I noticed this with many other products as well, but the arrows is a particularly noticeable example because it's something I regularly replace as they get beat up and destroyed (I shoot a lot).
I wonder if it's because they push the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra too far. After all, their current approach is successful so why risk changing anything? That would also explain why the website overall looks so dated in many areas.
On the other hand I don't see how fake reviews and bootleg items do anything but hurt Amazon by making people distrust the platform. You don't want to add friction to the buying process by making people triple check that they're not getting duped.
And it's not like it's a new problem either, lack of trust was a huge issue in the early days of e-commerce, I'm sure Amazon doesn't want to return to these days where you felt like you were swimming in a sea of scams.
Whereas now it's more akin to eBay which always suffered with scam problems (and responded by giving buyers far more power - which then resulted in buyers scamming sellers instead of the reverse).
I wish it could return to the days where you just bought stuff from Amazon - or at least make it very easy to only search for their products.
> also explain why the website overall looks so dated in many areas.
As pointed out by UX experts "what's good for Amazon is not good for normal sites."
That can't be the explanation. They surely must be aware of it, and surely must be looking forward in time, right?
I guess it's possible that everyone there is a moron, but it doesn't seem likely.
I know for a fact from an Amazon employee that they are aware of it. It's more that they don't have a focus on fixing it.
The website is entirely different (although Amazon themed/branded). It still doesn't have full mobile support. Phone support is almost non-existent. Most customer support is outsourced to foreign countries. It is a joke.
It once took me 3 months of arguing back and forth to get an erroneous $30 seller fee refunded since there was no "supervisor" to speak to and only a broken ticket system where I would received canned apologies and promises - just to have the same result over and over.
They are clearly understaffed and/or don't know what they're doing most of the time, so counterfeit, duplicate, and junk/low quality listings get through all the time.
The more niche a product is, the easier it is to compete. It's just hard to tell an establish brand apart from a brand that just does Amazon, if you search for something (brands) outside of your knowledge domain. Smaller private label brands can appear more professional as a result of that mentioned laser focus and having Amazon as only channel.
In my opinion it's also the fault of the bigger brands not investing enough into the optimization of their listing, they don't depend on it.
I wouldn't call it their "fault", per se. Thought experiment:
If I'm a third party seller on Amazon, why should I / what do I gain by investing into the optimization of my listing if I do not depend on my Amazon listing for the majority of my revenue?
Edit. Agree with the rest of your post btw
Sure, you're right, that's how businesses think, and it makes sense. But the side effect is the situation that was brought up, that customers don't understand why their favorite products don't show up higher up in the list, if at all. there might be a point where it can affect a brand and their domain authority. Like Google search, the stuff that doesn't show up on the first pages is perceived as less relevant.
Sorry for this late response, just saw your reply.
Perhaps shoppers aren't the customer they have in mind?
I decided to do my research outside of Amazon. The most reliable brand which I chose based on independent review sites and user forums does not actually appear on first 10 pages of Amazon search results. I bought it anyways, and it is so good value for money that I have ordered another one. Safe to say I don't trust Amazon recommendations at all.
In Europe each country (with an Amazon presence ofc) has its own website, each with its own stock and sellers. Buying from the US website is often a no-go, because of the shipping times and the customs fees, and also buying from other european countries is often bad as you forego free shipping and returns.
But anyway thank you for your product, it's already pretty useful for brand products. :)
And thank you again :)
I don't want retail to go away. Fuck Amazon.
There used to be a superb hardware store and a great outdoor store near me. Both have closed along with so much else on the high street. If I try and get a lot of what the hardware store carried either online or in other retail (the big DIY sheds) I'll get a far inferior cheap and nasty Chinese equivalent for surprisingly little saving. The items I actually want remain elusive.
The outdoor store had staff that climbed, hiked and so on, and were great for advice as well as product. If you wanted something a little out of the ordinary (either specialist or more unusual sizes) they could order it in for next day at no cost. I got a couple of super cheap items in their closing down sale. :(
I could probably drive 100 miles to Manchester or Glasgow and find a suitable retail option. That would make anything other than carefully planned bulk purchase crazy expensive.
