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Mar 7, 2011
Mar 7, 2011
Amazon Marketplace; rip offs and good deals and watch out for the crooks
My experience with the Amazon Marketplace has been mixed. I have bought dozens of items from the Amazon Market place, books, software, music, pet products, computer hardware and electronics. Most of the time I have simply got a product cheaper or a product that was otherwise not available. However, I have also been ripped off. When that happens it is between you and the seller. You can leave seller feedback but Amazon will not get involved in a dispute. Therefore, use the Amazon Marketplace at your own risk.
About the Amazon Market Place
The Amazon Market place is a fixed-price online marketplace where third party sellers can offer their merchandize whether it is new or used. The Amazon Market place is integrated with the Amazon.com web site and unless you check what it says after "Sold By:" you may not even notice that you are buying from the Amazon Market place. However, if you buy an item you will soon notice that you have fewer shipping options (typically, standard or expedited) and that the free super saver shipping is not offered.
Experience with buying books from the Amazon Market Place (OK)
A few days ago my sister in law bought a book from the Amazon Market Place. It was listed as new (not used). When it arrived and she opened the package she was appalled by the stench. The book smelled really bad and it was very worn out and it was almost impossible to read because it appeared as if it had been submerged in some kind of liquid (we don't want to know what that was). She was able to get her money back but it was still a hassle.
I've bought a number of books from the Amazon market place in the past and most of the time I have been happy. However, on occasion I have had issues with worn books full of hand writing despite claims about the book being new or nearly new.
Naturally, I am a little weary about buying from the Amazon Marketplace so I make sure that I get a decent price reduction, or that the book is not available elsewhere before I buy it. I should say that when books run out of stock you may have to pay mega bucks for those books on the market place. Some sellers try to sell you comic books that normally have a cover price of less than $10.00 for several hundred dollars. It is definitely worth shopping around before you decide to buy such an item.
Experience with buying software from the Amazon Market Place (Shady Business)
In the past I've bought a few software applications via the Amazon Market Place. In general I've been unlucky. For example, last year I bought Adobe DreamWeaver CS3 from the Amazon Market Place. DreamWeaver CS3 was no longer available from Adobe and it seemed like a good opportunity to get DreamWeaver CS3 for half the price from the Amazon Marketplace. However, I was unable to activate the software and when I contacted Adobe about it they stated that I had an invalid serial-key.
I was mad and contacted the seller who told me that Adobe were plain wrong and then proceeded by giving me an activation code as well as some additional activation instructions and that worked. Since I needed the software as soon as possible I accepted the deal even though I had a feeling that something was wrong. As it turned out; later I could not use my Adobe DreamWeaver CS3 to upgrade to Adobe DreamWeaver CS4, or get a second license for free for my own use (as you typically can). However, since I had an uneasy feeling about the legitimacy of my Adobe DreamWeaver CS3 I upgraded to Adobe DreamWeaver CS4 (via Adobe) for half prize using my Adobe DreamWeaver 8.0 installation, which I had previously bought from Adobe. I should add that Adobe allowed you to upgrade for half prize if you owned certain older version.
Afterwards I was thinking. Perhaps I bought pirated software from the Amazon Market Place? In any case that was not a good experience. I should add that I've encountered people who claim that they have been ripped off by the Amazon Market Place software dealers in various ways. As far as I am concerned software on the Amazon Marketplace appears to be shady business.
I can also add that I have had problems with customer support for other software products that I've bought from the Amazon Marketplace. It seems like the software vendors do not want to feel responsible for software products bought via the Amazon Market Place. I have decided not to buy anymore software from the Amazon Market Place unless I have no other way out. Therefore I cannot recommend the Amazon Marketplace for software purchases.
Experience with buying pet products from the Amazon Market Place (OK)
I've been mostly lucky with the pet products I've bought via the Amazon Marketplace. However, last time I bought the Dispoz-A-Scoop Pooper Scoopers they were a little smaller than typical and there was nothing on the Amazon web page indicating their smaller size (or any size). I love the Dispoz-A-Scoop Pooper Pooper Scoopers but I was still semi-pleased with my purchase.
Reviews on Amazon and the Amazon Market Place
Amazon in general is plagued by trolls and irresponsible rating. A well written but dissenting review featuring very helpful information is often hammered by no rates by the fans of the product, while mundane but supportive reviews are showered by yes rates. There are also plenty of shills and people who simply do not know what they are talking about. The Amazon.com rating system is incapable of separating the wheat from the chaff. Basically reviews on Amazon as well as on the Amazon Marketplace are often not very helpful. The kind of reviewer and rater integrity that exists on epinions.com is virtually non-existent on Amazon.com and the Amazon Marketplace. On the other hand there are almost always some reviews for most products on Amazon and the Amazon Marketplace.
I still use the Amazon Marketplace but I use it with caution. I avoid buying software from the Amazon Marketplace and I buy other products only if I can get a really good deal or if the product cannot be found anywhere else. I recommend the Amazon Marketplace but I am doing so reluctantly and with a warning.