[Actual Seller Account Revealed!] Amazon 3rd Party Seller Scam Explained: No, You’re Not Getting A Free Mini Computer From Amazon

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Update, 5/24:Really Care2018,” another China based seller, has reviews dating back to 2018. They are now selling this computer for $259.99 with fulfillment by Amazon. The code to make it free does not work for this seller, but they will benefit from the scam explained below, as this is now the number one selling computer from Amazon and has 4.3 star ratings, despite the actual reviews being for a quilt rack!

The burner seller account based in China without fulfillment by Amazon,  “haikouyangsushangmaoyouxiangongsi1,” is still offering it for free after the code listed in the original post below, which will help keep this as the top selling computer, at least until Amazon bans their account due to not fulfilling orders.

“Really Care2018” is also selling another mini computer fulfilled by Amazon for $199.99 on a hijacked listing. This is ranked at the number 7 selling mini computer on Amazon, but the reviews are for an N64 HDMI converter! The product is also being sold by “haikouyangsushangmaoyouxiangongsi1” without Amazon fulfillment, likely also for free to get the sales volume up.


Originally posted on 5/23:

5 years ago I wrote about a scam on Amazon where a 3rd party seller was pretending to sell Ecco shoes for $14.99.

Now, 3rd party sellers are back with a new scam and codes for free items.

Over the past several days I’ve received dozens of tips from readers about this mini computer on Amazon for free with code: UZT5FJXJ

No, you’re not getting a computer for free.

Your first hint that something is off can be found by clicking on the seller name:

 

Which brings you to the seller review page. Unsurprisingly, the seller is brand new, with an absurd seller name that will never have name recognition, has no reviews or feedback, and is based in China, where many of these Amazon scams originate:

 

Scammy sellers often find an old item on Amazon that has good ratings and is out of stock. They then add a variant and work on editing the listing title, category, and pictures while retaining the original product’s ratings. Essentially they hijack the old listing.

The original product ASIN for this can be found here, while the new variant is here. They both lead to the scammer’s product, but retain the old product’s reviews.

Sellers like this open a burner seller account and make a crazy promotion so that people buy it, the rankings go up, and it becomes a best seller:

 

You can also still see the old product name if you click on customer reviews, though it shows the new image from the seller:

 

Most people don’t read the actual reviews, which aren’t for the computer at all. They just look at the top-line ratings and if it’s at least 4 stars assume they are getting a quality product.

Typically in these cases nothing is ever shipped and the order is cancelled, though sometimes a fake tracking number will be used so that it’s marked as shipped.

People will complain to Amazon and the seller will get banned, which is fine as the seller used a burner account.

However the item is now a top seller with great reviews. The seller now uses their real account to sell their item at full price, and is able to reap the benefit of good ratings from a top-selling item.

Another benefit is that the sellers now have your full name and shipping address and can use them for a brushing scam. They can potentially use these in the future to open up an account and write fake reviews in your name.

Sellers don’t get that when orders are fulfilled by Amazon, but these orders are fulfilled by 3rd party sellers. That’s why we rarely post deals that aren’t fulfilled by Amazon.

The same thing happened a few weeks ago with a free lightning cable charger.

A brand new seller from China with an absurd seller name was giving them away for free with a code, but they never actually shipped. Orders were all cancelled after several days. The reviews for the product were for glue. However the product shot up to the top selling lightning cables on Amazon. Now an established seller from China is selling lightning cables on the listing at the regular price, with the benefit of good ratings and the bump from when it was the top selling cable.

What other 3rd party scams have you come across?

HT: drosenberg88429, via DDF

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96 Comments On "[Actual Seller Account Revealed!] Amazon 3rd Party Seller Scam Explained: No, You’re Not Getting A Free Mini Computer From Amazon"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Realshlomo

How does the real account access the old listing?

yitz1000

any account can sell on any listing unless it’s a gated brand or restricted by Amazon for a different reason.

KC

You may be able to sell if you are ungated but won’t be able to edit the listing (which is what this article is about) unless it’s your brand, typically. The Chinese do it 2 ways, they bribe Amazon workers (see Google articles on this) or they hack into the system which you need mad skills to do.

Mendel

Amazon needs to show which seller a reviewer bought the item from. Otherwise you might as well just show reviews for random products.

4yourinfo

Just don’t understand why they won’t start a new listing and do the scam on the new listing? – is that an red flag that they try to avoid?

Mf1

Thanks for the informative piece

David

How can seller get my real email address?