Online has been great for rare niche items, or electronics. For an awful lot of the day-to-day rest I'm left feeling that after the initial boost when they first set up, it's left us far worse off. To cap it all Amazon are rarely cheaper any more.
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
I broke my rule last week to buy a CB radio that was about 66% the usual retail price, so of course the seller rewarded me by having it delivered 600 miles away (either that, or USPS seriously messed up) and then failing to respond to my inquiries.
Fulfillment should be a commodity, and I don't want to have to deal with how different brands have structured their own fulfillment.
Unfortunately I have to agree.
There has been a huge increase in the number of dodgy sellers and obviously fake reviews, and Amazon does not seem to care.
I reported a few dishonest listings and absolutely nothing happened despite a number of reviews corroborating it.
Prime deliveries have also started to slip (here in the UK), with 'guaranteed next day deliveries' suddenly being delayed with no update or anything.
Amazon got so successful because they earned a pretty much blind trust from customers, but trust is lost quicker than it is earned.
Not necessarily à la Yahoo! but a modern collaborative system, with help from some ML would do. My friends at Slant would agree :)
But Amazon's bright sparks might be able to come up with an automated approach to solving this problem (e.g. via machine learning to identify the suspicious patterns of behaviour that Which? and others have observed) if they are suitably incentivised (e.g. sufficiently embarrassed)
In an effort to get completely off of Google, I moved my music library off of Google Music and was going to just use an MP3 player. I had some suggestions from friends (Sony, Phillips, Onkyo, Pioneer) and decided to search Amazon to see what I could find.
When I did a search on Amazon, it was page after page after page of Chinese MP3 players, all under $50. Most of the Hi-Fi players my friends recommended were in the $4-$500 range and up. Even after searching for the specific models they recommended, I still couldn't find them. The search results would return the same sub $50 players.
After a few minutes I gave up and went directly to the manufacturers site. Even more discouraging, when I was googling "Pioneer MP3 player" the Pioneer website was completely buried in the search results, but the first two pages of SERP's had a myriad of Amazon results.
There was a time when you just expected a company to be on page 1 if you searched directly by the company name and product. And these were not fly-by-night companies nobody has heard of. These were major electronic and audio companies I was searching for. Depressing to say the least
"Get everything in one place" was more valuable when we had to travel from place to place and it took 30 minutes, but traveling from one website to another takes no time, so the proposition isn't as strong.
Return policies, security, etc, are concerns still, but those cons come along with the pros of no commingling, probably a lower price if ordering direct, and supporting the economic diversity of having more than one store.
- Product exploration, curation and comparison is a huge problem at Amazon. Unless I know exactly what I want, I don't even bother searching on Amazon. This issue extends to the quality of the product selection - I think the marketplace approach is a mistake. If I wanted to browse a sea of cheap low quality items from dubious sellers, I'd check eBay.
- The selection for niche categories is limited and the listings are terrible to browse. Particularly clothing is bad: The same item is scattered over countless listings, featuring inconsistent attributes/options
- Pricing is competetive, but rarely exceptional. These days things are priced very similarly between different stores.
- return policies aren't issue here in the EU. There's a mandatory 14-day return window. Sure, 30 days are even better and Amazon handles them flawlessly, but it's basically a non-issue at any store for me.
That said, I still very much enjoy their reliable next-day delivery enabled by Prime. This is what makes me come back to Amazon again and again - after doing my product research elsewhere, of course.
> Why not order online from a sporting goods store, or, if possible, direct from the manufacturer?
I don’t want to share my info with more websites / services than necessary. Amazon already has my CC. I don’t want to spread my info any more than I have to.
Already have an account with Amazon, 2-3 days shipping, customer support.
Here's my anecdote: I can't stand Amazon Canada. It's complete and utter crap.
Actually everything in this country is a crappy watered-down version of the US: Amazon, Netflix, you name it.
Edit: ignore the above, I failed to read the part where they said the price was the same.
