Amazon Horror Stories: Scammers, Ghost Listings and More

Amazon Horror StoriesIf you run an online business, then chances are you may feel “too old” to dress up for Halloween (unless you have kids – then the decision is kind of made for you). Let’s say though, you were to go to a costume party or out to terrify the neighborhood with your ghoulish antics. What would you go as? As an online seller, what would be the scariest for you? What Amazon horror stories keep you up at night and threaten your company?

Here are what we consider to be the most bone chilling problems prowling in the night, according to the fears of an online retailer. Maybe no one else at the party will get it, but we will, and we’ll be terrified right along with you.

Spooky Scammer

They lurk in the shadows, waiting for an unsuspecting victim. They look for expensive products that they don’t want to pay for and an excellent refund policy, then bam! They order a perfectly good product, claim damage, and want a refund with no chance of returning the item. You contact them repeatedly, hoping to get your product back and follow Amazon policy, but they suddenly disappear. Read through some stories about scammers on Amazon Seller Forum, and you’ll drown in the overload of sellers who fell prey to a scammer. It can be hard to protect yourself from a scammer, but if you suspect one, we recommend documenting everything, and getting Amazon involved immediately.

Ghost Listing

If you’ve never had a “ghost listing,” consider yourself lucky. Ghost listings occur when a seller lists an item only once, but a listing mistakenly duplicates on a marketplace (technology isn’t perfect). Things get really scary when a customer buys a ghost listing, not realizing the item is dead and gone and already shipped to someone else. Sellers usually have to cancel that listing’s order, which can really hurt their metrics. A sucker punch like that to your account will definitely haunt you.

Stock Out Scream

Similar to a ghost listing is the horrifying stock out situation, and the stomach-dropping moment when you realize you sold a product no longer in stock. Even though the results are similar, running out of stock is worse because it isn’t part of a marketplace error, and could have been easily prevented. Inventory management software automatically pulls in sales orders from your marketplaces and will update your inventory everywhere to reflect a sale, in real time.

Being an online seller can be risky – you may run into a dishonest buyer, or experience marketplace glitches, or even wait too long to buy software and suffer the consequences of overselling. But don’t let the horror stories keep you up at night. Being an online seller is also very rewarding. You become your own boss, you can forage success your way, and get to become a part of this incredible, steadily growing ecommerce industry – and that should be enough to chase the spooky stories away.

Do you have any Amazon horror stories? Feel free to share in the comments, we would love to hear them!

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About the Author


Michael Prendergast is a struggling New York Giants, Knicks, and Rangers fan. To cope with the constant disappointment, he spends his time reading and being a stock market enthusiast.

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Michael PrendergastAmazon Horror Stories: Scammers, Ghost Listings and More

Comments 2

  1. Christina

    Hi there, I have been scammed several times on Amazon. When I was thinking of deactivating my account, I came across an interesting online service – eBuyersReviewed. com. I like this site and I use it every day. You can screen a buyer before you ship any item to him/her or report one so other sellers can benefit from your experience.

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