WonderingYid

Amazon does not share that info.

Average Joe

If the seller is fbm then they get all of your real information

WonderingYid

Not your email. They also don’t get your real phone number.

Please be more educated.

Average Joe

The post doesn’t say anywhere that they get your email address. It says they get your shipping address and your name.

If the item is FBA, fulfilled by amazon, meaning shipped to the purchaser from the Amazon warehouse, then the seller doesn’t really get any of your personal information. If the item is FBM, fulfilled by merchant, then Amazon gives the seller your name and shipping address so that they can send you the item from their warehouse.

Simcha

Wow. I actually ordered this “free” mini comp yesterday. After completing it, I checked my Amazon gift card balance and it was less than it should’ve been. After that I new something there was fishy. Also checked the reviews and like you said Dan, it was for a completely different item. I canceled the order immediately, and called Amazon support to report the seller. The representative actually told me that he just received another call about this exact scam before he spoke to me. Next time I’ll be more aware.

mendel

do they get all the info right away?
is there a point in canceling it after it was ordered?

#FBM Seller

They get your full name and address as soon as the order comes entirely in on their end.

However, Amazon will remove all your info from the order once an order is canceled. Still, if they have an integration system or internal order processing software, they will have your information saved internally…

They do NOT get your phone number and Email address; still, every order receives a unique Extension number with which the seller can call you, and if your voicemail-greeting reads out your phone number, they will now have it…!
They can also email you directly via a unique Amazon email address, but there is no way for them to captor your personal email address.

Thanks, #Dan, for the informative information!

Terpy

I don’t understand how the item is for a computer but the reviews are for paper towels. How does that work?

I’ve seen this a couple times before and had no idea what was happening.

David Djmal

The original listing is paper towels and has many positive reviews. The listing goes out of stock. Seller creates a computer listing as a variation and attaches it to the paper towel listing. Amazon only shows the variation that’s in stock, but it will show the reviews for both variants. So you only see that it’s a computer with 100+ positive reviews.

WonderingYid

They hijacked a listing.

David Weiss

I’m working at a amazon business, I know these Chinese scams very well, 1st thing I’m checking on a crazy deal is all these signs.

I realized that the big deals guys like Dan know what to post and what not to..

?

“The original product ASIN for this can be found here, while the new variant is here.”

Both links leads to same page?

Frogman

If you look at the seller’s other products, in fact, one is a Best Seller.

Why can’t Amazon police some of this BS?

Gary

They do police it. They’re just not instantaneous, like the actual police. (They also incorrectly go after plenty of innocent players and false positives, like real life law enforcement. And like dealing with the legal system, once they come after you, your innocence is almost irrelevant, because there’s nobody to talk to that cares. You’re often forced to plead guilty on something with zero basis in reality, because otherwise they ban you for life, steal your inventory and balance, and stonewall you.) It’s a game of whack a mole. For every one they take down, a dozen more crop up.

Ama

How Can any seller edit the listing the listing that a different seller listed for a different item ?

abc

Sellers can add a different version of the same item and it will show up on the same page. Usually, with honest sellers, it works out great. Let’s say I sell scotch tape on amazon and it comes in packs of 2. Now you’re also a seller who sells scotch tape, but yours comes in packs of 3. So you can add your 3-packs to the same product page as my 2-pack, which makes life much easier for the buyers who now only have to click on one listing and choose their quantity instead of scrolling through a bunch of pages of tape. And the reviews for a 2 pack are gonna be pretty much the same for a 3 pack. Same goes for items that come in different colors or sizes.

The issue comes when someone tries to add a “variation” that is really a different product altogether. If you and I have both moved on in life and aren’t selling scotch tape anymore, nobody’s gonna notice if a random Chinese seller, instead of adding another type of tape, adds headphones and changes the title of the listing…

Ama

Thanks for the explanation. So once you add another variation, the seller has access to the entire listing and can change the listing all together?

Sam

Wow! So many questions. Let’s make it simple. Dan knows what he’s talking about. If you understand what he’s saying, good. If you don’t, listen anyways (or get scammed)!!!!!

Ben

Ok, so its a scam.
But why is the product and seller still live on Amazon on 5/23?

Hi

Yes and the code still works

lcm

What’s pathetic is the fact that you can only report the listing if you have a seller account

Gary

I don’t believe this is accurate. Anyone can file a report for a fake listing or item.

ShoKay

Thanx Dan for this important info!