Relatedly, if someone else can make a business out of helping your customers sort out fake reviews on your site, like Fakespot has, it pretty clearly means either there’s something wrong with your site or you don’t care about the sham reviews because they still drive business for you.
Another example was how Taobao increased the number of useful reviews by allowing sellers to pay for reviews, and used NLP to determine if the review was useful. If it was, only then would the reviewer get paid. This would then dis-incentivize sellers expecting bad feedback from paying for reviews, and incentivize good sellers who were seeking honest, relevant feedback.
Seems like both examples can still be gamed, but it seems like a step in the right direction.
Low price, low quality is a real value proposition; outside the context of wristwatches, no one legitimately prefers lower quality at the same high price.
After complains it was changed to a boost for time spent logged out which was much more popular.
If you're seriously a regular buyer of these products, surely you have a few manufacturers that you know and trust, just like serious hobbyists in other activities have preferred brands of balls or shoes or guitar strings or whatever. Can't you just search for those?
So he does search for specific brands and is still stymied by Amazon ranking algorithms.
If you search for a brand name, products without that brand name anywhere should just not show up, period. (I suppose an exception is if you just don't have it, kind of like when Netflix shows "shows related to" when they don't have what you're actually looking for.)
I wish they would fix that and make it communicate clearly that they don't have this show, and the following are just the alternatives. Because with the UX looking identical for when there is a match and when there is none, this feels like a cheap attempt at duping people into watching something anyway.
I'd like if they'd say "we have this show in the markets X, Y and Z. If you'd like a change, write an email to <insert mail of studio here> or tweet to @studio."
This way, studios could finally be subjected to shitstorms. After enough of these, maybe they'll turn down their greed somewhat. I don't want to pay six different streaming providers, that gets more expensive than US cable tv prices...
I wouldn't mind that to be honest. And I've discovered some shows/ movies which were pretty damn good (but not mainstream) just based on this sort of logic. I most likely would've never discovered them otherwise.
I'd much rather see an acknowledgment that the show exists and that they don't carry it, and a list of related titles separated by actor, genre, director, etc. If contract allows, they could even include a "Coming on %month %date" if a licensing agreement has been reached but is not yet active. That might make me just wait until they have the title and find something else to watch now, rather than checking if (say) HBO has the movie. Additionally, they could have a "request this title" button, even if it does nothing because they're already basing their leasings on search data.
I'd also like a list of places I can view it a la gowatchit.com, but I can understand why they don't do that.
You’re conflating direct experience with the masses. My parents didn’t work there. They wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell them. I think most people aren’t having this conversation.
Amazon used to be the place you bought from without effort. "Of course Amazon's going to give me the best item for the best price" was the ubiquitous mindset.
Now the Amazon brand name is garbage (to me). Their prices are so mercurial you can't rely on them being even "average" and odds are they're even predatory (since it's just some random guy setting his selling price, not amazon nor MSRP).
"Fool and His Money" capitalism rules the Amazon Marketplace.
It's the worst part of eBay without the low expectations and transparency.
This is why I've gone back to buying from brick-and-mortar stores. They've done the curation. They're not going to carry junk that always gets returned. Ten years ago, if I could buy it from Amazon, with Prime shipping, I wouldn't leave my seat. Now, if I can buy it from Target, Best Buy, or Kroger, I'll just make the trip. Good work, Amazon. I've canceled my auto-renew for Prime. I'm done.
Unfortunately, NewEgg also seems to be following in Amazon's "marketplace" footsteps. If you're listening, guys, you have an opportunity to NOT do this!...
I'm guessing you mean specialty stores, and not Walmart.
I was discussing a barbell set with my trainer and by the time I got around to buy it next morning it doubled in price. Came back down in a week. WTF.
Maybe, but any website that does that is being so unbelievably short-sighted and consumer-hostile that they deserve to go out of business and bankrupt their owners.
Although, I would LOVE if Amazon let me filter out products not made in America.
I want Octopart for everything else.
