If you’ve found yourself recently questioning the authenticity of the goods sold by Amazon, either because you have been a victim of inferior quality products, you didn’t get what you ordered, or because you have heard one-too-many horror stories, you might want to take some time to read this article.
We understand how frustrating it can be to spend money on something only for it to be nothing you expected. So, we’ll take you through everything you should know about the items that are sold and shipped by Amazon and their authenticity.
What does Ships from and sold by Amazon.com mean?
Contrary to popular beliefs, a large percentage of the products sold on Amazon are actually not Amazon’s products, and when you come across products that are listed as Ships and Sold By Amazon, what that means is that Amazon only has ownership of the inventory of that product, but the product has been purchased from one of their manufacturers.
The Shipped and Sold by Amazon.com products are the products that are shipped and also sold directly by Amazon’s Retail teams either via Vendor Central or via Vendor Express. It means that the manufacturers send the products to Amazon.com directly and at a specified price, with the order processed through the traditional PO process.
Oftentimes, these products are to be trusted because Amazon thoroughly vets the manufacturers they work with to ensure good quality products. It doesn’t, however, mean that these products are safe from counterfeiting. This is because, despite the best efforts put in place, the products will often be mingled with the rest of the FBA stock, where they have to be pooled together by use of the bar code, regardless of who sent them to the warehouses. So, even when buying a product that is sold by Amazon, technically and under Amazon’s brand name, you may still end up with a product supplied by a different third-party seller/ merchant, meaning that the product may be real or not.
If, on the other hand, the product in question is one that is sold by Seller X, for example, and the order is Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), it would mean that the product sold on Amazon was purchased by Seller X, who is a third party seller in this case, and after the purchase, they sent the inventory to Amazon – Amazon then ships the products to customers – hence the fulfillment by Amazon bit.
Are all items sold by Amazon authentic?
In a utopian world, all the products that are sold by Amazon would be authentic, and you’d never have to worry about counterfeits.
But in the real world we currently live in, not all the products sold are authentic. And the sad bit is that most people fail to realize that a large percentage of the product listings on Amazon are actually not for the items that are sold by Amazon but by third-party sellers from different markets across the globe.
It’s not all grim, though, and despite a large number of third-party sellers on Amazon, you will be happy to know that there is a good number of upstanding third-party merchants, with only a few of these sellers peddling fakes on the site. Unfortunately, the third-party sellers that deal in counterfeits are the reason why brands like Nike are pulling their products out of Amazon.
Are items shipped and sold by Amazon authentic?
As mentioned above, the products that are shipped by and sold by Amazon are sourced by specific distributors who deliver the products to Amazon, where they are sold as authentic products backed by Amazon. So, given this arrangement, there is a likelihood of most of the products being safe and authentic, and you can almost trust them completely.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case because similar items are grouped in the same warehouse, where they are pooled together thanks to the barcode.
This would mean that regardless of the source or the distributor of the goods, they will all be mixed up, and since Amazon will grab the nearest product when shipping, it is possible for you to end up with a product that is a counterfeit from a third-party seller, even though you placed an order for an item that is sold and shipped by Amazon.
The risk of the fake products being mixed in with authentic items is just too high, and you cannot say with 100% certainty that the items shipped and sold by Amazon are always authentic.
How do I know if something is shipped and sold by Amazon?
Now that you know not to expect 100% authenticity from the items shipped and sold by Amazon let’s take a look at some of the things you should look out for to know that an item is actually shipped and sold by Amazon.
First, it’s worth noting that there are three ways in which a product is sold and shipped to you from Amazon – Sold and Shipped by Amazon, Sold by Third parties and fulfilled by Amazon, and the products that are sold and shipped by the third parties. On to the first arrangement, how do you know the products actually sold and shipped by Amazon?