Liam K. Nuj

I don’t understand the problem. I was always looking for computer that can do a decent job of drying my dishes. My current computer keeps leaving streaks.

Gemarakop

These scams happen all the time Amazon does not care. The on,y thing that will change is if sellers stop selling en masse which will not happen in the near future.

Ari

My account got locked after ordering a few of this computers

Moshe

Yet a other reason to ween ourselves off from China… the list goes on.

Ruth

I called Amazon and reported that this was going on. They thanked me and said they would have their department that deals with scams look into it. Thanks Dan!

People never learn

Never call!! Now you ruined this deal for everyone one.

Ruth

It’s not a real deal – as Dan explained it’s a scam.

Andy

Here’s one I came across today that’s in the midst of being changed by scammers:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004G7F2SS/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Gary

Lol, nice. Good catch.

Variant

I like the slection of the word “variant”!!!!
Great usage, especially being that this article is about China!!!!

Amazon

Crazy!

Danfan

These scams are so common, yet it takes Amazon hours if not days to for them to remove the seller, it is amazing how such a big company has so little human (excluding thier dumb seller support) interaction, which is why it takes them so long to fix things like this, and as a seller this stuff is pretty annoying!

Terpy

So many questions!!!
And Dan, you should be a reporter — this is the 2nd story you’ve broken recently with a journalistic approach.

Who buys a random computer for $260 without reading the reviews, which are for paper towels?

How does Amazon allow this to happen?
How does Amazon not get hit with a class action lawsuit?

How does local and federal law enforcement not get involved and investigate this?

Shmooger

@Dan,
Yes, Terpy Is correct. You should become a reporter by day and start selling newspapers at your corner in the morning as well.

KC

This info is all over the Amazon seller forums. Even brand owners who typically pay for and have sole control of their protective listings (with NO variations in many cases) are being hijacked. Amazon does nothing for them and they share all of this on the forums. They have even hijacked products that are Amazon branded, that only Amazon sells. It’s astonishing that Amazon doesn’t make internal changes to the security of their programs.

ge

what should i do if i ordered this already?

#FBM Seller

Cry… you can cancel the order, yet, they most probably have your info already.

Moshe

Intresting, when I opened a account with my real identity and address located in the US I got banned several times in the beginning because they couldn’t verify me and I had too much volume etc. Took about a year until I got all restrictions lifted on my account. And here goes a scammer from China with a wierd name no address etc. And they’re doing whatever they want

fyg

It’s also overpriced as is. Such as device shouldn’t be purchased for more than $100. One can buy a much better device from dell for $100ish (though with less SSD, but to get an equivalent or better ssd can buy one for $25-$50ish and just stick it in)

Average Joe

Dan you wrote “People will complain to Amazon and the seller will get banned, which is fine as the seller used a burner account.”

When I ran my FBA business Amazon held on to money for months, like over $100,000 at a time, as insurance in case I sold fake/counter fit products. If my products got reported, Amazon would charge me back for all the purchases that were made, and not refund me the 15% commission, or any of the FBA fees, including storage and shipping. They would also seize all of my merchandise and mandate me paying a disposal fee. I guess if it’s FBM it wouldn’t be as bad, but they would still keep my money.

I just don’t get how this scam could be profitable if the first burner account gets charged back for everything. It’s not just that you get banned for life from selling on Amazon, and burn your account, they also keep as much of your money as they possibly can. Does the ASIN really become so popular that you could then make back your money and then some?

Eli

The paragraph under the one you quoted pretty much answers your question. Basically they likely aren’t shipping the product anyway so they’re not losing money and they also have your info for future scams. They don’t care that Amazon isn’t paying out on the burner account, if they get paid on it it’s a bonus, else it’s fine too.

“However the item is now a top seller with great reviews. The seller now uses their real account to sell their item at full price, and is able to reap the benefit of good ratings from a top-selling item.

Another benefit is that the sellers now have your full name and shipping address and can use them for a brushing scam. They can potentially use these in the future to open up an account and write fake reviews in your name.”

Fjdo

Do they have name/adrs as soon as order is created or only once it ships?

#FBM Seller

As soon as the order comes in on their end (It may often take a few minutes!), they will have your full name and complete address.

They will NOT get your phone number and email address.

