crap. Last time I went to buy dental floss I could only buy it from sellers in India, with lots of review complaining about obviously fake product.

Now Prime is more expensive and there' s less I want to buy (plus it's a lot of work to buy something because you have to wade through the 10 overseas sellers to find a seller you trust not the one that's manipulated the algorithms the best-- the podcast actually started with someone buying an electric toothbrush with UK current by accident that way)

ETA-- I originally thought the podcast was Planet Money and they have done some on Amazon reviews, but the podcast I was thinking of was actually Reply All. podcast and transcript here https://www.gimletmedia.com/reply-all/124
Last edited by Iorek on Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

investor997
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by investor997 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:38 pm

I've shifted most of my Amazon spend to alternate "catch-all" shopping sites such as Jet.com or Walmart.com, if anything because they usually offer a higher return rate via airline points shopping portals. I'm debating whether or not to cancel my Prime membership. I don't even watch Amazon Prime Video that much anymore, frankly...

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JMacDonald
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by JMacDonald » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:14 pm

GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:26 pm
JMacDonald wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:19 pm
Here is an article about counterfeits items being sold on Amazon:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technol ... story.html
I recently bought an item that was not counterfeit, but was a gray market item so I couldn't get the manufacture warranty.
I wonder how one is able to tell if an item being sold on Amazon is legitimate or not.
I know after my experience, I won't buy anything from Amazon that should come with a warranty.
How can you be sure the item wasn't counterfeit?
Here is a link to the items I bought:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UM ... UTF8&psc=1
It appears to me to be a solid product. I decided to keep it as I doubt I will have any problems with it. I am unhappy that this information was not clear when I bought it. I also wrote a letter to Jeff Bezos. No reply yet. I will update if I get a reply, but I won't hold my breath.

When I tried to register the item, I was unable to get the warranty. I emailed the company that sold it to me. Here is part of their reply:
Thank you for contacting us. We apologize for inconvenience with your order. We regret to inform you that at this time we are currently not a Manfrotto-authorized dealer which is why we were able to sell you this kit at this low price.
Best Wishes, | Joe

RickBoglehead
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:24 pm

Here's reality:

- Amazon has retrained America's expectations, fulfilling the need for immediate gratification

- Few can spend like Amazon to keep up with Amazon

- As competitors fall by the wayside, Amazon raises prices, and we the consumer get screwed in the end

There is no way to stop this by the way.

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GoldStar
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:32 pm

JMacDonald wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:14 pm
GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:26 pm
JMacDonald wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:19 pm
Here is an article about counterfeits items being sold on Amazon:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technol ... story.html
I recently bought an item that was not counterfeit, but was a gray market item so I couldn't get the manufacture warranty.
I wonder how one is able to tell if an item being sold on Amazon is legitimate or not.
I know after my experience, I won't buy anything from Amazon that should come with a warranty.
How can you be sure the item wasn't counterfeit?
Here is a link to the items I bought:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UM ... UTF8&psc=1
It appears to me to be a solid product. I decided to keep it as I doubt I will have any problems with it. I am unhappy that this information was not clear when I bought it. I also wrote a letter to Jeff Bezos. No reply yet. I will update if I get a reply, but I won't hold my breath.

When I tried to register the item, I was unable to get the warranty. I emailed the company that sold it to me. Here is part of their reply:
Thank you for contacting us. We apologize for inconvenience with your order. We regret to inform you that at this time we are currently not a Manfrotto-authorized dealer which is why we were able to sell you this kit at this low price.
First note that this item wasn't bought from Amazon - it was bought from a different company on the Amazon marketplace. I'm not sure if Amazon has the same problems when you buy from them.
Second - could it be a counterfeit item made in China that isn't even Manfrotto? They told you grey market - but that might not even be the case unless you somehow verified a serial number or something.
For future reference - it looks like for just a few more dollars you could have bought this ballhead and tripod from BH-Photo (super-store in NYC that is an authorized reseller and is reputable) - although the case and strap would have added a few more dollars. One thing I have learned to do is go to the manufacturers site before I buy and make sure whomever I am buying from is a registered reseller. I find bh-photo (and adorama - their competitor) to have great prices on all photography gear (along with computers and TVs) with free shipping on many items. I believe they only sell what they are authorized to sell (never a problem with a warranty buying from them). They do sell some gray-market items but very clearly tell you what is gray market.
Last edited by GoldStar on Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

IngognitoUSA
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by IngognitoUSA » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:33 pm

Lots of fake Gillette shaving blades, not gray market, just fakes.

randomguy
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by randomguy » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:40 pm

GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:32 pm

First note that this item wasn't bought from Amazon - it was bought from a different company on the Amazon marketplace. I'm not sure if Amazon has the same problems when you buy from them.
Second - could it be a counterfeit item made in China that isn't even Manfrotto? They told you grey market - but that might not even be the case unless you somehow verified a serial number or something.
For future reference - it looks like for just a few more dollars you could have bought this ballhead and tripod from BH-Photo (super-store in NYC that is an authorized reseller and is reputable) - although the case and strap would have added a few more dollars. One thing I have learned to do is go to the manufacturers site before I buy and make sure whomever I am buying from is a registered reseller.
Yes that is the problem at a high level. Amazon doesn't sell crap directly. The do provide a platform for selling these counterfiet goods though. And it can be hard as an individual to tell the difference (some even ship with amazon prime). Realistically you have to look at the return policy for each store.

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GoldStar
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:49 pm

randomguy wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:40 pm
GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:32 pm

First note that this item wasn't bought from Amazon - it was bought from a different company on the Amazon marketplace. I'm not sure if Amazon has the same problems when you buy from them.
Second - could it be a counterfeit item made in China that isn't even Manfrotto? They told you grey market - but that might not even be the case unless you somehow verified a serial number or something.
For future reference - it looks like for just a few more dollars you could have bought this ballhead and tripod from BH-Photo (super-store in NYC that is an authorized reseller and is reputable) - although the case and strap would have added a few more dollars. One thing I have learned to do is go to the manufacturers site before I buy and make sure whomever I am buying from is a registered reseller.
Yes that is the problem at a high level. Amazon doesn't sell crap directly. The do provide a platform for selling these counterfiet goods though. And it can be hard as an individual to tell the difference (some even ship with amazon prime). Realistically you have to look at the return policy for each store.
I admittedly didn't read the LA-Times article until just now. The stories in the article do talk about counterfeits now making into Amazon direct sales site as well. A couple of in-process lawsuits against Amazon are cited. These days - it may be sure to know what you are buying regardless of where you buy it.

carolinaman
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by carolinaman » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:35 am

This article is another reason to seek alternative suppliers for goods. Amazon has gotten too big and too greedy. I do not like much govt regulation but this is an example where businesses and consumers need to be protected from fake merchandise. Amazon needs to be accountable for products sold on their site

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Sandtrap
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Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:47 am

JMacDonald wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:19 pm
Here is an article about counterfeits items being sold on Amazon:
http://www.latimes.com/business/technol ... story.html
I recently bought an item that was not counterfeit, but was a gray market item so I couldn't get the manufacture warranty.
I wonder how one is able to tell if an item being sold on Amazon is legitimate or not.
I know after my experience, I won't buy anything from Amazon that should come with a warranty.
Excellent article.
Thanks for posting.
In general, I've found it better to limit purchases, where possible, only to Amazon direct sales vs 3rd party vendors. The return policy is also far better and more consistent.

But, what are the reasonable alternatives to Amazon?

j

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