When you're shopping on Amazon, you might come across the words "Fulfilled by Amazon" next to some of the things you buy.
Amazon the Marketplace
Amazon is not just online and has not been around for some time. It's a marketplace, like eBay or Alibaba; it just hides that fact better.
Over 80% of the products sold through Amazon. The numbers are even crazier when you look at the products listed on Amazon, not just sold: of the 350 million plus products available, Amazon only sell 1
Fulfilled by Amazon
Amazon is a.
Even if you have not noticed you are buying from a marketplace seller, the odds are you marketplace eBay is generally smooth about all the roughs and bumps. Sellers have two options:
For sellers, the big advantage of Fulfilled by Amazon is Amazon handles everything. Amazon does it. They do not need to run their own store, handle payment processing, deal with a shipper, pack things up, or customer care for a small fee. Sellers sometimes refer to Fulfillment by Amazon as "FBA."
For customers, they are getting the same, regular Amazon experience, including stuff like Prime, free shipping, and the like, for an extra 338 million products that Amazon does not sell directly. Most people-including-don't even notice when they're not buying directly from Amazon.
How to Spot an Amazon Marketplace Seller
While Amazon does not trumpet it from the rooftops when they buy from a marketplace seller, they do not hide the information either. Here's an official Amazon listing.
Fulfilled by Amazon.
Over on the right-hand side, under the "In Stock "Section, Amazon lists the seller and shipper."
Marketplace sellers who do not use Fulfilled by Amazon are even easier to spot. The buying process is different.
Fulfilled by Amazon and the Amazon Marketplace
Fulfilled by Amazon and the Amazon Marketplace are not without their problems. Amazon can't-and does't-thoroughly review and police every item or item.
Our own editor-in-chief, Chris Hoffman, bought a mini PC to use as a media center for his TV. While the hardware is solid, it is shipped with a pirated version of Windows. When he wrote a review of the seller's issue, he reported that he had posted his comments and posted his comments on this review.
SanDisk makes some of the best SD cards and other storage gear. We're huge fans of their stuff here at How-To Geek. Unfortunately, they have been fake.
There are dozens of additional strategies bad sellers use, from hijacking legitimate listings with knockoff products to sell them money. Amazon does not do anything until people start to complain and then it's often too late. While Amazon wants to always refund people with their A-to-Z Guarantee.
How to Avoid Scammers on Amazon
As Amazon has cornered more of the online market, it's become an even better target for scammers. Amazon is trying to address the problem, but it's still a big issue. There's always a risk that you'll be scammed when you buy from Amazon Marketplace seller.
With that said, I'm not advising you to cancel your Prime membership. If you exercise a little care. If you're looking for a Fulfilled by Amazon or other third-party seller, check out the listing and reviews.
For more on spamming scammy sellers in the wild, check out our full guide.
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