I trust the merchant to have performed some kind of vetting for merchandise sold on premise, and the price is often good or (interestingly enough) even better than on Amazon. Often enough local is still more expensive, but it beats browsing Amazon for an hour, sifting through reviews that can no longer be trusted.
I was irate, having paid $10 for these. So I go online to leave a review and warn people off... only to find that the seller "no longer existed". They absolutely did, and were selling their awful snips but had changed their name and paid for a bunch of 5 star reviews again.
I've been far more aware as of late that whenever I search for something (say the staple gun I recently got my wife) all I get are offbrand or knockoff results showing for often several pages. I have to go, figure out which brands are reputable and then come back to actually make my purchase.
I'd rather just go to a brick and mortar at this point. I'm definitely not renewing my amazon prime.
I left a review saying this on the book, and Amazon deleted it because they thought my review was fraudulent. Of course, the book at the time had a 5-star rating from fake accounts.
I wouldn't be so certain about that. I've found that there are a lot of sellers selling the same things, but they're not the same sellers under different names, they're just getting stuff from the same places. Often, for cheap things, the source is AliExpress (or Alibaba), or potentially cutting out that middleman and just getting them direct from the companies that sell on aliexpress/alibaba.
It's also been my experience that pretty much _anything_ that isn't a big name brand item being sold on Amazon can be found for much much cheaper on Aliexpress. The exact same product, just without the 1000%-2000% markup.
This is normal.
For instance, when I work on my bicycle, I have to use a $40 Park Tool to cut brake lines and shifter cables. The $40 tool delivers far better results than you could ever get from a conventional wire cutter.
I replaced them with $5 Stanley wire cutters that had 0 issue dealing with guitar strings.
So what happened is I was given a 10c piece of junk and paid $10 for the privilege of being ripped off.
If you ever try to cut a spring, you will get the same issue.
A few people have told you that wire cutters come in two forms: hardened and not hardened, and that if you wish to cut steel you should buy cutters that are rated for steel. The price does not tell you this information. The data sheet for the tool does.
Here's a pair of snips that cost over £50. I'd be displeased if you borrowed mine and used them to cut guitar wire. https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/cable-cutters/0614766/
One thing you can't see in the images is that these cutters tell you what wire you can cut on them: https://imgur.com/a/Zk3LBCE
If you want to cut steel you need snips that specifically say they can cut steel. These don't have to be expensive: Here are some for £7. https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/cable-cutters/0732820/
I recognize I don't have the heaviest duty cut-through-anything shears that I could have with more money, but where I'm mainly doing light jobs like speaker wire and guitar strings it's not a problem... unless the snips themselves are terrible.
I don't expect to have to replace the Stanley set unless they become rusty from disuse.
It was just me getting ripped off.
The $5 guitar string tool will work every time, though.
Side note: I'm sad to see NewEgg headed in this same eBay-clone direction.
I can look up a seller to make sure he's sourced an item properly, for example, newegg sells SD cards on ebay so I know newegg is sourcing SD cards properly and I'm good to go. Or I look up a seller and they claim to be a licensed Nikon supplier I know I'm probably ok or I could even call up Nikon to verify they're a licensed supplier.
If I want something fake/cloned I know I can just buy cheap from the chinese supplier and I don't have to pay a markup to a middle man. But if I want it right away, I can order from someone in the same state as me and pay a couple extra bucks, and I know it's the clone cuz the picture is the exact same.
You get a lot of information on ebay that you don't get on Amazon.
Amazon to the best of my knowledge does make you return items for refunds even when they are frauds.
Which means it's not fine for Electronics. Their returns policy seems to be assuming that everyone attempting a return is malicious and trying to cheat them.
The lack of free shipping seems insane given how much the products already cost, and the "Return minus 15% restocking fee" really doesn't make me want to come back.
Who do you recommend for electronics?
One of the weird things about Amazon is that it doesn't give you an easy way to provide photos for the item you yourself are selling (e.g. your used copy of a book), and if your item is similar enough to an existing item (e.g. same UPC or ISBN or whatever), Amazon will railroad you toward using the existing listing (but will still put you in the "new and used" list).
In other words: the same Amazon quirks that seem to benefit counterfeiters also seem to benefit my grandpa's charity, so I guess I should be grateful and appreciative when I get a knockoff at my doorstep.
But that then leads onto the whole fake component issue. For example the component will be a optocoupler but the dirt cheap knock off supply may not be using the same level of quality or a knock off component as those found in genuine power supplies which _could_ create a High to Low voltage path if that part failed.
