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Third-Party Seller Scams on Amazon

If you recently took advantage of the WD 4TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive offer from Amazon, here's important information you need to know . . .
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If you recently took advantage of the WD 4TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive offer from Amazon, here’s important information you need to know . . .

I have received at least three complaints from my followers this week after they took advantage of a recent Amazon deal here at Genealogy Bargains. The WD 4TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive, regularly $159.99 was selling for just $80 (see original post HERE). When I discovered the listing, it displayed the Western Digital name, it used the Western Digital images and product description.

Except . . . it was being offered by Shenzhen Lun Hua Electronics Company Ltd., a third-party seller on Amazon. Click HERE to see their amazingly negative ratings as a seller. And you’ll also notice that they have no products currently for sale.

For this specific item, it appears that payment was accepted and when the shipment notification arrived via email, the item was sent to the wrong address.

What You Should Do If You Ordered the WD 4TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

First, contact Amazon at 1 (888) 280-4331 and have your order number ready. Request a refund and tell them that the third-party seller should have been vetted by Amazon BEFORE they were allowed to list merchandise (see below). Don’t accept NO for an answer.

Second, make sure you pull up your order on Amazon and leave negative feedback for the seller.

What is the Brushing Scam on Amazon?

Before I called Amazon to complain, I did some research not only on the specific third party seller Shenzhen Lun Hua Electronics Company Ltd., but also on recent issues that others have had with Amazon and delivery of orders to wrong addresses.

Little did I know that there is something called the Amazon Brushing Scam in which a third-party seller, usually based outside the United States, purposely sends their merchandise to the wrong buyer. Usually in the brushing scam, the seller purchases its own merchandise in hopes of creating fake positive ratings.

A variation of the brushing scam is what we’re seeing here with the WD 4TB My Passport External Hard Drive: the third-party seller tries to set a deliver date outside of the Amazon 30-day return policy. See https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-brushing-scam-couple-receives-packages-they-didnt-order/ for a recent article on the scam.

Also, you can always check out Amazon third-party sellers at Scam Sellers HERE. And learn how to spot an Amazon third-party seller HERE.

Why Doesn’t Amazon Do a Better Job of Vetting Third-Party Sellers?

It appears that there are many “fake” third-party sellers on Amazon since the process of setting yourself up as a seller is abused. Granted, there are some legit sellers who purchase closeout items in bulk and make a good business selling on Amazon. But there appears to be a rash of unscrupulous sellers who are either selling counterfeit merchandise OR not properly fulfilling orders.

I know the old saying CAVEAT EMPTOR, but I don’t think you should have to do so much “homework” before purchasing on Amazon. See How to Avoid Fake and Scammy Amazon Sellers for tips on what to look for when purchasing on Amazon.

What I Plan On Doing with Amazon Offerings in the Future

It took me several hours to calm down from my heated phone call with Amazon this morning and a few more before I could write this post. I always try to do right by my followers and I never want them to fall victim to a scam. I regret posting the “too good to be true” deal for the WD 4TB My Passport External Hard Drive on Amazon.

Going forward I will check to make sure that items posted here at Genealogy Bargains are from an authorized Amazon seller with a very positive reputation and the item is fulfilled by Amazon, not a third-party seller. I will try to be more careful in posting Amazon merchandise and I will start reporting third-party sellers who have no business using the Amazon platform for selling merchandise.

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PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

DisclaimerAll prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.

Amazon Associates Statement:  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclosure Statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

Content and Images: All product content including images have been used by permission from the vendor.

©2019, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.

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PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”


Disclaimer: All prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.


Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.


Content and Images: All content including images have been used by permission from each vendor.