How Scammers in China Manipulate Amazon and Its Shoppers

cageymaru

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Apr 10, 2003
Messages
19,990
Scammers in China will do anything to move up the list of bestsellers on Amazon. They will attack other sellers on the eCommerce site with fake reviews by purchasing the competitor's products and then returning them with complaints. This will kill sales for weeks until Amazon realizes what is happening. They will even purchase their own products and then write fake reviews to boost their ratings on Amazon.

Then there are the websites that are dedicated to selling reviews for products on Amazon and other eCommerce websites. Some Amazon employees have been accused of accepting bribes, restoring banned accounts and leaking insider information to manufacturers seeking to move to the top of the Amazon bestsellers list. Amazon uses machine learning and other technology to combat the scammers and close loopholes in the system. But critics say that it just makes more loopholes as humans adapt to the latest ML algorithm.

Chinese sellers resort to a wide range of cunning techniques to manipulate product listings on Amazon and boost sales. WSJ's Jon Emont investigates their strategies and explains how consumers can detect sham listings. Image: Crystal Tai. Video: Clement Burge/WSJ
 

nEo717

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
357
Scammers in China will do anything to move up the list of bestsellers on Amazon. They will attack other sellers on the eCommerce site with fake reviews by purchasing the competitor's products and then returning them with complaints. This will kill sales for weeks until Amazon realizes what is happening. They will even purchase their own products and then write fake reviews to boost their ratings on Amazon.

Then there are the websites that are dedicated to selling reviews for products on Amazon and other eCommerce websites. Some Amazon employees have been accused of accepting bribes, restoring banned accounts and leaking insider information to manufacturers seeking to move to the top of the Amazon bestsellers list. Amazon uses machine learning and other technology to combat the scammers and close loopholes in the system. But critics say that it just makes more loopholes as humans adapt to the latest ML algorithm.

Chinese sellers resort to a wide range of cunning techniques to manipulate product listings on Amazon and boost sales. WSJ's Jon Emont investigates their strategies and explains how consumers can detect sham listings. Image: Crystal Tai. Video: Clement Burge/WSJ

Same thing happens here in U.S. coming from first-hand experience - There are a few 3rd party apps to help catch such buyers, and get their posts removed too...
 

RobCalleg

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Nov 15, 2018
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128
We need to ban all business with China and never payback any debt we owe then.

They are immoral line cutters.
 

kinjo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
1,053
garbage tactics employed by filthy sub human garbage people. wish more Americans could experience working with Chinese vendors/producers then they would understand that they are all lying cheaters you have to watch them at all times like a bunch of dishonest children...

That all being said the West is partly responsible for the culture of dishonesty that exists there. We expect rock bottom prices on everything and will change vendors in a heart beat if it saves us even one dollar which pushes the factories there to break rules and cut corners....

Of course a lot of that is due to the fact the 50% of Americans are basically wage slave subsisting below the poverty line who have to stretch every dollar and are forced to always buy the cheapest option just to make ends meet....

But that is a result of greedy corporations doing everything they can to squeeze down costs in order to make maximum return because earning some money is not enough they have to earn all of the money and everything else is unacceptable...

of course that attitude is driven by share holders that only care about short term returns and see investment not as a long term strategy to build wealth by investing in quality companies that will stand the test of time but instead as a form of short term speculative gambling designed to make a quick buck before moving on to the next flash in a pan unicorn tech stock...


TLDR: things are complicated lots of blame to go around things overall in the world are pretty fucked.
 

Reimu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,626
stop manufacturing in china...if you go there and pay workers pennies, it will always be worth it for them to do what they do
It's not pennies anymore. The PRC's expensive enough that the Chinese are outsourcing to Vietnam and beyond themselves.
Cheating is Elementary for China
What have they got to lose in doing it? They have everything to gain.
 

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,687
LOL not one bit about counterfeit products.
Yeah funny Amazon is very good at covering that up..

Also funny to see China bashing, as if western sellers don't do the same. I guess the Russia bashing got worn out recently..
 

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
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Messages
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I love checking FakeSpot to check out reviews before buying. I mean you can usually guess but an F or a D means no purchase from me.
Fakespot covered up many fake products because They are listed for years. So I wouldn't trust them much other than seeing deleted review volume.
E.g. https://www.fakespot.com/product/jbl-xtreme-portable-wireless-bluetooth-speaker-red
There was wide reports Of counterfeit models sold direct, hence the deleted reviews.
But fakespot says b?
 

Reimu

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Yeah funny Amazon is very good at covering that up..

Also funny to see China bashing, as if western sellers don't do the same. I guess the Russia bashing got worn out recently..
There is ground to bash China though. For one, the Chinese never did open their market up and allow equal footing for the world to access. IT sector is very much the case, where non-Chinese foreign entrants aren't able to operate (never mind compete) fairly.
 