Even a very cheap and simplified design can do that. I wouldn't say "a lot" at all, maybe a few percent of the cost at most. It's a corner that could possibly be cut, but it's not one of the bigger corners.
> Neither Sinar Harian nor its English-language peer the New Strait Times asserted that the youngster was electrocuted by the earphones he was wearing, but that was the conclusion reached by a number of international publications, including widely-read U.S.-based Vice and Teen Vogue, both of whom aggregated the story.
> As an emergency room doctor, Uren& stopped short of calling the notion impossible because “I have seen some strange things in my career thus far,” but he added the story that the teen died from being electrocuted by earbuds “strains credibility.”
"According to the suit, the site operated by Gentile offers to provide fake “verified reviews” for a premium, telling the sellers that they can ship empty boxes to reviewers involved in the scheme, to trick Amazon into thinking that the product had actually been purchased."
But searching for products in the local area / at local stores is nearly impossible.
Using google is useless, everything is e-commerce listings.
And even if you search many local stores directly they make it nearly impossible to determine if the products are actually in stock/in store vs part of their ecommerce offering / available in store in 3-5 days.
Does anyone know any decent options?
You can also return or exchange items at a different Walmart if you keep your receipt.
The Canadian Wal-Mart website was impossible in this regard, but in the US you can search only in store, today and within xx miles. Appreciate it.
At one point I considered doing this as a business - paying people to walk through the store recording video that's then used to fill out a catalogue. Maybe offer it as a service to businesses.
The good news is that there are plenty of smaller online stores that tend to be a bit more specialized, and as long as they accept something reasonably secure like PayPal or Bitcoin, I'm a lot less nervous about shopping on those sites instead.
I emailed and then called support (twice) and pointed it out. Even after escalating the issue as far as I could, it resulted in no action. Even a cursory review should have stopped the title from being published, since it was of ridiculously poor-quality (analogous to someone publishing a title called "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Legacy by J.K. Rowling" and having an apparently legit front cover but an interior filled with almost nonsensical, semi-autogenerated text). The fact that a title like this can be published on the platform at all indicates that the review process for new titles is sadly lacking any application of common sense.
I'm appreciative that Amazon is pushing the envelope in supporting self-publishers via their print on demand services, but by failing (and actually refusing) to police it they are giving a bad name to the whole enterprise. Through their inaction they are encouraging the copyright infringers and scammers to turn what could/should be a great service into a toxic ecosystem.
I don't know why you can't just highlight text in a kindle book and say:
[x] grammatical error
[x] garbage characters
[x] missing section separator
[x] other [______________]
> Images of counterfeit copies of Python for Kids being sold on Amazon. Legit copies are thicker, color, layflat binding, nicer paper
I've noticed on occasion my local Barnes & Noble will have two copies of a book and one will be noticeably thicker than the other. Same edition, same cover art, same number of pages, but one just seems to be on thicker paper.
I've only noticed this in the computer section, but I generally only visit that section, other STEM sections, science fiction, and graphic novels, and of those only the computer section is likely to have multiple copies of books that are thick enough that a difference in thickness would be noticeable while browsing, so there may be selection bias here.
Does this mean counterfeits are even making their way onto bookstore shelves? Or do some publishers have a range of paper sizes they might use for a give book, and what is actually used varies from print run to print run?
The source of Amazon's problem is their third-party marketplace and their practice of "co mingling" third-party stock with their "regular" stock -- this is unlikely to be the case with Barnes & Noble
I'm still confused about how the vendor expected to get away with it. Did they just guess that half of people won't bother opening the textbook? And why not fill it with blank pages then?
No, it's not legal.
I found that Amazon sells what is presumably a genuine edition of the book for $67.
I did not realize that Amazon had started displaying other sellers as the default seller for brand new books that Amazon itself sells. It used to be that Amazon was always the default seller if they carried a book, and the only way you would see other sellers was to click on the link for other sellers. Which is the way it should be. It's insane that they've changed this.
The first entry in the FAQ doesn't directly address that issue but strongly suggests an answer, morally if not legally:
Q: Can I get a PDF of this book?
A: No, our contract with MIT Press forbids distribution of too easily copied electronic formats of the book.
I'm not sure what the print status of the book is. There seems to be an official MIT Press print, but my university library struggled to get a copy through the inter-library loan network because the eBook has the same ISBN.
It's not surprising that with the volume of items pushed by Amazon there are going to be some fakes. What is surprising is how merchants fulfilled by Amazon lack any incentive AFAIK to ship real goods. For any major purchase from now on, I'm going to buy local or buy direct from the manufacturer. It's just a waste of time to hope that what you get in the mail is what you ordered in the first place.
