Is buying from Amazon always a good deal?

amazon2016-1My business monitors prices across the office, janitorial, food service, safety and industrial markets in the United States and Canada. Every week I review the rejects from the latest pricing scan of the Amazon site. Every week I encounter a fresh batch of wildly misrepresented, contradictorily described and confusingly packaged products on the Amazon site. These are not bizarre products, but everyday common supply type items.

The most common problem is the ever changing unit of sale. On some items, the quantity you receive for your selected item depends on the seller you choose. On other items, the quantity is just deceptively wrong and unless you bother to read the reviews you can get taken to the cleaners.amazon2016-2


Poor Ms. Satterfield is blaming herself for Amazon’s misleading data. This is understandable considering the harsh consequences for daring to question Amazon. There have been multiple high profile stories regarding individuals being “banned for life” from Amazon for simply returning products. No one knows exactly what triggers this “lifelong ban” but the fear is real for those who feel they cannot live without Amazon. These ill-informed people continue to pour their hard earned money into the Amazon void.


amazon2016-5-pngThen there are just the out-and-out scams. Apple recently sued an Amazon supplier over fake iPhone chargers, claiming that 90% of the products Apple bought undercover were counterfeits. Apple goes on to say Amazon.COM directly sold counterfeit products.

It’s not just the obvious scams and phony Apple products either. Do you really believe you are getting a genuine top quality $400 HP toner for $25?


Don’t think that Amazon Business customers fare any better. The same data is shared between the two supposedly separate sites.

Regular office supplies can cost you an arm and a leg on Amazon Business! These “Amazon Prime” eraser caps list price at $1.25 and are commonly sold for a dollar or less. Amazon Business customers pay SEVEN TIMES this everyday price!


The poor Amazon customers have become so accustom to getting ripped off, they now just accept it as “okay.”


Well it’s not okay. Getting taken is not inevitable. While Amazon may be suitable for some purchases and can offer some great deals, it’s the notion that *EVERYTHING* is a great deal on Amazon that can get you into serious trouble.

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of issues with Amazon data that I have personally found. These examples were taken from one day’s scan, and they only took a few minutes to find. If you are a business customer buying on Amazon, you have a choice. Waste time and money by constantly being on guard for fraud, scams, rip-offs and overcharging, or bypass the headaches and hassles and just choose to buy from a reputable source.

My name is Rick Marlette. I have worked in and around the office and supply industry for over 40 years and have been employed as an independent pricing consultant to the supply industry for the last 18 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s