I tried buying a new bicycle light last week and literally every product was crap with fake reviewing. After wasting an hour on this I ended up not buying from Amazon. Rolling out the red carpet for the Chinese crap and counterfeit industry on their platform is likely to become Amazon’s death if they don’t admit their mistake and turn the wheel now.
If I ever have a problem with this light its only a 3 minute ride back to the store to return it and I know they won't try and dispute it.
But at some point it's just much too much.
Amazon is either going to clean their house or someone is going to do it for them.
My wife bought me “luxury” branded jackets and clothing for fall. Half of them were counterfeit. I called Amazon and they said I can return them and they’ll send me new ones. Ok. How will I know those won’t be counterfeit? Worse, I found a jacket was counterfeit after the return period when it literally started to fall apart at the seams. Welp, Amazon said they can’t refund me.
Multiple times my packages are either not delivered on time or aren’t delivered at all. 2 times they were half way across the state. When I called them to ask, they wanted me to confirm my address since they magically and suddenly couldn’t find my address anymore. Well guys you’ve delivered 10k+ worth of goods to me at this address this year alone. WTF?!
My customer service experience also degraded every other instance. When they missed my last delivery date I called them and threatened to cancel and the rep said “Sure, Sir, let me do that after I reorder this item”. He figured it was quicker or reorder an item than wait for it to get back from across the state.
For the reviewers (the "Vine Voices"), it looks like this: on a regular basis, you can choose a product to review (based on your past reviews, purchasing history etc., maybe - they don't disclose how that works), and Amazon sends the product to you. Within one month, you have to post a review.
You can post whatever review you want; to become a Vine Voice, you need a reasonably high reviewer ranking (mostly based on "helpful" votes: ). The reviews are labelled as written by a Vine Voice.
As a side note, I know a Vine Voice, and they get emails from companies offering to reimburse them for a product in exchange for a five star reviews every few days.
Reviewers generally fall into 3 categories.
The small time reviewers who are excited to get free stuff, and want more free stuff in the future. Aside from their delight of free product, which gives a major positive bias before they even unbox, there is also the fact that if they trash a product, nobody is sending them one again.
Then there is the professional reviewer. They monetize their website and youtube channel heavily, and they live or die by getting product to review. If they trash a product, they face a huge risk of not receiving anything from that vendor again.
The third is the fully independent outfit that has a revenue stream completely detached from the product, and often have to buy it on their own. This is very expensive, and not many consumers pay for reviews. Consumer Reports is an example.
As a result, almost any kind of review you find is likely worthless, and should be treated as a paid ad.
Amzn should pay extra for those. Then ban them:)
Not that it would inherently solve the problem or prevent pay for play, but it would be a great strategy for Amazon to have an independent review company.
There are problems, though:
1. How do we trust that there's some objectivity, particularly as it relates to things that compete with Amazon products?
2. How could reviewers possibly cover any significant amount of the vast number of products Amazon sells?
1. Limited users ability to post reviews to say, 3 per year and no more than 1 in any given month.
2. Limit users ability to post more than one review per
vendor, per year.
3. Only allow reviews by verified purchasers.
If bots worked, they wouldn't have had to resort to real humans on Facebook to get reviews.
Deliveries get sent back as "rejected" all the time, when the delivery person has actually not even bothered to sign in at the lobby and go up to the office suite floor. More than a half dozen phone calls and chats with Amazon customer service, requesting that they edit the delivery info for the building, have been pretty much fruitless.
It's a shitty caught in limbo situation - they refused to acknowledge even the possibility that the delivery service might not have made an honest effort to get into the building, and they wouldn't let me cancel the order without a penalty, but they couldn't tell me where my package was and had no way of contacting the carrier for me to schedule another time for delivery. There also seems to be no policy to automatically retry the next day. All they could do was take my phone number and then the delivery company might call me later if they felt like it. It was very bizarre.
Since then I have stopped using free 1-day shipping, because at least in larger buildings UPS and USPS can generally get in fine as they're delivering multiple packages every day. The random small companies that handle the one day shipping seem to be a lot less reliable.