Well, admitting you have a problem is the first step, so maybe now they'll finally get serious about fixing this shit.
Isn't this exactly the sort of thing they are suppose to prevent?
Because no such bureau exists?
You may be thinking of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which deals with financial products) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (which deals with physical safety issues), but (while physical safety issues are among the problems produced) neither one is really focussed on these issues.
The kind of fraud at issue is probably more in the bailiwick of the Federal Trade Commission and the International Trade Commission (when the original source is foreign), but probably most people affected by counterfeits are just returning products or eating the cost and not complaining to the FTC or the falsely-purported manufacturer (who, IIRC, would be the party in position to complain to the ITC).
Awesome, thanks Bezos!
The "not for sale in US" editions are international editions that are usually made with cheaper materials and sometimes with different graphics to avoid royalties. These books usually have the content and are usually in black and white but sometimes there are slight content changes. It's not usually the best idea to buy one of these unless you know it's identical, check the reviews. You need to use the ISBN to find the US edition if you don't want to gamble on a cheap international edition. Funny story, I bought an international edition once, used it for the semester, then sold it back to the third-party bookstore in town for more than I bought it for.
It makes sense to sell the same book at lower prices in parts of the world where the regular price is unaffordable. Importing those books back to the US is not what publishers want, but I think isn't illegal.
(6-3 decision with a rather atypical split.)
Added: Basically the decision affirmed that first sale doctrine applied.
The seller didn't even need to sell counterfeit items without running off with my money. Amazon customer support has no idea what to do since the third party is supposed to refund me.
I wonder, was my trust as a customer who spends thousands of dollars a year ever worth more than $20 to Amazon?
Because they sure were quick enough to throw it away over $20, when one of their business partners defrauded me via their website.
(PS — if you work at Amazon, and your internal metrics show that customer trust is worth more than 0.005 dollars per customer dollar spent, you have made business decisions WAY out of alignment with your metrics.)
What if you want to host something on AWS? Stream on Twitch? Shop at an Amazon Go? Keep listening to your Audible library?
What if you're using home automation equipment that's tethered to a cloud service and Amazon acquires the company?
Sure, a simple chargeback probably won't trigger broad spectrum retaliation though all their subsidiaries, but the fact is that Amazon has accrued a lot of power in recent years.
How many processes are in place at Amazon to fight chargebacks? How do we know it won't trigger anything? How do I know they won't retroactively make a decision months or years later? Thats the risk I can't take.
Even if so, I'd argue if your business is so utterly dependent on a single company's service, that's a huge risk and you ought to be be taking steps to diversify or self-host some things. We've all read those "Company X changed algorithm Y and my business is over!" stories.
As a pure consumer, I stand by my statement: If you're going to charge back a credit card transaction, you're past the point of ever wanting to do business with them again, so shouldn't care what they do to your account.
I am well aware of the need to diversify. It is something I am actively working towards but there is no path from here to there overnight.
I still partly agree with your consumer stand point. Even if you rule out the business aspect Amazon is pretty entrenched in may ways from purely a consumer standpoint. If I personally don't care what happens to my account, what about my family? Will their kindles stop working, prime video, audible, whole foods, etc? They share some of the prime benefits so they would be affected as well.
If Walmart did the same there would be various lawsuits
In this scenario, Amazon is able to literally produce, sell, and distribute counterfeit material, keep the profits from doing so, and face no legal repercussions. That is the definition of a broken law.
Which is to say, it's possible Section 230 would not apply here, but Amazon's extremely expensive lawyers would probably fight like heck to include it anyways.
In general, physical publishers are always liable for what they print.
It doesn't matter where it came from.
(at least in this context. Things like libel are more interesting)
A platform that will only fix it, if they sell it themselves will likely not fix the general problem.
Even if they could
The problem with Amazon is that they seem not to take appropriate action. How can you not be held liable for printing books in an unauthorized fashion AND selling it from your warehouse?
Amazon sells almost 200bn of goods each year. Even if a tiny fraction of those are problematic and slip through the cracks, it'll seem like a lot to observers. Doubt they can get it down to zero, no system is perfect, and there are too many attackers trying to game the system.
It's a price to pay for all the benefits of the open platform model.
Ebay only allows 3rd parties to have a listing, much like craigslist.
This is just Amazon being sloppy and not having any reasonable checks or controls on their print service.
What do you mean?
Maybe some kind of class action but that requires an attorney spending money to advertise and collect information from the class of people harmed. Then litigate, settle and what money do you get? 
 How much did this particular seller lose? No way it's enough to pay any legal fees. Even if it is even if Amazon has to pay the legal fees what do you get in the end? Time trouble etc.
