You Might Be Buying Trash On Amazon – Literally

Amazon buyer beware Most wise shoppers would never intentionally buy trash on Amazon–but according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, many online shoppers might be doing just...

(Photo Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Amazon buyer beware

Most wise shoppers would never intentionally buy trash on Amazon–but according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, many online shoppers might be doing just that. The Wall Street Journal did some digging into Amazon retail shops, and found that many sellers go dumpster-diving in trash bins, clean up the items, and resell them to unsuspecting customers.

Some of the sellers even post videos of their dumpster-diving expeditions on YouTube, WSJ reports. However, they had trouble getting the trash peddlers to speak on the record.

“They are an elusive lot,” WSJ reported. “Many The Wall Street Journal contacted wouldn’t give details about their listings, said they stopped selling dumpster finds or no longer listed them as new, didn’t respond to inquiries or stopped communicating. Some said they feared Amazon would close their stores. So the Journal set out to test whether these claims were true. Reporters went dumpster diving in several New Jersey towns and retrieved dozens of discards from the trash including a stencil set, scrapbook paper and a sealed jar of Trader Joe’s lemon curd. The Journal set up a store on Amazon to see if it could list some of its salvaged goods for sale as new. It turned out to be easy.”

Amazon said it’s the seller’s responsibility to be honest about the quality of their items. However, they recently updated their policy to bar users from selling “items intended for disposal.”

“Sellers are responsible for meeting Amazon’s high bar for product quality,” a spokesperson for Amazon told WSJ. “We are investigating and will take appropriate action against the bad actors involved.”

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