At least in Seattle, the "random small companies" are frequently some random dude with a van and a phone app. They're doing ubereats type package delivery now. There's a pickup center at north Aurora and 145th where a motley assortment of drivers pick up packages and take them to the customer destination now.
The best solution might be to convince your building landlord or management to rename the units as 1 Fake Street Unit A and Unit B, or something like that. Assuming they don't have to fight City Hall to make that happen, they might be willing to help.
This should enable the actual human making the delivery to see the same thing printed on the label, and visually match it to whatever is labeled "1/2" on the building.
If you are treating the street address as more than a string something is wrong. Its supposed to be a string by design unless you are trying to be efficient by storing ints as ints but then you shouldnt be evaluating them from user input and if you are... Treat it as a raw string.
With some knowledge of the ordering scheme, you can determine relative locations and route drivers without storing every address on a street. I think it's very easy to imagine a cases where have "1/3" as your street number could cause problems (0.33333333... out of memory) or just dealing with floating point conversion and typing can lead to seemingly random bugs.
Accepting non-integers should be fine, as long as there's no delimiter or reversions to numbers ( e.g.- 321A Main St.), but I could see it being a problem with delimiters. It greatly expands the solution space for recognition tasks.
Is 321 N Main Street: 321 Main St. Unit N or 321 North Main St?
Is 321/A Main St: 321 Main St Unit A, 321-A(ths) Main St, 32 Main St. Unit 1 or A, 3214 Main St (A/4 character recognition failure), 321 Main St (A is escaped by /), 321 AMAIN St., 32 Main St Unit VA.
Where does it switch from a unit number to an address? 321A21B Main St could be read at least a dozen different ways, especially if we allow for recognition errors. Can't we at least agree that a physical building has an integer value and anything inside the building becomes a separate field (Unit, Suite, Floor, Cabana Room, etc)? No one's pumping money into post office modernization and we're not going to see Unicode or Emoji address support, so can't we simply agree on a few rules?
Eg a town I grew up in labeled houses N\d\+ W\d\+ [street name]
I don't know who screwed up, Amazon or the delivery company but something definitely went wrong on either side.
Personally I don't shop at Amazon so I don't know if it's a problem here.
One thing I've noticed is items with the "top seller" tag but if you actually check the category in which they are top seller, it's a category that has nothing to do with the product.
WTF? Because fraud is illegal and amazon often has lower prices on goods.
The brand could be overstocked in a particular item and want to get rid of inventory without harming their brand cachet - you're probably not going to find a clearance section on Gucci's website, but that doesn't mean they don't have a need for it.
> I don't understand why you are buying luxury goods off of Amazon when you aren't able to distinguish between counterfeit goods.
I read this sentence four times and still don't quite understand it. Particularly in response to someone who said they tried to return an item to Amazon exactly because they realized it was counterfeit.
Can you rephrase whatever it was you were trying to say there?
Edit see here on Amazon counterfeit books specifically Python for Kids being counterfeit:
His wife bought him a gift. I assume she thought that a company as big as Amazon wouldn't allow sales of counterfeit items on their platform, like I once did.
> My wife bought me “luxury” branded jackets and clothing for fall.
The thing is - chinese nationals using ingenuity to trick money out of americans, that's a recurring theme in the modern world.
Fake reviews aren't "ingenuity," they're dishonesty and fraud that exploit a high-trust culture.
High-trust cultures are valuable, hard to create, and easy to destroy. The reaction to all this online review fraud is going to be default mistrust and wasted effort by consumers who are going to be forced to constantly second-guessing information or get scammed.
I've found that the only way to get useful information out of most Amazon reviews is to look at the 1- & 2-stars, trying to filter out the fake competitor hits, and see if there are any consistent issues that aren't DEU issues. Then look at the 3- & 4-stars and see what seems to be good. That said, I expect it'll only be a matter of time until this strategy is no good.
