Amazon is Cracking Down on The Sale of Stolen Goods




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Dozens of sellers have had their accounts suspended or banned on Amazon. The company claims these accounts were selling stolen merchandise, however, several sellers have stated they did not know the products were stolen.

Amazon has very strict policies regarding selling items through its website and has a no-tolerance policy in place for stolen goods. In recent months, the company has been cracking down on fraudulent sales.

The small businesses in question get their merchandise from third-party wholesalers. If the merchandise was stolen, they claim they were unaware themselves. Several have reached out to Amazon for more information but haven’t gotten anywhere with the company and are conducting their own investigation into which items were pinged and who in their supply chain provided them.

One suspended seller stocked his Amazon store with products he purchased wholesale from KZ International, which Amazon later confirmed was on a list of “risky sellers”. That company had its warehouses raided last December and allegedly found millions of dollars worth of stolen goods, which KZ International claims was stolen by two of its suppliers and has since pursued a lawsuit against them.

In a statement provided to CNBC, Amazon stated the company “does not allow independent sellers to list stolen goods in our store, and we work closely with law enforcement, retailers, and brands to stop bad actors and hold them accountable, including withholding funds, terminating accounts, and making law enforcement referrals.”

Amazon has a team of internal law enforcement professionals that make up its ORC Engagement Team to track every package that runs through its fulfillment warehouses. Suspicious products are flagged and reported to authorities.

Sellers have said they were never alerted that items in their stores were stolen merchandise or even which products were in question. Unless their appeals to Amazon are approved, they will be forced to permanently shut down their stores, a sole source of income for most.

“It’s been devastating to us, truthfully. We’re terrified to buy any wholesale products for customers right now because we don’t know what’s stolen, what’s not stolen, or what Amazon is going to say is stolen, even if it’s not stolen,” said Ricky Sala, Co-Owner of Oregon Prep Center.

While the products themselves may be stolen, it appears Amazon’s tactic of cutting off the source is directed at the last step goods make before heading out to customers and not the original source. Amazon is currently working with law enforcement to track down where the products came from and which wholesalers are stealing millions of dollars worth of goods to pass them off as legit purchases to marketplace sellers.

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