Amazon has a big problem with third-party product safety – report

Amazon has a huge problem with policing products from third-party sellers, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

The investigation says 4,000 items from third-party sellers have either been banned, declared unsafe from sale in the US, or are deceptively labelled. Half of those products ship from Amazon’s own warehouse, while some of those products are even listed as preferred “Amazon’s Choice” listings.

The findings don’t make pretty readings as we go on, with the investigating pointing out 2,000 listings for toys and medication lacked warnings about risks to children. More than 150 listings were for products Amazon had said it banned.

The Wall Street Journal said that 57% of the listings brought to Amazon’s attention were amended or removed. However, the report itself is damning, even in its title: “Amazon Has Ceded Control of Its Site. The Result: Thousands of Banned, Unsafe or Mislabeled Products.” It says Amazon is “unable or unwilling to effectively police third-party sellers on its site.”

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Amazon has responded to the report in a blog post. The Day One Staff said the company had spent over $400m to protect the store, and says it built robust programs to ensure products are safe, compliant and authentic.

The company wrote: “Amazon offers customers hundreds of millions of items, and we have developed, and continuously refine and improve, our tools that prevent suspicious, unsafe, or non-compliant products from being listed in our store.

“In 2018, our teams and technologies proactively blocked more than three billion suspect listings for various forms of abuse, including non-compliance, before they were published to our store.”

Have you experienced any problems with third-party products you’ve purchased from Amazon? Can a retailer its size possibly police every listing that goes up on the site? Can it do a better job? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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