Amazon Fraud Case Underscores Problem with New eBay Policy

INA STEINER | October 7, 2018

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An Amazon buyer has been indicted after Feds accused him of committing fraud using 501 allegedly false Amazon accounts to place approximately 1227 orders. The government alleges he obtained over $200,000 in merchandise, replacements, and refunds by falsely claiming the merchandise had not been delivered or was damaged. While an indictment is an allegation and is not evidence of guilt, the very idea that it might be possible for a single buyer to commit $200,000 in false claims is breathtaking to small sellers who sell on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and elsewhere. It also calls into question eBay's new Service Metrics policy that went into effect on October 1, 2018, in which eBay charges 40% higher fees to sellers who have too many SNAD claims ("How often you receive return requests for "items not as described.") Rather than using only cases where the seller has actually lost the claim, eBay uses the rate of *all* Item Not as Described requests (even those where the buyer has lost the case) and compares it with the seller's peers to determine if the rate is too high.

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