Also fbm seller

They do get ur phone number

#FBM Seller

I wish!
Guide me on how to get it; it’s often a challenge that we can’t call a customer to discuss issues!
Where/How can a seller get a direct phone number to a customer? (Besides Googling the name and address…)

Also fbm seller

It’s in the same box as the ship to address, has the phone number listed there also. Officially it’s only for the carrier tho. This is only for fbm orders not fba

mf

as an amazon seller, I can tell you that we don’t get the real phone number.
it could be that there is some time from when you place your order until the seller gets notified about your order however once notified he will have the address instantly.
regarding name and address, there are many phonebooks and apps that can give you millions of names and addresses so I don’t know what the concern is.

Stephen

Phishing scams are a fun way to get free products my son has gotten toys through this

WonderingYid

Please elaborate.

Stephen

They get your address to send product to and review with your name and address

Stephen

Meant brushing scam

#FBM Seller

It might be fun, but, not a good sign, it may indicate that someone uses your identity online!

Sim

Any way to still order it?

Sim

Will Amazon fulfill it if I cancelled the original order?

mo

Best thing to do is to order (multiple times) and return them. After a while they will figure out they are losing money on it and stop.

yupy

Doesnt it cause people to leave negative review on the product itself? I have seen a lot of products with negative reviews based on not receiving an item or similar?

WonderingYid

Yes, it sometimes does.

#FBM Seller

Hey! If you fell in and bought this (or similar) item, at least leave a SHAPR 1-STAR Seller Feedback on the Seller and Also a SCREAMING 1-Star product review!!

Take the inconvenient situation, and save other customers from falling in!!

Also fbm seller

U can’t leave a review on an item u never receive

buyer

Anyone can leave a product review; you don’t have to purchase the item!

deals

Is amazon so stupid to allow a listing to exist and allow a seller to sell a computer on a page that has reviews for another product, this is insane, is amazon looking the other way? or they need to get lots of complaints to get this page off and reviewed

Kollel

I already received an email from Amazon stating that my order is cancelled

Hesh

How is the listing available on prime if the seller never sent it in to Amazon to fulfill?

mark n

It’s funny when the jews get outsmarted by the Chinese on Amazon. Actually hillarious . This is so much more savvy than all those who actually gave out free products for reviews (the Jewish way) costing them money …. Amazon reviews and listing ratings is entirely a dirty business . Literally anyone on top who isn’t a huge volume seller is playing SOME scam…. At days end here the only evil is people are being tricked on possible quality of the real item. Almost everyone tries to do that in many ways. Whether is suppressing negative reviews or bribing those who write (honest) negative reviews. It’s all the same game except this one costs them nothing…

Shmuel

Does walmart also have these issues? My friend just ordered a bunch of laptops for $10.99…

yosef768

Anything to worry about if the item ships from Amazon, but seller is in China? Randomly bought some toner that was priced well (not a giveaway) and then received a postcard in the mail from the seller offering me an amazon gift card if I posted a review of the toner.

Ybeeds

It’s been quite a number of years since I sold on Amazon, but I had this done to at least one of my listings.

SEG

I just found another product that has the best ratings in its category, but those ratings are for a completely different item. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09X27CS9H/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

srap

Even though you would make a stellar investigative reporter, we don’t want to lose you, Dan! We acknowledge, appreciate, and crave your guidance here. Looking forward to your next piece!

DR

Thanks. I was always wondering…

Yossi

@dan

Even with fba it is still a scam. I See these listing and many others on Amazon ( gaming pc’s as well). Many people do not realize the cpu is 5 years old and used ( generally intel does not manufacture there CPU’s for more then a year or two.)

Ben

Here was a scam Dan:
In October 2019 , on a WhatsApp chat I was on people sent an Amazon “deal” for a coat for $2 plus $4 shipping. We all figured we didn’t want to miss out so bought it. Then it said it will take a month to ship. I only remembered 4 months later to check on it and still said on its way. When trying to cancel it wouldn’t let. So on this scam the seller even made $6. This was the listing : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZP27V91

CtownBin

Thanks Dan for the informative post!

What I don’t understand is- if the whole point of the fake listing is to get a bunch of sales on an item to improve their ratings so it’s now a top-seller item– since those sales all got CANCELLED (because obviously they’re not shipping the free computer), so why do they still count towards the ratings?? It should be easy for Amazon to make it so that cancelled sales get removed from the ratings count, so once they are all cancelled (which would be pretty quickly I would think) the item goes down to the same status it had before, and the scam accomplishes nothing.

es

i ordered meta quest 2 from seller ZHUANGZHUANGLUO for 188 yesterday

Pdizzle

So did I. It was marked delivered then mysteriously returned to sender at the same time.

Daf
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