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The Amazon Market Place Trap

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We have all heard of the deadly ‘Amazon Fly Trap’ well now we have the ‘Amazon Market Place Trap’ equally as painful if you fall in it.

This is a warning message really, although reading some of the pieces on this site it is nothing new and had I had been more on my toes and read more on the internet I would not have fallen in the ‘Amazon Market Place Trap’.

 

I bought a "Nikingstore IDE/SATA Dual Slot Hard Drive Docking Station" on Amazon for £23.99. I received the confirmation email and again foolishly as I have been so use to and confident of Amazon’s system I just let it sit in my inbox. After a week it had not arrived so I emailed the seller only to find that they were based in Singapore and delivery could be up to 30 days. It did not take that long but when I went to use it; it did not work or not as it should. It even disconnected my BT home internet hub every time I switched it on and inserted a hard drive. I contacted the seller stating that it was faulty and I wanted to return it for a refund. We then started a series of emails back and forth while he argued the toss. It was not until I started an A-Z claim that he agreed to take it back. They wanted me to pay the £11.84 shipping and again it took a few emails for him to very generously offer to reimburse the cost of shipping!! But could I send it by surface mail as it was cheaper (£6.81). During this time I was also communicating with Amazon and it was not until then that I discovered that as a buyer we have no consumer protection at all in their Market Place purchases.

When I bought my item there was no mention on the webpage that the company I was dealing with was based outside the UK so I think it fair to say that a buyer would naturally think they would be dealing someone in our own country. The way I see it is, taken to the extreme, we could have traders from all over the world supplying faulty or substandard goods to customers in the UK and Amazon just turn their backs on it as they offer no protection at all. Do I see this wrong, are Amazon actually aiding and abetting in allowing some of their sellers to rib us off and why should they do anything about it for they are actually profiting from it also. Being sarcastic does Amazon really care as in recent days we have seen that Amazon only cares about Amazon another way of just adding to the coffers, like the tax they don’t pay.

They have said that I will get my £23.99 back (although I am still waiting) but it is on a wing and prayer that I will ever see the return postage again, and the faulty goods, well who knows, they will most properly we re-boxed and shipped out to the next punter and the process will starts all over again.

 

I did notice on the Amazon confirmation invoice that they make reference to the United Kingdom's Distance Selling Regulations, “you have the right to cancel the contract for the purchase of any of these items within a period of 7 working days, beginning with the day after the day on which the item is delivered” They fail to tell you that you will have to bear the cost to return it even if it is faulty. In my case it was virtually half of the price of the item.

As you will no doubt see I am a little angry about this although it is my fault really but I feel that I should speak out and add my story hoping someone might see it before they buy as Amazon will never warn you.

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing


CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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Can I just add this, and I'm talking by experience. If you buy from Amazon.co.uk, click on "Detailed Seller Information" if the company doesn't explicitly state that the items are sent from within the UK, then the goods are 99% of the times sold from outside the EU (not just the UK).

 

I would also be suspicious of sellers who don't put their whole address. Why? What have they got to hide?

 

I have recently bough an item form a seller stating that it was in the UK but the item came from outside the EU. Thanks God the price was only £14.99, if it was 1 penny more I would have to pay VAT + Custom charges.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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Thanks to san_d too


CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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There is something else far more disturbing going on at Amazon. Considering the tight margins companies make Amazon charge hefty fees for selling products through marketplace. In fact Amazon make the profit without the responsibility. However as you pay Amazon the full amount and the remainder goes to the seller, despite what Amazon claim they are fully involved and complicit by doing this.

 

There is something else to consider when using Amazon marketplace. I recently purchased a Android Dongle, keyboard and LED lighting from the marketplace (from 2 companies). The original dongle was sent from a UK logistics warehouse which was duff and a refund was given with having to send it back. The replacement and the rest of stuff was sent from HK and contained invoices to me at a fraction of the cost with some of the invoices from 3rd parties. Now I am no expert but false invoicing is a criminal offence as it constitutes blatant duty and VAT avoidance. Theoretically I am now complicit in this as I am the invoicee. So why am I bringing this up? 1000s of individuals using Amazon's EU marketplace network are being shipped goods from outside the EU everyday that they have purchased from Amazon marketplace which clearly states that VAT has been paid on the seller page. VAT cannot be paid unless duty has been paid and therefor anyone would believe this to be fact when it is not and if it has only a fraction due has been paid. Amazon has plenty of disclaimers but by taking a cut they are also complicit no matter how they put it.

 

Marketplace is open to abuse and Amazon are happy for it to continue until issues with sellers are "brought to their attention" then again it has and the sellers are still trading. I compiled a list of over 40 companies that I suspect of pretending to be in the UK and misleading customers and whom have no address stated I asked Amazon for their business contact details. They refused stating data protection. I asked them for the extract from the act that covers businesses as companies information is in the public domain and I got a snotty reply without the extract and plenty of disclaimers and stating they are ceasing my line of inquiry.

 

Apart from this issue of VAT and duty dodging putting tens of thousands s at risk of fines and payments. Amazons marketplace can theoretically be used for international illegal money laundering, false accounting by companies and profit shifting. We also have to ask ourselves if the sellers are willing to dodge duty and VAT and put us at risk, are they willing to sell counterfeit,unsafe, graded soled as new and or stolen goods?. As there are no real checks and due diligence by Amazon, there is also the possibility that illegal goods are being sent using Amazon labels therefor reducing suspicion and allowing illegal items into the EU

 

I have taken one of the companies that sent me goods from HK and dug. They claim to be a US company but the emails come from a far east time zone. I tacked their US corporate offices (both) and found that they are both virtual offices. one address has over 500 companies registered there and the other comes up as clearly a virtual office address. So I checked out their logistics warehouse address and found that they had recently set up a UK company at that address with 2 Chinese nationals as director and secretary. So what. Well as they claim to be US based Amazon will send they payment less commission to a US bank account thus avoiding UK corporation tax. In the case of goods being sent from the UK. This can be achieved by the US office paying HK, invoicing UK at near full price. Or that the UK invoices the US at near cost price. The other issue that the customers details can be used for transactions with the companies internal systems or more serious issues in identity theft. After all if they want to dodge VAT or sell sell dodgy goods, what's stopping them from selling your details. Of course once again Amazon will disclaim and avoid any responsibility.

 

So next time you go online remember this: When you buy from likes of Amazon,you take the same risk as buying from the boot of a car but you give them your address. Why? because Amazon WILL NOT accept any liability and is willing to hide them under their umbrella.

 

I may be sticking my head out and Amazon may know who I am if this is read. However, the circumstances and pieces of evidence I have gleaned to date fit so tightly it makes the eyes water. So Amazon will have to take responsibility, the sooner the better, or suffer the eventual consequences because it will not be you or I that brings them to task .

 

By the way HMRC, Trading Standards, the SFO, SOCA, OFT and not forgetting your local MP are always looking for intelligence on routes of VAT and Duty avoidance, especially when it is orchestrated by a 3rd party. However before you send any proof to them contact Citizens advice or consumer direct for clarification.

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