Consumer Watch: Stopping fake online sellers

What to look for when avoiding problematic or fake sellers on websites (KOKH). 

Getting scammed online can happen in the blink of an eye, and the problem isn't just weird emails or computer viruses.

A massive shopping site with seemingly amazing deals is being used by some third parties that are up to no good. Amazon and most of its sellers are the real deal, but some are trying to get advantage of you, and here is how to spot them.

Amazon works with many third party sellers. That means, you’re not exactly buying from Amazon. As of now, Amazon doesn’t have much of a proactive approach, social media expert Patrick Allmond says this means there has to be a problem or series of problems before Amazon will deal with the third party seller.

“I think Amazon is so big now that it is very easy for anybody, for even you and I, to just hop on and become an "Amazon seller" pretty quick, and Amazon tends to take the angle of canceling sellers versus approving them,” says Allmond.

If something goes wrong-- report the issue to the seller and to amazon's customer service and they will respond. This could include never getting your product, overly long deliver time, and even not getting the item or quality you were reasonably expecting.

The best way to protect yourself is not to buy from third party sellers. Here is how to check: look for items that are shipped by or sold and shipped by Amazon. This information is available near the line that tells you if a product is in stock.

Many third party sellers are legitimate, and can sell some interesting items, so if you are willing to take the gamble, read the reviews before buying, and leave a review after getting your purchase to help others.

“I don't pay attention to somebody that’s only had one or two reviews. Look for a lot of reviews. I am ok with the bad reviews, but I like a lot of good reviews also,” says Allmond.

Be sure to look at them carefully. If they sound strange, or don't have any description those could be fake. Here is a look at the Fox 25 Consumer Watch report on fake online reviews.

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