E.g, Janet says product X works really well and she loves it, but you know she likes them with a certain feature that you don't like. therefore you should stay away because the product probably has that feature you don't like
You see the same issues on Yelp. Reviews are always a secondary indicator of quality compared to, say, experiencing it yourself or getting a recommendation from a friend. I’d guess that the review style that is best depends highly on the good or service being sold, much like establishing consensus, and there is no general purpose review pattern that works well.
People used to pay a premium for people that got out of their way and found the actually good stuff. Nowadays it's just more lucrative to build some trust and use it to defraud people as soon as possible.
I don't know where this path leads, but it's not looking nice.
That said I have no idea if this would. Seems those 87k people mentioned above would just trust each other to raise their trust ratings.
It's more like Linkedin: if someone adds you and they are a mutual connection with a bunch of coworkers you like, that's good. But if their mutual connections are all social climbing spammers, you know they either are one themselves or don't know enough not to fall for that stuff.
There is a temporal dimension to this too. Everyone loves their new toy just as they unbox it. What interests me is reviews after having used it for a few weeks or months.
Amazon has all the data it needs to filter reviews by “people who have actually bought this, review left after n weeks”.
The first one that comes to mind is forcing printer manufacturers to not bundle USB cables so they can separately sell them at a high markup
Ok sure, you can put it down to moderation, or you can put it down to size. What is the size of Angie's list to Amazon?
To me, the real bullshit is the expectation that anything other than a 100% 5/5 score is an indicator of serious fault.
If you leave 4/5 as an eBay review for example you have pretty much offended the seller.
1) 1000 5-star reviews with maybe a handful of 3,2,1 star reviews trickling in as actual consumers realize their mistake is less of a signal not to buy than if I see another low review trickled in amongst the 10-20 5-star reviews.
2) The company defrauding by purchasing the reviews is not going to make their money back as quickly probably since they won't end up on top of search results as often. So these companies will be stretched a lot thinner and probably recoup their expenses a lot slower than if they start instantly showing up on top of peoples' search results. And in order to keep from "floating" a bunch of free stuff without reviews they'll have to be extremely coordinated about how they distribute their products and request recipients to provide the reviews in order to make it a worth while pursuit.
Turns out they are phantom packages from vendors on Ali Baba and TaoBao gaming the review system. This is called "brushing".
They managed to interview a "brusher". So the brushers have to make themselves look completely real during the buying process, hesitating, clicking links from different vendors and only after a while select the actual item they target. To get the "verified purchase" tag something has to be mailed somewhere. But instead of the actual item the vendor sends a package with random stuff and sometimes they send these to addresses of previous unknowing international customers to make it look more real.
But he started to investigate some of the 1-star reviews, and came to the conclusion that these people didn't exist. He dug through all the receipts, he tried to track down and correlate the time with when these reviews popped up and tried to track down any issue. His ultimate conclusion was that a number of the 1-star reviews on his hotel were simply fake.
The discussion continued to talk about tort law, and how he's unable to even get a person to sue. He can't sue Yelp, because Yelp wasn't the author of those posts. So he was basically helpless to defend against 1-star reviews. In any case, if people can fake a 5-star review, they can also fake a 1-star review. And based on what I discussed with this man years ago, it seems like it really is happening right now.
Its probably easier for a Hotel-chain to leave bad reviews on their competitors. There are only so many hotels in a given area, and Yelp easily allows you to list all of the competitors in your region. Its probably less of a thing on Amazon, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't exist there either.
Yelp doesn't need to be a party to the lawsuit for a subpoena to be issued to them. You sue the poster as John Doe, send a subpoena to Yelp for the poster's account information and IP address, send a subpoena to the poster's ISP for the account information of the user assigned that IP address at that time, and keep following that trail. Eventually you might find some person who was paid to post the fake reviews, and you can use the legal system to find out who paid them. (In fact, they'll probably cooperate with your investigation in exchange for dropping them as a party.) There's no guarantee of success -- you might find the trail ends up with a no-logging VPN, an open Wi-Fi hotspot, or some other multi-user shared environment where the activity can't be linked to a specific person -- but it is possible to try.
Without a verified purchase, why would anyway take the review seriously?
