Is It Safe To Buy From Amazon Third Party Sellers? Amazon is an eCommerce giant, and it holds the biggest market share today, surpassing other eCommerce sites like eBay by an astounding margin. It currently has at least 2.5 million sellers that are actively selling on its marketplace, and at the end of 2019, Amazon had a market share valued at $280.5 billion in 2019.
Looking at these numbers and several other classes of statistical data shared by Statista, there magnetism and success of Amazon is both unparalleled and something to revel at.
One of the biggest reasons for Amazon’s success is its marketplace, which has opened up space for third-party sellers to profit from the eCommerce giant. These sellers are behind Amazon’s profitability, and they are the reason why you can buy pretty much anything off of Amazon.
The big question, however, remains whether you should trust the third-party sellers on Amazon. Say you are planning to buy a diamond engagement ring on Amazon, can you trust that third-party seller to sell you an authentic piece of jewelry?
If you love shopping online, the truth is that you’ve most probably come across and suffered in the hands of a duplicitous third-party seller on Amazon and that one bad experience might have tainted your view of third-party sellers.
Your pain is understandable, and your decision to tread on the side of caution taken seriously. But we wouldn’t want you or anyone else to go through the pain you did, which is why this entire article is dedicated to third-party Amazon sellers and whether they can be trusted or not.
Is it safe to buy from Amazon third-party sellers?
Yes, the third-party sellers on Amazon can be safe, as long as you are buying items from Amazon. I am a third-party seller on Amazon.com for many years. However, this doesn’t mean that this eCommerce site is 100% secure and free of scammers. Like all other marketplaces, you will find scammers trying to make away with your hard-earned money, which is why you need to be extra careful when shopping from third-party sellers.
To be safe, you should avoid the sellers whose products come with limited feedback, the low-rated sellers, as well as the sellers that charge abnormally-high fees for shipping. Generally, trustworthy sellers will boast a wide range of reviews over their lifetime on the platform, and everything about their products and reviews/ ratings will look realistic.
On the bright side, it isn’t quite easy to falsify seller ratings on the platform because Amazon’s data is based on algorithms that will consider customer complaints and ratings, the number of returns, and shipping timelines, among other considerations. So, a top-rated seller is often a genuine seller, and you can trust them.
Don’t forget to check the sellers’ website. In most cases, scam sellers will either lack a website, or if they have a website, it’s incomplete with a very skeleton feel. A reliable seller, on the other hand, will have a complete website featuring all the products also listed on their Amazon seller profile.
How many third-party sellers on Amazon?
Going by the 2019 reports on the Amazon Marketplace, this giant online retailer recorded $280.5 billion in revenue in 2019; $232.9 billion, and $177.9 billion in 2018 and 2017, respectively.
The most interesting bit, however, is that out of these total revenue recorded, about 50% of the total revenues recorded each year were from third-party sellers.
The main reason for the steep rise in the revenue generated is the expansion of Amazon’s global market and the subsequent launch of Amazon markets in Singapore, resulting in a total of 16 worldwide marketplaces. T
he other marketplaces are spread across the UK, Canada, India, Australia, Italy, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, China, Turkey, the UAE, and the US.
How to check if a seller is legit on Amazon?
Amazon is the market leader when it comes to direct-to-consumer marketplaces around the globe, and you can buy pretty much anything from Amazon – whether you are looking for goods and services.
This eCommerce giant operates hundreds of massive warehouses all over the world, but it’s also made it possible for smaller companies that sell hard-to-find products/ services to access and sell products from the Amazon platform. As a result, you will come across numerous individual sellers that sell new and, in other cases, used items.
Unfortunately, being such a huge marketplace and having sellers from all over the place means that some rotten apples will fall through the cracks, and you will find some scammers here and there.
It is not unheard of, and though it’s something that’s rather hard to tackle, you can protect yourself from getting scammed. Below, we look at some of the things you could do when you are not sure if you are dealing with a legit seller or not.
1. Check for the Fulfilled by Amazon Listing
One of the best ways for you to avoid scammers is to look for the Fulfilment by Amazon listing below the details of the third party seller. The reason for this is that the third-party sellers will always show up in your search results when Amazon doesn’t sell the product or service you are looking for.
In case the third-party seller is selling an item that Amazon sells too, their product will be listed in the default listing. To the third-party sellers on Amazon, this is called Winning the Buy Box. But this doesn’t always happen, and you will find the legit amazon sellers listed under the “Other Sellers on Amazon” tab. Note that this is often the case with sellers that use Amazon as a secondary marketplace, specifically to gain visibility.
So, if you want to be safe shopping from Amazon, look out for products “Fulfilled by Amazon.” You also need to keep in mind that if the product is marked as one sold by a specific company name but Fulfilled by Amazon, it often means that the product in question would have to be shipped to Amazon first. It would be a good idea to check out for such terms first. Seek clarification from Amazon in case you are unsure.
Also, check how the words used are spelled. A legit third-party seller will have Fulfilled by Amazon tag (take note of the capitalized letters).
2. Is the deal/ price too good to be true? Well, it probably is.
Like every other market you find yourself in, a deal that is too good to be true, is too good to be true, and you must avoid it.
Hucksters will, however, lurk around the marketplace to scam unsuspecting customers or anyone looking for the cheapest deals, meaning that you should be cautious. In the very least, check the prices of similar products before you opt for that ‘deal of a lifetime.’
Note that even though Amazon offers great sales from time to time for vendors doing well, it doesn’t happen all the time, and Amazon will offer the discount, not the vendor.
3. Avoid new accounts
If a company is just launched on Amazon and it records very high sales, it will be flagged by Amazon and their selling privileges revoked.
But sellers are becoming smart about it, and they will run multiple accounts. If you come across a seller that is obviously new (a few reviews/ no questions/ answers), it will be a good idea to avoid them.
4.Extra-long shipping times
You don’t expect to have your products to be shipped immediately if you are buying from a third-party seller.
But if the shipping times exceed three weeks (two weeks is standard), then you should worry about ordering from that seller.
5.Spelling and Grammar Issues
This might feel like a trivial issue, but odd spelling or grammatical errors is a sign of a fake seller. Avoid them, and also watch out for sellers who will use random characters.
Besides buyer reviews, you should also take a look at the seller reviews. You can tell when you are dealing with a fake seller if you come across a large number of identical and single-work responses from users.
How to avoid buying counterfeit products on Amazon
- First, take a look at what the third-party seller says about their product and the images they provide. These should be detailed, concise, and the language used shouldn’t be confusing or garbled. Low-quality images, inaccurate images, and wrong descriptions are big red flags.
- Check user reviews. What are buyers saying about the products? Do these reviews sound genuine?
- Ask the seller for clarification if you are unsure of some things. Often, a legit seller will have the answer you are looking for, and they won’t have to beat around the bush or give one-word answers.
There are many fake sellers online, not just on Amazon marketplaces alone. To be able to protect yourself from bogus sellers, do your due diligence and follow the tips offered above.
Bear in mind that a genuine seller knows all there is to know about their products, they cannot afford to make grammatical or spelling mistakes, they will use the best photos they can take, and the descriptions will be very detailed.
Don’t forget to check the pricing – avoid the products that make you feel you hit the jackpot of cheap products. And even if you are convinced that the price could be right, check out the prices by other sellers. The price differences are never too far off.