Even on Amazon, Some Deals Are Too Good to Be True — Here’s How to Spot ’Em

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Amazon has everything.

Seriously. No matter what you need to buy, your first stop is Amazon. Sometimes, you even find what you want for an amazing price.

It turns out that some of those too-good-to-be-true prices are just that: too good and not true.

Because we can never have a good thing without someone trying to screw it up, a wave of Amazon fake sellers has started to create problems for buyers, legit sellers and Amazon itself, according to BuzzFeed News. Forbes reported earlier this year about what seems to be a growing number of fraudulent sellers on Amazon.

A Scammer’s Gotta Scam

Amazon fake sellers are just what they sound like: people who set up an account and put items up for sale that they don’t actually have. Not only do they put items up for sale, they slap crazy-good prices on them.

Fifty percent off a laptop? Yes!

Then buyers click away and send their payments only to wait for that awesome delivery that never comes.

Luckily for buyers, Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee means buyers usually get their money back.

Unfortunately, that means Amazon refunds the buyer, while the fraudulent seller runs off with the money. Amazon loses.

Think Before You Click to Avoid Amazon Fake Sellers

As we get closer to the holiday season and you start looking for those sweet deals on gifts for your friends and family, avoid scammers by paying close attention.

The easiest way to ensure you’re using a legitimate Amazon seller is to look through their reviews. If a seller has a relatively long history of positive reviews, you should be fine. Be wary of any seller with reviews from consumers who claim they never received their items.

If a seller’s information says they “just launched,” it means they are new to Amazon. Now, there are plenty of legit sellers out there who may have just started out, and they could be great. However, if you find a price on an item from a new seller that is dramatically lower than you’d expect, consider it a red flag.

There’s no need to run away from Amazon. Just be a smart consumer, and don’t let scammers ruin your day.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.