HAL_404

Gawd
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
961
Chinese buy warehouse space in California, stock it with items then post on ebay that items are located in USA but the sellers are in China. Ebay knows about this but does nothing about it because it makes them lots of money.

I still can't fathom how ebay is able to run their business in such a shady illegal manner and no authority does anything about it
 

Laowai

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Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
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Chinese buy warehouse space in California, stock it with items then post on ebay that items are located in USA but the sellers are in China. Ebay knows about this but does nothing about it because it makes them lots of money.

I still can't fathom how ebay is able to run their business in such a shady illegal manner and no authority does anything about it
What's shady or illegal about that and who do you think should remedy it? Is there something I'm missing?
1. Rent warehouse space in California or wherever else.
2. Put shit in it.
3. Sell shit.
 

Laowai

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There is ground to bash China though. For one, the Chinese never did open their market up and allow equal footing for the world to access. IT sector is very much the case, where non-Chinese foreign entrants aren't able to operate (never mind compete) fairly.
It's a problem for every single sector.
 
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Laowai

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Yeah funny Amazon is very good at covering that up..

Also funny to see China bashing, as if western sellers don't do the same. I guess the Russia bashing got worn out recently..
Again with the bullshit comparisons every time China gets brought up.
Somebody, without fail, chimes in with "But others do it too!".

First of all, that does not make it right.
Second of all, like everything else the Chinese touch, they dial it up to 11.
Sure, other people make counterfeit goods. How many make counterfeit/fake medicine, vaccines and baby formula?
How many other countries produce so many fake and dangerous products that the general population automatically assume that all sellers are liars and that everything is fake.
FFS, sellers on the Chinese version of Ebay and Alibaba often post their gov't issued bussiness licenses to try to reassure customers. It does not work though because it's assumed the licenses are fake too. Gov't stamps and all.
 

atarione

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Joined
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Messages
2,020
Hmm.. I wonder what we do? realistically while tempting to go all crazy with trade sanctions / refuse to pay debts to china, actually doing so would be a complete and total catasphof*ck... of the highest magnitude..

But other than being the "sears" of nation states.. and continue sliding out of global superpower status (eventually) .. what the h*ll do we do?

I honestly don't know?
 

Nebell

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Humans adapt to AI to beat it successfully. Well, there goes my hope for a real-life Terminator world!
 

Nallexi

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Humans adapting to the machine learning about them, which then learns about their new adaptations and learns that...it begins.
 
Joined
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556
garbage tactics employed by filthy sub human garbage people. wish more Americans could experience working with Chinese vendors/producers then they would understand that they are all lying cheaters you have to watch them at all times like a bunch of dishonest children...

That all being said the West is partly responsible for the culture of dishonesty that exists there. We expect rock bottom prices on everything and will change vendors in a heart beat if it saves us even one dollar which pushes the factories there to break rules and cut corners....

Of course a lot of that is due to the fact the 50% of Americans are basically wage slave subsisting below the poverty line who have to stretch every dollar and are forced to always buy the cheapest option just to make ends meet....

But that is a result of greedy corporations doing everything they can to squeeze down costs in order to make maximum return because earning some money is not enough they have to earn all of the money and everything else is unacceptable...

of course that attitude is driven by share holders that only care about short term returns and see investment not as a long term strategy to build wealth by investing in quality companies that will stand the test of time but instead as a form of short term speculative gambling designed to make a quick buck before moving on to the next flash in a pan unicorn tech stock...


TLDR: things are complicated lots of blame to go around things overall in the world are pretty fucked.
The love of money is the root of all evil
 

jpcahn1

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
66
I watch a British YouTuber who lives in China. According to him if a Chinese person gets conned by a fellow countryman they praise them for doing a good job. Ripping off rubes is looked at as a good thing in that culture.
 

Hatriot

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
157
garbage tactics employed by filthy sub human garbage people. wish more Americans could experience working with Chinese vendors/producers then they would understand that they are all lying cheaters you have to watch them at all times like a bunch of dishonest children...

That all being said the West is partly responsible for the culture of dishonesty that exists there. We expect rock bottom prices on everything and will change vendors in a heart beat if it saves us even one dollar which pushes the factories there to break rules and cut corners....

Of course a lot of that is due to the fact the 50% of Americans are basically wage slave subsisting below the poverty line who have to stretch every dollar and are forced to always buy the cheapest option just to make ends meet....

