Sean P. Murphy, the consumer advocacy reporter for the Boston Globe, tells the story of Mike and Kelly Gallivan who keep receiving one or two packages from Amazon a week – containing items they never ordered.
The first package from Amazon landed on Mike and Kelly Gallivan’s front porch in October. And they have continued to arrive, packed with plastic fans, phone chargers, and other cheap stuff, at a rate of one or two a week. The Gallivans never ordered any of it.
James Thomson of Buy Box Experts and Chris McCabe of ecommerceChris believe that the Gallivans are the victims of an Amazon seller scam in which a disreputable seller uses an unsuspecting victim to gain favorable reviews.
It’s a pretty fascinating story – I won’t explain the scam in detail here, because I don’t want to steal Sean P. Murphy’s thunder. I encourage you to read the entire article by following the “Curated from” link below.
The article does make me think about an aspect of selling on Amazon that I haven’t thought about too extensively in the past. At my company, we are conscious of the importance of product reviews (both on Amazon and on our own websites). We solicit them from customers and respond as appropriate, at least when they point out a problem with our products or customer support. We are also careful to not engage in schemes which would unethically boost our review scores. What we don’t do as much is monitor the reviews of our competitors to try to determine if they are unethically boosting reviews. I’m not sure how we would react if we suspected this was happening, but positive reviews are very valuable and definitely provide a competitive edge, so this is something we need to think about.