Twist on an Amazon scam that’s hurting seller metrics

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Dear Ina,

AMAZON SCAM ALERT. I have been selling on Amazon for 5 years and last week I fell victim to a scammer using a variation of Retail Arbitrage. Reading some Amazon forum posts, it seems there has been a recent spike in this type of scam, but it may be an old game in play.

Here’s how it works. The scammer lists the item on another platform (I believe my scammer was a Chinese seller on Walmart). When they sell my item they then use me as a drop shipper to ship to their customer. I received 5 orders like this (that I know of), but each time a “drop ship” order was placed by the scammer, they used a different “contact” name.

Anyone who sells on Amazon knows that Amazon goes out of its way to prevent any buyer/seller interaction. I am unable to see who purchased the item other than a “contact name” and recipient address. So if the contact name is different from the recipient, there is no way for me to “not” tell if this is a gifted transaction.

So here’s the twist on this scam: once the item is delivered, I get a message from the contact’s name with this standard message: “never received my order. Refund please.” (it’s the same identical message in every command).

I replied with tracking details showing the package delivered and asked them to verify their delivery address, but received no response. Then a few days later they open an AZ claim with Amazon. After the third claim, that’s when I noticed a trend. Amazon denied the claim to the scammer (after entering a lengthy response to the claim stating what this scammer was doing). The scammer then appealed and won. I then appealed and Amazon refunded me. It was just on the first claim. I still have 4 other AZ claims that are under appeal.

I reported this scammer to Amazon, but I don’t know if anything will come of it. As I mentioned above, there is no way to see what Amazon sees in the background regarding the scammers account. Are they using different accounts? Different emails? Fake account addresses? I do not know.

In the end, not only can I run out of funds, but every AZ claim I lose hurts my seller stats – which is the lifeline to remaining an active seller on Amazon.

Amazon does nothing to protect sellers from this type of fraudulent activity.

(please omit my name from this letter, thank you).

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