But that is a result of greedy corporations doing everything they can to squeeze down costs in order to make maximum return because earning some money is not enough they have to earn all of the money and everything else is unacceptable...

of course that attitude is driven by share holders that only care about short term returns and see investment not as a long term strategy to build wealth by investing in quality companies that will stand the test of time but instead as a form of short term speculative gambling designed to make a quick buck before moving on to the next flash in a pan unicorn tech stock...


TLDR: things are complicated lots of blame to go around things overall in the world are pretty fucked.

Nothing you said is even close to true unless, like you on the left always do, redefine terms like "slave" and "poverty" to fabricate your progressive After School Special story. Greedy corporations are making people by Iphones every year. Yeah the so called "poor" are never poor because of their own decisions in life. It is always some evil corporation, most likely run by a straight, white, Christian male straight out of a Hollywood movie which is really where this is coming from. Those same 50% also abuse the government tax system by stealing part of actual working American's pay check every year. Again your comment about shareholders is laughable, and let me guess, derived from Wolves of Wall Street? If what you said were true there would be no companies over 20 years old. Should we check the history of the companies on some of the major indexes?
 

Laowai

Gawd
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
534
I watch a British YouTuber who lives in China. According to him if a Chinese person gets conned by a fellow countryman they praise them for doing a good job. Ripping off rubes is looked at as a good thing in that culture.
No.
While I'm sure this is true for a certain segment of scumbags, it's not generally true.

The issue in China is that there's very little enforcement of any laws/regulations, except those that protect the Party and its interests.
Police and low level gov't officials are easily bribed.
Because of these problems and some 'features' of their culture, people rarely go to the police if they know something shady is going on, provided it does not impact them.
 

oROEchimaru

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
Messages
4,662
fakespot.com is great, amazon needs to step up their game. every year we see an article "amazon to stop fake products from china, fake reviews xyz" and it only gets worse. they make too much money to really sell high quality goods.
 

Uvaman2

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
3,143
If its China.. its scummy scammers.. if its U$A, its free enterprise by savvy business individuals. Ahh the smell of propaganda in the morning.
 

nEo717

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
357
garbage tactics employed by filthy sub human garbage people. wish more Americans could experience working with Chinese vendors/producers then they would understand that they are all lying cheaters you have to watch them at all times like a bunch of dishonest children...

That all being said the West is partly responsible for the culture of dishonesty that exists there. We expect rock bottom prices on everything and will change vendors in a heart beat if it saves us even one dollar which pushes the factories there to break rules and cut corners....

Of course a lot of that is due to the fact the 50% of Americans are basically wage slave subsisting below the poverty line who have to stretch every dollar and are forced to always buy the cheapest option just to make ends meet....

But that is a result of greedy corporations doing everything they can to squeeze down costs in order to make maximum return because earning some money is not enough they have to earn all of the money and everything else is unacceptable...

of course that attitude is driven by share holders that only care about short term returns and see investment not as a long term strategy to build wealth by investing in quality companies that will stand the test of time but instead as a form of short term speculative gambling designed to make a quick buck before moving on to the next flash in a pan unicorn tech stock...


TLDR: things are complicated lots of blame to go around things overall in the world are pretty fucked.
-------

Those of us who have, or do deal with China (manufacturing/workforce) get your point clearly... however, many will not (we could cover that for days here) - Here's example of how having an item made in China goes:

Dream it up, engineer it, etc... Find China partner, they build you samples - They are Grade A++ impressive, solid workmanship, etc... Order 1st wave, they say oh, we can't fill that qty, ship you many less - You notice while they are still pretty good quality (impressive), its maybe a A or even B++ parts and workmanship - You sell our quickly, American consumers love cheap price, talk highly about product and your company - So, you cut a much larger PO, China takes it, even gives you a tiny bit better price, deliverers a little late, but, you get order - This time you really notice you item is built with grade B, or even C level components, workmanship (too trained eye) you notice looks as amateurs assembled your item in hut or old warehouse on edge of town... oh wait, that's exactly what happened. It only goes down hill from there with "limited test escapes", RMA rates high enough either price has to go up or don't stand behind your item like you may want to... etc...

Then guess what, yep, you notice knock off's of your item... even worst you have much lower quality product than you once hoped for, and, out of Amazon you have all the games with fake reviews, false returns, etc... all on top of the wonderful China experience.