Well, all the items that are sold and shipped by Amazon always are clearly marked – Sold by Amazon.com, or if you’re not in the US, the Amazon extension will be for the country you are shopping from. You can see this more clearly right below the Secure Transaction clickable where it is indicated that the item Ships from Amazon.com and is Sold By Amazon.com.
For the products that are sold by third-party sellers, you will see the seller’s information right under the Add to Car and the Buy Now buttons.
And for the products that are fulfilled by Amazon and sold by third-party sellers, you will see the name of the third-party seller under the Add to Cart and Buy Now buttons. This is followed by the Fulfilled by Amazon specified.
Tips for buying authentic Amazon products (not products sold by the third-party seller)
While Amazon acts as the middleman for millions of sales of goods from their platform, all from thousands of product vendors from around the world, the quality of the goods sold is quite variable. However, you could reduce the concerns you have about the third-party sellers by choosing the products that are owned, procured, and sold/ shipped by Amazon. This is one of the best ways of ensuring the authenticity of the products you are buying. To do this, we recommend following these steps:
- Keep your eyes peeled – Sold by Amazon vs. Shipped by Amazon.
As mentioned above, goods sold on Amazon fall under three main categories, and when it comes to third-party products, Amazon will ship the products from their warehouses to customers, even with super-fast Prime shipping. In such cases, Amazon gets a percentage cut from the sale. It’s not always safe, and it also means that you should never assume that the Prime items are all authentic.
But to ensure that you have authentic products or to lower the risk of buying counterfeits, you may want to take advantage of the Search button, looking out for the items that are sold by Amazon.
The only catch is that you can only run this search from your web browser. So, load up Amazon.com first, then type in what you are looking for and hit enter. Once the results pop, go to the sidebar on the left side of the screen, go to the Department section, and then click on the specific department that you are looking for. This will narrow down your search results. Thereafter, keep scrolling down to find the Seller Section the check the mark next to Amazon.com as the seller. When you do these, the search results reload, and the new items listed are the ones that are owned, procured, sold, and shipped by Amazon itself.
But that is not all; you should also double-check the details of the product during checkout. Look under the Add to Cart and the Buy Now buttons and confirm that you can see the Sold By Amazon.com. You could also find these details under one sentence – Ships from and sold by Amazon. These will tell you that the product is not from a third-party seller.
- Product Details
If you are buying from Amazon, you will notice that Amazon is quite particular/ professional about its product descriptions and the images used. So, if you notice the use of garbled-up language, poor grammar, or misspelled words, or even inaccurate or low-quality photos, these would be huge red flags that you need to be aware of. In such cases, take a step back from the products and look for something that looks more believable and real.
We cannot say this enough times – the product reviews for the products you are interested in buying will always tell you all that you need to know about the quality of that item and whether you should buy it or reconsider that purchase. Look for reviews that look and feel real rather than the ones that seem to be selling or marketing the products. So, if you are buying jewelry, for example, look for guiding words that tell more about the quality of the jewelry, for example, how the posts feel on the skin, if they cause any irritation or green discoloration, or if they tarnish after some time. And for clothes, comments like the sizing is off, the quality of the fabric feels off or not as expected will guide you on the quality and the reliability of the seller.
Also, on reviews, it is important to check out the reviews left by some people. If the review looks/ feels skeptical, but you cannot find any other reviews by that person, you could write them off as bogus reviewers.
- Contact customer service
If you need any kind of clarification on the item and you cannot find the necessary information on the product page, contact Amazon. The customer services team should be able to hop on to things, offer guidance and the information you are seeking, and also advise you on what to do about your purchase in case of a problem.
Amazon is the biggest global eCommerce platform with a large reach and an even wider product variety. They offer great products but are imperfect, and the products sold can be counterfeits.
There is a lot that you could do to determine the authenticity of the products, although you may still end up with fakes.
However, we recommend buying the products that are shipped and sold by Amazon because the risk of counterfeiting is lower with such products than with the products from third-party sellers, even when they are fulfilled by Amazon.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.