Chinese sellers use underhanded tactics to outsmart Amazon and outperform American sellers. Multiple account creations, fake product reviews, and sabotage listings are among the tactics they use. 65% of Amazon’s third-party sellers are Chinese while only 34% are Americans and 92% of goods Americans buy come from China. As a result, Chinese products are in almost every single household in America.
Hello. I am Bobb Rousseau and this is Apostrophe Podcast. Today’s episode discusses how Chinese sellers outsmart Amazon and outperform American sellers.
Amazon offers the Chinese government the best cross-border e-commerce platform to sell Chinese goods worldwide, especially in the United States.
A 2022 research by the Ecomcrew revealed that 65% of Amazon third-party sellers are Chinese while just 34% are Americans. That research also showed that 95% of products listed on Amazon came from China.
Chinese sellers outperform and outsmart American sellers who sell the same products as they do. This means that everything Americans buy to eat, wear, and decorate their house is made in China or with products made in China.
Chinese sellers apply heinous strategies to manipulate how products appear on consumers’ deals of the day and recommended list feeds.
A Chinese seller may create several accounts selling the same items and sometimes slightly different prices. When consumers search for a specific product, such a product shows up many times on their page, but it is being sold by the same seller. Reviews play a significant role in helping consumers decide to purchase or continue shopping. After Chinese sellers sell their products, the same seller logs onto the different accounts he manages to post reviews.
In addition to creating multiple accounts to sell the same products and leaving fake product reviews, Chinese sellers also give consumers free products to post, in exchange, a positive review of these products. They also pay regular consumers between $3 and $5 to post product reviews.
Research showed that at least 60% of reviews of Amazon products are fake and left by sellers posing as buyers, paid customers, or customers who have never used these products.
Amazon operates under a community distribution principle: once a listing is public, any seller can edit it. Not widely popular across the platform, but sometimes Chinese sellers sabotage other sellers’ listings by altering their description and their pricr or by adding a not-so-clickbait or an inaccurate product photo.
In December 2018, I was among these confused customers who saw a picture of a PlayStation 4 when looking for Yoga balls. I know a friend who thought she was buying a PlayStation 4 for her son but ended up receiving a Yoga ball instead.
Chinese sellers hack and manipulate Amazon search and product listing pages to have their products appear first to the customers over the listings of American sellers showcasing the same products.
Can we, as consumers, do anything about that? Not really, because we will always continue buying Chinese goods from Amazon. It is on Jeff Besos to identify and delete duplicate accounts and secure his platform.
In summary, Chinese sellers have been using various tactics, such as creating multiple accounts to sell the same products and leaving fake product reviews to increase their presence on Amazon. They also give consumers free products in exchange for positive reviews and pay regular consumers to post reviews for their products. Research has found that at least 60% of reviews of Amazon products are fake. In addition, Chinese sellers have been manipulating Amazon search and product listing pages to have their products appear first to the customers. This has caused confusion among consumers, as well as negatively impacted the listings of American sellers. As consumers, little can be done about this situation, and the responsibility lies with Amazon and Jeff Bezos to identify and delete duplicate accounts and secure the platform.
Bobb Rousseau, PhD