Let’s face it… there are times (rare though) when top e commerce marketplaces treat their member sellers like step children. Amazon can be held as a classic example. At this very moment, there are infinite sad stories being narrated in Amazon seller forums about how this mega marketplace sided with scamming buyers than with authentic sellers. Each of these stories is filled with inconsolable grief and sense of repentance as to why no shields were raised as protection against buyer fraud in the first place. While it is true that the eBay book sellers’ forum has more horrifying stories to narrate, seeing Amazon catching up with the record seems even scarier. Identifying fraud buyers can be very difficult for obvious reasons. Unless you can read minds online, there is no way fraud buyers can be prevented from making their purchases. Understanding the psychology of Scammers can help to a limited extent.
So, why do scammers scam anyway?
More often than not, scam buyers happen to fall into the group of people that wants to use new stuff and not pay for it. It could be dresses, books or even accessories like shoes, jackets, sunglasses, watches etc that can be used for an occasion and then returned to receive full refund. The second group of scammers usually bears the intent to exchange their used or broken products for new ones. Electronics (like cameras, mobile phones, home appliances etc) often fall into this category.
The third group of buyers can be categorized as the clueless lot who make purchases without thinking and then push a return. Most seller forums mention excuses as blatant as ‘it does not quite match the image’ when the image is a no nonsense match’, ‘I thought it would look good on me, but it doesn’t’ etc. that turn their worlds upside down.
In all cases, sellers can be assured that Amazon will maintain ‘customers are always right policy’.
So, what exactly is in your hand?
Basically, the best thing that any seller can do is pray that they don’t get scammed. Sending out a general message in seller forums Amazon like ‘Sellers know which buyers are scamming’ can put small time scammers in place. Besides this, it is also very necessary to be careful about the products that are stocked and shipped along with crisp details of the product at the time of shipping including pictures. If the seller has earned relatively good rating, Amazon may consider valuing the argument from the seller’s side. This again can happen only once in a blue moon.
The next step may be a little difficult, but not impossible either. Basically, it involves verifying if the same buyer has returned products before and posted multiple negative feedbacks against multiple sellers. Many Amazon seller’s forums have stories as such put up for reference. Poor experience in Amazon in the part of the buyers may happen once, it may happen twice as well, but not every time. If this buyer has a history of returning, it is a possibility that he / she is scamming. Installing anti-fraud systems can also be a reasonable protection against transaction fraud and associated damages caused to sellers.