FTC Targets Amazon Seller for Review Hijacking

@ASV_Vites, I believe you warned us about this!!!

8 Likes

Great, now if only they could target Chinese sellers that do this it would solve most of the issue

5 Likes

IMO it is too bad that this was settled. It would be far better if it went to trial and a judge decided. This is not a precedent,

Misuse of variations is an area in which Amazon fails miserably, and the search results are often as bad as Ebay for a buyer who buys on price.

I like Nature’s Bounty and use some of their products.

That is true even though I know @ASV_Vites history with them,

4 Likes

This one?

I thought @ASV_Vites was sharing with us about PRC companies/brands offering illegally imported, probably unsafe, etc. supplements/ drugs (again). Could be mistaken.

1 Like

You’re not mistaken. NBTY is one of the best brands out there. I’m shocked that they got involved in this type of fraud and by reading it, I’m not really sure that this is the recycling issue I have been talking about. It is true that variations like this aren’t supposed to be allowed in my category.

@lake Seems correct and I AM SHOCKED that they settled. The Nature’s Bounty I worked for would spend $1,000,000 to defend a $10,000 claim. They never lost.

I guess Nestle likes to pay to make things go away. Weird.

See how this dovetails with my “Ability to Pay” verbiage I have been touting for years? It’s insanity that they go after NBTY and leave these PRC brands alone to not only commit the same fraud (actually worse) but mislabel and sell shit that doesn’t even have anything in it.

It’s all about the $ folks.

8 Likes

It is about the FTC Chairman.

There is plenty to read about her if one chooses to. Including what one of the other FTC members alleges in her resignation from the commission.

Obviously, the politics of this are a discussion for some other venue, but the PRC is not her target,

3 Likes

There’s always PM’s. :grinning:

1 Like

Wonder if this was the result of a hired 3rd party consultant.

3 Likes

This whole thing is FUCKING WEIRD.

NB is a 1P vendor. Amazon controls this. Almost smells like Amazon is in kahoots (idk how to spell this or maybe it’s not a word) with Nature’s Bounty. Like Amazon asked NBTY to take the fall for this because big tech is under the microscope and will reimburse them.

With that said - 1P / VC I assume is initially set up by the brand so who knows. You would think that Amazon’s category managers would be looking at listings sold by / shipped by Amazon for compliance.

Again, very very weird.

1 Like

I shouldn’t be. US Federal Bureaucracy should not be a partisan political. Something is rotten deep at the core, when keeping Americans safe is political. I certainly, hope that @ASV_Vites is sharing the details with the national media (WSJ, FoxNews, CNBC, & CNN) and members of the US Congress.

2 Likes

This article did not sound that strange to me. Probably was a advertising/marketing employees mistake. Or maybe a new employee showing initiative horribly wrong.

I can see Amazon or Natures Bounty overlooking an employee adding items to a variation incorrectly. Especially if a marketing employee did it to join the advertising from another ASIN in the varation. I think that used to be a popular advertising cheat.

Side note: I do not have any knowledge about variations in this category.

2 Likes

Oh yes – just change to K to a C
cahoots

1 Like

An FTC blog post about the case quotes from emails where the merchant’s employees discussed the practice: “Another email from a company employee explained that by creating variation relationships between new products and established products, new products could “. . . essentially ‘borrow’ the best-selling flags, ratings, and reviews, and first page placement” of the top sellers.” According to the email, the employee was “using this strategy with all of our launches,” and the strategy had proven “extremely successful.””

2 Likes

Damn - They got their emails in this case… Wow…

I’d much rather see Amazon go after the people I am trying to get rid of. They do far more damage to this marketplace than companies like Nature’s Bounty that actually make a quality product in this country.

4 Likes

FTC has now approved the settlement

1 Like

I guess a $600K fine is better than nothing…

Another prime example of our government lacking any teeth for corporate crime.

$600K is a rounding error.

1 Like

Settlements are always a negotiation

2 Likes

True, I wish they had been tried here in SF. They would have locked them up and thrown away that key!

1 Like

Here in New England, they would have been locked in the stocks on the Town Common. Then let the locals deal with it.

To the Grand Pumbah’s feel free to delete my politicly incorrect post. Though it is what we did here.

1 Like