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Customer Discussions > Toys forum

Amazon growing in con artists like ebay?

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Showing 76-100 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2008 7:05:40 PM PST
mrgwashere says:
S. Walker... you're absolutely correct in that some sellers are price gauging and engaging in profiteering. It's a horrific way to do business. However, the other posters are correct when they suggest going elsewhere. That IS the way to drive out sellers who engage in tacky business practices. We have the choice of going elsewhere and eventually their profits will feel the hit. It's just a shame that this Christmas, in these rough economic times when we are all feeling the fiscal pinch, that some sellers feel the need to stick it to us even deeper.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2008 8:29:50 PM PST
No one, including Amazon should allow price gouging. If you double the amount you charge for ply wood because a hurricane is on the way, you're wrong. Fact is price gouging is illegal in some cases and wrong in every case. Supply and demand, I don't think so. It's more like demand and supply. They (sellers) understock the shelves to allow them the opportunity to jack up the price. Out of stock one week, stocked up and jacked up the next. I've seen it happen

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008 11:12:45 AM PST
The example you have given is not that of a "con". If you can find it cheaper, buy it elsewhere or wait until it becomes available at a cheaper price. Since no one is misrepresenting the charge or the item, the buyer is given the choice as to whether the item is worth their hard earned cash. Granted, people with alot of expendable cash have the upper hand here. In some cases the items are not just sold out but are actually discontinued and their value as a collector's item increases reciprically to the decreasing availablility. That said, there are alot of "con artists" on Amazon, not that they charge too much, but they get paid for the item and never deliver. I have bought many thousands of items on Amazon, mostly media (DVDs and CDs), and have had dozens of instances where the seller has never delivered, never returned an e-mail and never refunded the payment. Amazon has an a-z guarantee system where the buyer may make a claim and after review by Amazon, may get refunded in such a case. The one major glitch in this otherwise sound policy is that customers are limited to three such claims; for the average buyer who might purchase a dozen items or more a year, this would probably not be an issue. As for myself, my three claims were used up years ago, and I have no protection against such sellers. There is a seller right now who owes me $70 in DVDs and there is nothing I can do. Why is this seller STILL selling on Amazon? Because Amazon get a really nice commission from the volume of "sales". If Amazon is going to put limits on the customer's right to a fair transaction, they should also create a system where bad sellers are restricted from using the Amazon marketplace once a certain number of claims have been filed against them.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008 11:31:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2008 11:32:36 AM PST
D@rkFX says:
True, people need to be educated before buying and do research first. I was looking for an old book on computer programming and no one had it but a guy who was selling it for $1000. It didn't surprise me when I found the same book on ebay for $15.
Also, a lot of people are into buying rare stuff and sell it overpriced later on. If you're really into it you can have some fun and e-mail them your offer: $2 :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008 12:48:27 PM PST
I agree with you about restricting sellers who have a certain # of claims.

I wanted to reply to your not having any recourse with sellers due to reaching your limit. I had a lifetime claim of 10 so not sure where you got the 3 from. I've been a customer of Amazon for 10 years so reaching this limit was really easy. What does that average? About 1 per year and I am also APO. I was outraged when I was no longer able to file a claim so I called them up (this was months ago) and even though I can't go through the usual method, if a seller doesn't deliver as promised, all I have to do is email Amazon with the information and they will refund my money. I told them over the phone that I have been a loyal customer and that I never file a claim unless I absolutely have to but if a seller doesn't deliver than I expect to be able to file. I also told them I didn't understand putting a limit on people that were long time customers. They do this so someone doesn't just arbitrarily make a claim but I told them that punishes the rest of us that are good buyers. Anyway, after I told them how I felt, they reviewed my file and saw that I was an excellent customer and high volume buyer so that is what they do now. Just email them and refund. I would try this and see what happens. Also, make sure you use a credit card and there is always a charge back.

I also agree with you. People don't know what con means.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008 1:07:17 PM PST
Thanks for the info unschooligmomof3, i will call and see if they will make an except for a good customer. I was mistaken about the limit number of claims, it is not 3 but 5 :

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008 1:38:04 PM PST
Yes, you're right. It is 5 which makes it even more outrageous. Anyway, I gave them an earful and they told me they could see that I was a good customer, blah, blah, blah. You definitely shouldn't have to eat a cost because a seller doesn't deliver or sends something in poor condition. It's still irritating, though that I can't go through the usual method i.e. click on have a problem and go from there. It always tells me I have reached my claim limit and I can't remember why they told me they couldn't just lift the restriction. I guess they have to continue to monitor me. Recently, I got a refund from them and the item showed up so I contacted them and the money was refunded back to the seller. It wasn't the seller's fault. So they see I'm honest. If you've been a long time customer, they should honor that. I also stressed to them that I give a seller at least 6 weeks since I'm APO before I even bother to worry about it so it's not as if I just go and file claims right and left. I do seem to go in spurts, though. Sometimes, I'll go forever (it seems) and then I'll have a rash of sellers who I have a problem with but I always try and work it out with the seller first. Claims only as a last resort so just stress all that and let me know what happens. Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 8:01:04 AM PST
J. Chi says:
There is fraud so you really don't know what you are talking about. Almost 50 % of the Disney DVD for sale are pirated- even though they claim to be original new in box Buena Vista issued.

