Is there escaping Made in China products? Can you say, with complete certainty, that you can shop on Amazon and end up with products that are not made in China?
With China associated with most of the goods that we use today, but also known for substandard goods, is there a way to filter through the murky waters and to confidently end up with high-quality products that are not Made in China? Well, this article explores all that and shares answers to everything you need to know and do to avoid buying products made in China.
We’ll also look at everything else you need to know about buying products that are made in China. So, let’s get to it.
Why is everything on Amazon from China?
The sad truth is that Amazon is not what it was 2 or 5 years ago, and if you have been shopping from the giant site for a while, you may have noticed that a large number of the big-name American brands are slowly disappearing from Amazon, and they’ve been replaced by no-name brands from China. And despite Amazon’s best efforts to prevent the Chinese brands from taking over the sire by banning the unsafe and the mislabelled products, Amazon will soon have all their listed items sourced from China.
While we are all crying foul over what’s happening, but here’s the sad reality of things – we are the ones that wooed the Chinese manufacturers to start selling to the US market directly. And now, consumers in the US and across the world may be at risk.
In a report published in the Wall Street Journal, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Chinese sellers on Amazon, and unfortunately, the quality of their products puts lives to risk. In the report, it was noted that as many as 10,870 items on Amazon’s site had been declared unsafe by the top federal agencies. And despite Amazon noting to have taken down the products and banned the sellers, the number of Chinese sellers keeps increasing, as consumers’ lives are put at risk. Curbing the high number of these sellers has been a big challenge, especially with the big proportion of the listings being problematic.
But why is the number of Chinese sellers increasing?
Well, it has to do with the need to cut out the middleman. In the most traditional sense, Amazon sellers would source their products from the cheapest available supplier, which was always China. While at this, they worked hard to improve and get more positive ratings, which means fast shipping, excellent customer support, and quick resolution of issues.
As time passed and with many sellers realizing how much cheaper and profitable it would be to import the goods from China, these sellers from across the world went for it rather aggressively.
Naturally, the Chinese sellers and manufacturers wanted in on the big profits too, and they started questioning the need for local sellers, only for them to get a cut of the sales when they could earn bigger margins.
Upon making this realization and with Amazon’s FBA already set up, the sellers and other middlemen involved became irrelevant, and that is how the Chinese manufacturers were able to proliferate the market and pretty much the entire Amazon.
In addition to the need for bigger profits, there seems to be evidence pointing to the fact that the Chinese sellers may be manipulating the Amazon market. But, how exactly are the Chinese sellers manipulating Amazon?
How are Chinese sellers manipulating Amazon?
Recent reports show that there are more than 250,000 Chinese sellers on Amazon, with more than 40% of all sellers on Amazon based in China. The most interesting thing to note is the fact that all these Chinese sellers are operating independently, and they don’t pay or involve any middlemen. This has led to an unbeatable cycle, especially for the third-party suppliers and the local sellers.
And in addition to their big numbers, the truth is that finding positive reviews for these sellers is proving to be easy, which means that you may have been buying from Chinese sellers for some time now. But are the reviews legit? Well, there is a possibility that the Chinese sellers and products are raking in many positive reviews, but not in the right way. Knowing just how important these reviews are in affecting the purchase decision of customers on Amazon, it’s been proven the Chinese sellers have found a way of putting up false reviews. This is something that they have been able to do successfully by using two specific strategies.
First, the Chinese sellers reimburse or compensate the real Amazon customers for leaving positive product reviews. In other cases, they have ‘customers’ who make fake orders then leave positive reviews by use of fake accounts. And with China boasting several fake review agencies or services, all aggressively soliciting the Amazon sellers, going as far as Amazon’s Seller Platform, it makes sense that the Chinese sellers are taking over Amazon fast. Bear in mind that on Amazon and other similar sites, more positive reviews equal higher sales.
In addition to sellers receiving multiple email requests from these agencies, there also are Zombie accounts that have been increasing across China. These zombie accounts are run by fake review companies that open not just hundreds but sometimes thousands of fake Amazon accounts. But they don’t stop here – these accounts have been configured in such a way that they are able to emulate an actual customer’s browsing behavior, which makes it even harder to identify the zombie accounts.
So, despite Amazon’s best efforts to fight the menace that is fake reviews, the robust systems used by the Chinese sellers remain unbeaten for now.
Product Safety and Sales Tax imposed on US sellers also give the Chinese sellers an upper hand. With the 2018 US Supreme Court’s ruling that meant US sellers would be liable for sales tax, the local sellers are very much put out of the race, with the Chinese sellers getting a competitive advantage, hence their proliferation on Amazon. The Chinese sellers enjoy a higher level of flexibility than other sellers, especially because they are not charged Sales tax.
Can you filter out Chinese products on Amazon?
Unfortunately, being able to successfully filter out Chinese products from your Amazon search is one of the most challenging and pretty much impossible things you could do. Just using the Made in USA filter on Amazon.com is not enough, and though you may find some genuine American sellers, this option still means doing a lot of work.
Even so, it is, by far, the more reliable filter that you could use if you are trying to find products made in the USA and not China.
Note that most of the Made in USA brands are very proud of their products which is a good thing because it means that you can actually find authentic Made in USA products listed. Filtering out by China or any other keywords might not be very effective.
How to avoid buying Chinese products on Amazon
The reason why this is an important section in this article is because of the fact that most of the Chinese goods sold on Amazon have been found to be dangerous and unsafe, especially for babies and kids. So, how do you avoid the Made in China products on Amazon, even when they don’t have the Made in China tag?
- Avoid buying products from brands whose names feature weird vowel and consonant combinations.
- Avoid products that are obviously too identical or right of copycats of products offered by other brands, even if they come at a lower price tag.
- When it comes to products that have generic titles or the ones that don’t have any brand name listed, you should take the time to inspect the products – check the specifications and the product descriptions.
- On the descriptions and specifications, look out for grammatical errors and/or typos. Genuine American brands often pay a lot of attention to how they display and describe their products, and so, you almost never see any errors in the text.
- Steer clear of products that have 1000 or more glowing reviews. No product is perfect for everyone. Also, if the reviews seem to be shortened reviews of the products’ description or specification, it probably is fake. So, on that note, you should lean towards reviews that look and feel natural, with actual or realistic expressions and photos.
- Like any other online store, you need to only shop from the brands that you not only trust but are also aware of their reputation. You also need to ensure that the products sold are not only shipped from but also sold directly from the manufacturer or from Amazon.
- If the price of a product is too low, you have the right to question the price. Keep in mind that if the deal is too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Do your homework about the brand you are about to buy before you complete your order. You need to know about any safety issues about the products sold, any legal matters the company is dealing with, and if you cannot find much information about that brand, then you should not buy from them.
- If you can buy something from an actual physical store at the same price, then you should, instead of buying from Amazon.
The Chinese sellers have proliferated Amazon, and they now make up a good chunk of the sellers listed on Amazon. Unfortunately, their products are not to be trusted, and some have been said to be very dangerous. You might also want to start looking for Made in USA brands much more actively.
Read more useful tips here or here!
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.