According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Amazon reportedly sells thousands of products that federal agencies have identified as being mislabeled, banned or declared unsafe. As it turned out, no fewer than 4,152 items that met these criteria were freely available on the Amazon store.
The list of mislabeled, banned and unsafe products found by the Journal is shocking, including products not FDA-approved, medicines without child safety warnings and banned sleeping slaves, illegally imported prescription drugs, electronics, which falsely claims UL-certified safety ratings, toys with unsafe levels of lead or potential choking hazards, and much more. Many of the products found had the Amazon Choice label of the company, which you should not automatically trust. Worst of all, the investigation revealed at least 1
This is the massive network of Amazon third-party vendors who sell freely on Amazon and even ship from the company's warehouses when they join the transaction, Fulfilled by Amazon. Third-party product pages may be hard to spot except for items sold by Amazon.com. A small line of text is the only one that indicates who the actual seller is.
However, there is a big difference between buying from Amazon and buying from another supplier to . Amazon does not assume any legal responsibility for unsafe products, as it is not technically what it sells. Disputes must be taken up with the third party seller.
It was not like that in the old days, but since marketplace vendors jumped into the scene via Amazon, moderation of these offerings by the company (which was done by a combination of human workers and machine learning) was simply not possible with the sheer volume of Products to keep up. Subject to a major change in Amazon's policy, customers still seem to be on their own when it comes to making smart purchases from online retail giants, especially third-party suppliers. Joanna Stern from the Journal has some suggestions on how to avoid unsafe or other dubious purchases. Here, the company shared more information about how it approves third-party vendors and what tools it uses to eliminate problematic listings. By Mail: "We invest significant resources to protect our customers and have developed robust programs to ensure that the products offered for sale in our store are safe and compliant."
Update August 23, 15:25 Watch : Statement added by Amazon on preventative measures for problematic products.