Don't believe me- I sell you some that I bought on AMAZON, who by the way just left me hanging when i wrote to tell them about the fake DVDs.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 8:18:41 AM PST
Yeah Disney bootlegs is a huge problem. Their policy of periodically taking titles of the market for years at a time has spurred a huge piray business. I only buy the Disney animated classics in storefronts where I can see the "Buena Vista" stamp on the shrinkwrap, the single trademark that pirates don't seem to replicate, either because they can't or they don't believe it matters to the average buyer. All that being said, I have seen a friend's pirate copy of PINOCCHIO recently, the quality of the picture and the replication of the artwork was pretty impressive. I am glad the title is getting re-issued in March.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 8:37:06 AM PST
I have also used Amazon for years for holiday shopping and I agree that they need to do something about TOY PRICES.

Amazon's Wish Lists make it convenient for me to make up gift lists for my kids so all my relatives can shop for Christmas and birthdays. It has been a great help until this year. Most of our relatives are older and trust that Amazon has the best prices so they just hit the buy button not realizing that the prices, this year especially, are CRAZY or that the item is really being sold through some unknown third party, not Target or Toy 'R' Us like it was in the past.

We had a Tinker Toy set that used to be $34.99 and now is listed as $199.99!!! I agree that Amazon should do a better job of monitoring third parties. I now have to make up a list for Target, Toys 'R' Us and and few others because Amazon no longer keeps the toy prices reasonable.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 12:45:07 PM PST
I have to agree some prices are ridiculous, but the market drives the price, more demand, harder to find, then pay the price, just like in any market place. These resellers generally have to purchase the item "retail" and "mark them up" amazon gets a cut of the comission, example say you wanted to sell a WII, it retails for 249. say you were a lucky seller allowed to sell this item, well you would have to sell it for 350 to cover amazon costs, the cost to ship and insure and just make your money and taxes you paid when you purchased it retail. I sell on Amazon and I don't over inflate my prices, and generally i am the lowest price reseller for many of my items. but price fixing is not allowed on AMAZON and they will get rid of sellers who do this, but it is a clearly posted price, you either buy it or you don't. So this is a unfounded gripe, it is not price gouching if there are other alternatives available and you would be hard pressed to make a cliam that you were forced to shop at, price gouching involves a captive audience
the cyber world is hardly captive.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 1:50:16 PM PST
Don't for one minute act like they are doing the comsumer a favor by us paying for them to go to the store, stand in line etc.. They are there to buy up all the "hot" selling items to make a HUGE profit. I will do my own shopping thank you, no wait I can't because till I get to go out to the store without three kids the items are gone. My choice is to disappoint or fall prey to the greedy sellers. Some choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 2:28:31 PM PST
STOPPER says: "Don't for one minute act like they are doing the comsumer a favor by us paying for them to go to the store, stand in line etc."

You don't value that service, but other people do - and they are willing to pay for it. So, let it be.

STOPPER says: "They are there to buy up all the "hot" selling items to make a HUGE profit."

Think about it - if there were such *huge* profits to be made, there would be a lot more people doing it.

STOPPER says: "I will do my own shopping thank you, no wait I can't because till I get to go out to the store without three kids the items are gone."

I'm willing to be that the same resellers who buy up the hot selling items have kids, families, and a thousand other obligations - just like you do. So how is it that they are able to buy up all of the good stuff?

STOPPER says: "My choice is to disappoint or fall prey to the greedy sellers. Some choice."

What about the choice to pass on the latest trendy toy? How about the choice to buy things earlier in the season before the greedy resellers buy them all. How about the choice to shop at stores the resellers don't go to? How about the choice to buy from someplace other than - so you don't have to be exposed to the dreadful high prices. How about the choice to buy any one of the tens of thousands of toys that are not "hot" or "trendy"?

You are not a victim.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 2:33:07 PM PST
H. Lewis says:
What's at issue is amazon's image. Many people who shop on Amazon do it to save $ over buying in store. Amazon will suffer for this if they don't try to control it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 3:13:30 PM PST
B. Bauer says:
It's simple supply and demand. If it's out of stock, someone will want it badly enough to buy it at an inflated price. Also, as a seller, I can testify that Amazon takes a big chunk of what the buyer pays ($0.99 + a percentage of total cost) gives us back a "shipping credit" (which doesn't cover the chunk they took) and then we end up paying all shipping costs ourselves. So, what you pay is our cost of doing business.