Allow users to write reviews, and then send a message to the hotel owner saying "X has posted a review of your business. Do you accept that X was a guest on X date?"
The hotel owner is forced to verify the stay before he gets to see the review.
Of course he'll know all about the outliers who had a bad experience and complained at the hotel and might want to lie about the guest staying, but such guests are usually very motivated and willing to prove their stay with receipts, photos, etc.
It could be linked to an order/invoice number the owner could check or enter in the system when the client check in or check out. The client would then be required to enter that number to authenticate he's a real consumer.
And ones with primarily bad reviews (which may not be their fault: cheap motels in particular seem to attract bad reviews from people who expect too much for the price) could just refuse to acknowledge any reviews.
Plus I think users are attracted to the illusion that the business doesn't know who they are. People would be less inclined to post reviews if they knew they'd be emailed directly to the business owner for sign off.
Genius ! Time to go after yelp... A distributed receipt maker to authenticate online hotel/restaurant review system.
Hopefully, there is just enough time to IPO before the next stock market crash.
Considering the fake reviews and the number of counterfeit items I've received from Amazon, I default to Costco, Target, Lowes, etc. for shopping now. I have a lot more confidence that their suppliers and their vetting of products are legit.
I consider Amazon a flea market at this point. I'll buy some things at a flea market, but not much.
The world is so broken.
My sister's used to do the same thing to the Coca Cola company when we were young. They would call the hotline and complain they had some come that tasted like dishwashing liquid and they would get loads of coupons sent to them for free coke.
I think they did it every time we moved house and we lived in quite a few houses. It was always entertaining.
Now that I think about it my 8 year old sister was committing fraud.
A couple years ago, there was a book critical of Internet service in the US and how it lags behind countries with more public funding. It received hundreds of obviously scripted 1-star reviews like "I am a [blue collar profession] in [middle American state], and I appreciate how great my Internet service is. The US is bigger than [smallish European state]. The author is [ad hominem], etc." Someone posted it to Reddit, and then it got a bunch of fake 5-star reviews as well.
I suppose fake review factories can be hired just as well to make the competition look bad ...
Amazon has a few systems in place for QC, things like 6% negative customer experience rate or certain keywords like counterfeit or related to safety that will get you flagged. Once you're flagged or shut down, it might take a week or two or more to sell again. You will probably have to pay for an expensive specialist to help you clear Amazon's red tape because if you mess up, and many people do, you might be banned forever from the Amazon marketplace. Almost like a sick video game.
It's a little funny but maddening how people will abuse every gear that makes the Amazon system tick. I use a number of Amazon softwares to scrape data from Amazon and I love seeing the bad players. I'm also in an expensive mastermind and their tactics are dirty. These are Americans so I can't even imagine the tactics that Chinese sellers might use. Honestly, every month I spend in this business makes me lose faith a little more. It's a dark system and I do not like where I think it's going.
There's dozens of tools for Amazon sellers and I think what they're missing is something that connects ALL the moving parts together as well as helps Amazon sellers expand outside the Amazon marketplace. Amazon software tends to be expensive.
Helium10's cheapest plan is $100/mo.
The software I use for inventory is $50/mo (Inventorylab),
a repricing software was $50/mo- now maybe $100/mo (Appeagle/InformedCo).
Feedback email software is $20-50+/mo (FeedbackGenius, ZonPages, etc).
Restocking software is $50-100+/mo (RestockPro).
Sourcing software is $50+/mo (Pricechecker 2, Tactical Arbitrage, etc).
I learned Python to automate some of my processes because I was spending thousands of dollars for my own tiny Amazon store with $100k+ annual sales. There's over 100,000 sellers on Amazon that do $100k+ annual sales as well hundreds of very big sellers ($10m+) that need custom software solutions. So it's a niche but interesting market.
It's a pretty exciting space. Amazon changes so often, every few months, making it difficult for small sellers and software providers to keep up. The best software last year is no longer the best software today.
Currently I see the biggest competition in Amazon PPC software companies: Teikametrics, Feedvisor. If anyone's interested in building software for Amazon- I'd love to connect.