Amazon’s Marketplace Struggles With Mislabeled Goods


While Amazon has spent years looking into counterfeit and otherwise mislabeled goods, the company continues to face the challenge of overseeing its own eCommerce platform. Through Amazon’s Marketplace, The Guardian was able to obtain several goods that weren’t as described.

For example, The Guardian received genuine Apple iPhone chargers that were separated from returned and refurbished devices but were being sold as new. The newspaper also received “multiple examples” of counterfeit clothing and accessories and counterfeit Kylie Jenner lip gloss, which was made by a Chinese company and was “almost indistinguishable from the real thing.” The Guardian noted that a portion of its order was distributed through the Fulfillment by Amazon service.

The Guardian contacted Amazon, which removed the counterfeit items that the newspaper found and changed the description of the chargers from new to used.

The news comes months after Amazon announced more than 300,000 U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) joined Amazon Marketplace during 2017. In a press release, Amazon said billions of products were sold worldwide on its platform last year, with half of those items coming from SMBs operating through its Marketplace. Many of those businesses also tapped into Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon service, which provides them with access to the eCommerce giant’s logistics network, making their items Prime-eligible.

According to Amazon, SMBs come from all over the United States and from more than 130 countries around the globe. Of the billions of dollars in orders from those businesses during 2017, more than 1 billion occurred during the holiday season. Among last year’s highlights, Amazon Lending surpassed loaning $3 billion to small businesses since the program started in 2011.

The eCommerce giant also said that, during 2017, Amazon Handmade expanded and now has 10 categories and more than 1 million handcrafted items from thousands of artisans and small business owners in the U.S. and 60 countries around the globe.


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