Scam Products on Amazon – How to Spot Low Quality Products on  

Scam Products on Amazon – How to Spot Low Quality Products on is one of the largest marketplaces in the world, accounting for more than 50% of all product searches in the USA. The marketplace maintains this volume of sales by allowing third-party sellers to list products for free, only taking a cut when they sell. As a result, even extremely inexperienced sellers can list products for sale on, taking advantage of your automatic trust in the platform to offer products that may or may not be of doubtful quality.

As a result, many of us often find ourselves purchasing something cheaply on only to realize that it’s actually extremely bad quality and possibly even unusable. While you can go through the hassle of making a return, filing a complaint with Amazon, and leaving a negative review, it’s often better to avoid these kinds of purchases in the first place.

Why Are Scam Products on Amazon?

New and inexperienced sellers, or sellers from China, will sometimes attempt to purchase low-quality products cheaply from wholesale sites like Alibaba, mark them up, and sell them for a profit. These products are often priced low enough that you can’t really expect stellar quality, but are also priced where you expect something that is good quality and usable.

If you’ve purchased a product on and it was, is, or had:

  • Significantly smaller than listed
  • A strong smell
  • Very thin construction
  • Broken pieces or components
  • No listed brand
  • Long shipping time

These products are almost always from China, and are manufactured quickly and cheaply. You get something that is poor quality, and often not worth what you are paying.

Avoiding Scam Products on Amazon

Amazon makes it easy to see when sellers don’t like a product, and many buyers use reviews religiously. However, they aren’t the only warning sign. In most cases, you can review all reviews and pay attention to reviews at every level.

You can also:

  • Check product photos. Use a reverse image search to check the product on other websites
  • Check the product description. If it’s poor or almost nonexistent, the seller doesn’t care much about their product.
    Check Amazon. Are there a lot of sellers with the same product photo? If so, it may be a cheap product.
  • Check AliExpress. Can you find the product there? has a strong customer protection policy and if you aren’t happy with your product, getting in touch with the seller to request an exchange, return, or refund will likely be successful. Because an Amazon seller can lose their selling privileges if they have too many bad reviews, most will be extremely accommodating of requesting a return. However, because Amazon does allow inexperienced sellers onto their platform, you might have a bad experience if the seller doesn’t realize Amazon’s policy requires them to return the product.

To protect yourself you can check the seller’s reviews before you purchase the product. To do so, click through to “Purchase options” and then check the seller reviews and number of purchases.

If the seller has less than 98% positive feedback, they have a large percentage of buyers who are not happy.

Amazon offers a lot of protection for buyers, so even if something goes wrong with the product or seller, you can likely still get your money back. Just initiate a return through your account and you should be fine.

Good luck shopping on Amazon.

About The Author
Gardenia Boyle, aka "Deanie," is a freelance writer from Seattle. When she's not busy working on a variety of writing projects, she enjoys volunteering at the Humane Society or hiking. If it's raining though, which it does a lot of in WA, you'll probably find her with a controller in her hand playing one of her favorite games, WoW or Final Fantasy.