 I just got a check for some Verizon class action in the amount of roughly $2.00 this was after so much time I had forgotten about it.
It is simply not reasonable to believe that they are not capable of accurately preventing counterfeit goods from surviving in their site. Remember, this is the same company run by the brilliant micromanaging CEO. Everything that happens within Amazon is known to him.
If an individual setup their own website and sold counterfeit goods, the feds would come down on them hard. So you have to wonder what keeps Amazon immune from being shut down for willfully breaking laws...
The title suggests Amazon has wrongdoing here. You could make the case that they need more policing and review but it’s not like Amazon is knowingly selling counterfeit here.
Why do it? Or am I being naive? Or is it too difficult to clamp down on fakes?
Why would "we fully automated our counterfeiting process" be an excuse?
I can't allow myself to be a regular Amazon customer. Its ethics and practices leave me feeling dirtier than I want to feel.
Amazon is trying hard to keep counterfeits and fake products/reviews under the rugs for as long as possible, so the more publicity to their ignorance - the merrier.
"Skyldighet att ta bort vissa meddelanden"
The obligation to remove certain messages
2. It is obvious that the user has infringed copyright or rights protected by regulation in Chapter 5. the law (1960: 729) on copyright for literary and artistic works by submitting the message.
Here is the US law
"second situation is when the means for facilitating the infringement such as machinery is provided by the defendant"
Providing printing press ability and the electronic means to upload/download without scanning via OCR for copyright infringement of known text and print service and the platform itself
I had been a TA for Thomas Cormen at the time, and wanted the author's signature. He took one look at it, compared it to the copies he had in his office and said, "This is a counterfeit copy. Where did you get this?"
The embarrassment haunts me to this day.
I m shopping mostly on amazon.de or .fr and I didn't encounter the problem yet.
Why can't Amazon be sued for $150K per book?
Besides which I think the courts did eventually move on to realistically valuing contributory infringement (15¢ perhaps instead of $150k).
How is that not defrauding the buyer?
It is conceivable that someone might think that No Starch Press books offer a quality premium that might justify a higher price. In the case where that higher quality is thought to occur in the contents, that's still not relevant. In the case where the higher quality comes from the better physical quality of the book, it is relevant, but that is a negligible part of the market for books of any type, even those that do come in collectible editions.
Consider an example: I own a copy of https://www.eastonpress.com/prod/EB8/2720043/Rudyard-Kipling... .
If someone were selling imitations of this that fell apart after a month or so, I would indeed consider that to be defrauding the buyer. Easton Press' entire reason for being is to sell existing books at a higher physical quality than you can normally get.
But Kipling's work is available in every form factor, from free ebooks at Project Gutenberg through cheap paperbacks to high-end collectibles. If Easton Press were the only party legally allowed to sell this book, I would no longer be willing to say that cheap imitations were defrauding the customer. I'd assume that people buying the cheaper versions were just trying to read the book. With only one vendor, there is no signal that the customer wanted physical quality, and overwhelmingly they don't, so there is no reason to assume that they do.
I think NYC was wrong to kill 25K jobs on the general merits - but - if Bezos wanted the counterfeiting problem solved, it would be solved. Ergo - Bezos is a counterfeiter.
Think of all of the other 'competitive advantages' that Amazon has - now they use their 3rd party an in-house counterfeiters to screw other value chain members as well.
I really hate to say this, but large companies like this need to be regulated via laws. There's simply no other choice. Having Amazon throw their hands up and say "There's nothing we can do, we have algorithms" or hiding behind the safe-harbor laws is not acceptable.
Having their ability to shut off peoples' incomes or being victimized by counterfeiters, with no human contact and no process, is unacceptable and needs to be changed. They aren't changing fast enough and they don't want to change because it's expensive, and the only solution is to force them via laws, which I'm loathe to support but it's the only way.
They are, and you cited it: the DMCA. You can read it here:
It is mixed bag. One of the effects is that it deters proactive culling of material because once you start doing that, you may become liable for items you miss. It is why we end up up with systems that are driven by external takedown requests.
But scale matters.
Systems (even economic systems) at scale have different characteristics than those that are not. Just like you'd implement a massive AWS system differently than you would a little, single Ec2 service - regulations would probably be characterized differently given the scale and power of the entities involved.
One major difference is risk mitigation: individual consumers may have some power to influence a mom and pop shop, especially one that has a physical retail presence. A negative local news highlight could make a big difference. A single legal grievance could have consequences. There's material risk.
At a certain scale, it seems some of these entities simply don't have to worry about fraud, because 'who's gonna do something about it?'. The only public recourse is public institutions.