Merry Christmas!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 3:15:53 PM PST
B. Bauer says:
can we say nintendo wii for the last 2 years?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 5:44:30 PM PST
Well said, Markus D

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 9:33:11 PM PST
If you are buying from Amazon the price will be on par with Wal-Mart. When you are buying from a third party they get to set the price. Amazon does not, nor should it, have any say in what a third party charges. You have no idea what the seller paid to get the toy. They may have even paid retail themselves. Amazon will always be a discounter, but Amazon is not the third party seller. You have to consider each seller a seperate store. Some will give you bargins and some will not.

When Amazon gets the item you want back in stock it will be at a "reasonable price", but frankly other sellers have always sold hard to get items here and on Ebay and other places for what they can get for them.

Oh, and Amazon has pretty much already succeeded.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 10:16:56 PM PST
E. Bullock says:
You are exactly right - my son would love a particular Lego toy which is out of stock everywhere but on a vulture site on Amazon for 50% extra. I've explained to my 7 yr old son that some times Father Xmas can't get things before Xmas, but would send it later. He's fine with this - just as he would be if I bought him something else.
Extortionate sellers - especially Blacksheepdeals - rely upon people not being able to research prices properly or to let their kids down gently. At the moment Blacksheepdeals are selling a Knex set priced 10 times higher than Barnes and Noble. Sadly, i expect some gullible person to buy it - and so do these avaristic sellers which is why they over price in the 1st place.
Until buyers research properly and are not held ransom by their children parasitic sellers will continue.
Good for you on the Wii - we miscalculated on ours as we did buy from Ebay at a higher price - but not ridiculously high if you factored in delivery and tax from say Target. however, we recouped on cheaper Wii games from Amazon - and controllers!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 11:07:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2008 11:18:33 PM PST
evo386 says:
"The end result would be me, and other price conscious shoppers, going elsewhere."

What would be the end result of amazon removing the high priced item???
1) there is no stock you have NO CHOICE and HAVE to go somewhere else...

What is the end result of amazon leaving the high priced item???
1) people who feel it is high price can CHOOSE to find it somewhere else
2) people who feel the item is still worth it can CHOOSE to buy

and again, not a "con" just someone trying to make a living

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2008 11:17:01 PM PST
evo386 says:
"price gouging".....
OK charge $100 for a plank of wood when I really need it to board up my home and protect my life savings etc.... bad on you
Charge me $1,000,000,000 for a nice sports car.... bad on me , if I choose to buy it

your not price gouging if you charge a lot for a luxury item (and yes I consider toys a luxury item, as is games, TVs, and even certain types of food, $50 steak at a restaurant when meat at grocery store is like 3-5 dollars a pound)

Plus about supply and demand... you understand that if you understock and jack up the price then you make more per unit profit but on a smaller number of units rite (i.e. the seller doesn't necessary make more money in the long run and would choose not to go that route)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008 1:17:51 AM PST
Trickylew says:
Retail stores don't "prompt greed" rather they may promote the hysteria about fads initially generated by the media and commercials but that is called effective marketing. It is always nice to see your child get a few things that they really want for Christmas but it's inaccurate to call a retailer a con artist for charging "whatever the market will bear" for a much sought after item. So maybe we should put it on the parents to raise kids who aren't nourished by material stuff and made to feel like they NEED the latest fad. I'd love to get a Wii for my family but if I have to wait until January or February to pay what I deem "normal" certainly won't ruin our Christmas. Parents are raising the microwave generation and feeding it by giving their kids what they want, when they want it instead of teaching them to control impulses and giving them what they need. Savvy retailers know they can snag people who are willing to maim in order to buy the affection of their children. If someone falls for it and hurts someone or spends more than they can afford....shame on them. If I purchased a Wii 3 months ago at a normal retail price but my son decided he wanted an Xbox 360 instead and it was 3 weeks until Christmas and someone who thought they had to have that Wii offered me $2299 for it....(provided it wasn't a friend or family) you can bet I'd sell that thing for that price and not feel a bit bad about it. If someone is crazy enough to pay an outrageous price just to have something on a certain day....they deserve to lose that extra money. So is it the greed of the retailer or naivety and histrionics of the consumer that is the real problem?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008 1:31:14 AM PST
Trickylew says:
Actually, I shop at Amazon not to save $$ (though sometimes I get a great deal) but I shop here for convenience, confidence in satisfaction and to avoid the rabid crazy people in the stores this time of year. Amazon won't suffer...but some silly retailers will.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008 4:19:58 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 6, 2008 4:21:09 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008 1:02:33 PM PST
E. Bullock says:
I'm sorry there is making a living, and then there is downright and immoral profiteering. There is no justification for an Amazon seller such as Blacksheepdeals selling a $15 Knex set for $150. Basically these sellers on amazon and Ebay, buy up the toys thereby reducing demand and then charge grossly inflated prices.
It is generally those who cannot afford it or elderly relatives who fall prey to these unscrupulous sellers.
A slight price increase, justifiable, over 15% is immoral and opportunistic.
I say get rid of these sellers and then people would wait for items to come back in stock or buy something else without purchasing from people who are basically no better than thieves.
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