Walmart and Amazon shoppers warn of counterfeit items – Best Life
Despite being two of the busiest retailers among buyers, Walmart and Amazon often receive a number of complaints. In July, a customer survey conducted by food outlet Mashed found that shoppers believe Walmart has the worst-quality products among eight different grocery stores in the United States. And just over a week ago, a complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Amazon alleging the retailer was misleading customers by not clearly disclosing paid ads on its website. Now a new lawsuit has been filed against the two retailers and other beloved brands. Read on to find out what new warning is being sent to Walmart and Amazon shoppers in the middle of the holiday shopping season.
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The Counterfeit Report, an organization that alerts consumers to information about counterfeit products from manufacturers and government agencies, issued a warning on December 15, telling holiday shoppers that online sites they use could put them on. in danger. According to the organization, Walmart and Amazon are “inundated with counterfeit, replica and fraudulent products” that could end up in the hands of those who buy from either website.
“Walmart and Amazon are both direct retailers of counterfeit, fraudulent and replica items, in addition to enabling and facilitating the sale of an endless supply of Chinese counterfeits to third parties,” says The Counterfeit Report. And the holiday season is one of the most vulnerable times for shoppers. Hans leiterman, director of the US Customs Assistant Area Port, told The Counterfeit Report they saw “57 million packages between November and January,” considering it to be peak holiday shopping season. But the items that pass during this period are “very often counterfeit products”, according to the organization.
The Counterfeit Report said it found and removed more than 400 million counterfeit listings on Walmart and Amazon, as well as eBay, Wish, Newegg, DHgate and Alibaba. “These are only a tiny fraction of counterfeit products intended for or reaching consumers,” warns the watchdog. “Amazon and Walmart often ignore complaints from brand owners, and sellers can re-register when the ads are removed.”
More than 500,000 brand owners are currently battling counterfeits which they claim are listed on Amazon’s website, according to The Counterfeit Report. As of December 17, the organization’s list of counterfeit products recently reported by Amazon includes various memory cards, pirated books, lithium batteries and a Playstation controller. Counterfeit products reported by Walmart include Gillette razor blades, lip enhancers, and flashlights.
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Walmart and Amazon have both dealt with reports of counterfeit products in the past. In 2018, a Walmart spokesperson told CBS News the company had “zero tolerance” for counterfeit products. And in October 2021, the spokesperson for Walmart Carrie McKnight Recount The Washington Post that the store has teams who review items to “make sure the items and sellers meet our high expectations.”
In May this year, a report from Amazon said the company had destroyed more than two million suspected counterfeit products that third-party sellers sent to its fulfillment centers in 2020, as reported by CNN. The retailer said the pandemic has spurred more attempts by “bad actors” to offer fake products as more people shop online, but also claimed it has blocked more than 10 billion bad ads presumed before publication. Amazon said less than 0.01% of the products it sells received infringement complaints from buyers.
“These complaints were promptly investigated to verify their accuracy, and Amazon has taken appropriate action regarding the listings and accounts,” the company told CNN.
With conflicting reports, it can be difficult to feel like you trust what you see online. On top of that, experts warn that counterfeit items can be difficult to spot and can sometimes put your safety at risk. But there are ways to avoid falling victim to buying a bogus product online. Ana Serafin Smith, senior director of media relations at the National Retail Federation, told Consumer Reports that you should always research the seller of each individual product, even if you are visiting an online shopping website like Walmart or Amazon. Both retailers allow you to click on the seller’s name to view their profile, which will show you reviews from other buyers, as well as contact information and return policies.
You should also be wary of discounts, analyze customer reviews, examine product packaging, and know the features of the actual product, according to Consumer Reports. Fake products often sell for less than the listed price of the actual item, have significantly different reviews for the same product, arrive in anonymous packaging, or include logos that are misspelled or have a different design from that pictured on the official website of the company.
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