If you’re no stranger to Amazon, you may have noticed that finding brand name items is getting more and more difficult.
It’s not your imagination, late last year the Wall Street Journal revealed Amazon’s efforts to aggressively recruit Chinese manufacturers and merchants to sell on the Amazon platform. They claimed, that these business practices put consumers at risk due to items being:
- Deceptively labeled
- Lacking federally-required warnings
- Banned by federal regulations
A new listing is uploaded to Amazon from China ever 1/50th of a second.
Why would Amazon Recruit Chinese Sellers?
By going straight to manufacturers and Chinese sellers, Amazon can flood their marketplace with cheap alternatives to brand-name products to encourage purchases. Also, according to the article from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon directly warehouses the goods here in the US, to ensure goods can be delivered with Prime memberships.
Why Chinese Goods from Amazon are Dangerous
We all love saving money on items, especially for babies and kids when they go through items quickly! But these items are not subject to safety-testing and federal oversight into companies and regulations.
These products not only have the potential to be fake, dangerous, and untested, they may also be counterfeit. An investigation by CNN found a listing for a “4 in 1 Baby Car Seat and Stroller” with pictures of the popular Doona, and a price tag of $299 ($200 less than the real Doona). When CNN commissioned a crash test for the car seat, it shattered into pieces during a 30 mph crash test – completely failing standards set by US regulations.
Under current US law, Amazon is not liable when third-party products sold on its site infringe on intellectual property or have safety defects.
Tips for Avoiding Chinese Goods on Amazon
If you’re shopping on Amazon for ease of use or convenience here are some quick tips on identifying and avoiding Chinese goods on Amazon.
- Avoid brand names that are weird combinations of consonants and vowels
- Avoid products that are identical to one with different brand names
- Carefully inspect products that have generic product titles and do not list a brand name
- Check product descriptions for typos and grammatical errors
- Be wary of products with 1000’s of glowing reviews
- Look for brand names you know and trust – ensure they are shipped and sold from Amazon or directly from the Manufacturer
- Question a product when the price is WAY lower than a typical price
- Avoid shopping on Amazon – shop reputable stores in person or online!
By doing a little homework and making careful selections, you can avoid safety issues with Chinese toys, clothes, and baby gear. If you choose to shop elsewhere you’re guaranteeing authentic items and also supporting a small business!