So what can you do? Our company faced it head on and brought manufacturing back to U.S. where it can be managed, sure there's problems, nothing that can't be improved upon though - Dealing with Amazon and eBay, short of using good 3rd party apps to combat fake reviews, and help manage fake customers, you can't let them spoil it for your good customers and keeping the right attitude to treat real shoppers right, back up you items, process returns and work it out with the (real) good people, fire the bad customers.
 

ecuador

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
207
I was a top-500 reviewer and left a rather professional review of some Chinese binoculars (complete with photo comparison with other models, prism tests etc), which made the seller attack me, my review got so much downvoted I fell from the top-500 and they were sending me messages telling me they will report me for fraud to Amazon, even wrote a comment under my review claiming I am a competitor, owner of "Agena Astro" (a major astro retailer !!! no clue where they got that, congrats to me I guess!). Some guy actually found me on facebook and sent me his message history from a facebook group of the seller where they were organizing users for reviews in exchange for free products and they had a thread where the seller was asking the group to go and downvote me because I was a competitor with a fraudulent review. That guy told me he liked the free stuff, but he saw it was obvious that I was a legitimate reviewer so contacted me instead. I sent the screenshots to Amazon who did nothing, they kept the seller and their fake 5-star reviews on those horrible binoculars (and my downvotes as well).
 

Reimu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
1,626
I can say that the thing that we really need is to have the world recognize that PRC is not an open market and that we are not competing against Chinese companies on equal and reciprocal terms.
The world couldn't continue to enable such Chinese state-owned enterprises to do as they wish if other countries couldn't do the same in China.

This is coming from my experience of working with Taiwanese OEM/ODM in electrical overhead line equipment firm for more than a decade.

-------

Those of us who have, or do deal with China (manufacturing/workforce) get your point clearly... however, many will not (we could cover that for days here) - Here's example of how having an item made in China goes:

Dream it up, engineer it, etc... Find China partner, they build you samples - They are Grade A++ impressive, solid workmanship, etc... Order 1st wave, they say oh, we can't fill that qty, ship you many less - You notice while they are still pretty good quality (impressive), its maybe a A or even B++ parts and workmanship - You sell our quickly, American consumers love cheap price, talk highly about product and your company - So, you cut a much larger PO, China takes it, even gives you a tiny bit better price, deliverers a little late, but, you get order - This time you really notice you item is built with grade B, or even C level components, workmanship (too trained eye) you notice looks as amateurs assembled your item in hut or old warehouse on edge of town... oh wait, that's exactly what happened. It only goes down hill from there with "limited test escapes", RMA rates high enough either price has to go up or don't stand behind your item like you may want to... etc...

Then guess what, yep, you notice knock off's of your item... even worst you have much lower quality product than you once hoped for, and, out of Amazon you have all the games with fake reviews, false returns, etc... all on top of the wonderful China experience.


So what can you do? Our company faced it head on and brought manufacturing back to U.S. where it can be managed, sure there's problems, nothing that can't be improved upon though - Dealing with Amazon and eBay, short of using good 3rd party apps to combat fake reviews, and help manage fake customers, you can't let them spoil it for your good customers and keeping the right attitude to treat real shoppers right, back up you items, process returns and work it out with the (real) good people, fire the bad customers.
I feel that the real issue is not as simple as "bring manufacturing back to X", since the value of manufacturing lies with technology transfer nowadays. We don't benefit from having braindead bio-robots toiling away at an assembly line whatsoever.
The real issues are:
1. PRC is a closed economy that is demanding equal access to open economies on unequal terms
2. PRC is too big to be clumped as one single economic zone. Coastal zones such as Shanghai and Pearl River Delta are developed.
3. PRC does not offer legal protection in their market yet demand for level playing field in open economies.

The only way that we can redress this is to force PRC into opening their market and play at a level playing field comparable to any developed economy within their first tier cities.
 

mikeo

Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
622
Prime used to be awesome, lately a lot of stuff that I would buy from them out of laziness I now have to get from the local grocery store due to worries about it all being counterfeit.

They also keep switching my account back to USPS, so stuff keeps getting lost and returned to them. I was thinking about letting my membership expire but amazon studios has been killing it lately, same with HBO and other prime streaming channels. Has anyone here used the whole foods prime box delivery option, and how did it work out for you?

Also, while everyone is ripping on things in this thread, wtf is up with movie theaters showing tv commercials for 10 minutes instead of movie previews after you pay 12 bucks for a ticket?
 

juanrga

Pro-Intel / Anti-AMD Just FYI
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
2,668
Scammers in China will do anything to move up the list of bestsellers on Amazon. They will attack other sellers on the eCommerce site with fake reviews by purchasing the competitor's products and then returning them with complaints. This will kill sales for weeks until Amazon realizes what is happening. They will even purchase their own products and then write fake reviews to boost their ratings on Amazon.
Curious, because I know cases of exactly the contrary. E.g. I know a legit Chinese seller is continuously attacked by American and European sellers with fake reviews. The reason? She sells exactly the same product, but 40% cheaper.

I also know legit European and American sellers that fake sales and reviews, just to promote their own stores reputation. This also happens outside Amazon, e.g. on Ebay.
 
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