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Amazon Possibly Hacked

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MoneyDoc

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For those that sell on amazon, be wary. Amazon might have been hacked. A bunch of listings are showing a Guy Fawkes mask (anon mask) as the main image or amazons dog. Bunch of million dollar brands/products affected and are being removed from amazon.. a bunch of my listings affected too..

A lot of people are saying to change your passwords, enable 2 factor auth if you haven’t already, and even as far as changing your email password. I’ve emailed seller support but have received no reply as of yet.
 

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RazorCut

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It has and was reported last week. Listings like this Keto one

51jb6FDUlzL._SX522_.jpg
 

njord

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For those that sell on amazon, be wary. Amazon might have been hacked. A bunch of listings are showing a Guy Fawkes mask (anon mask) as the main image or amazons dog. Bunch of million dollar brands/products affected and are being removed from amazon.. a bunch of my listings affected too..

A lot of people are saying to change your passwords, enable 2 factor auth if you haven’t already, and even as far as changing your email password. I’ve emailed seller support but have received no reply as of yet.
allready got two factor password but tnx for the headsup:innocent: :halo:
 

Walter Hay

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This raises the the stakes in the discussions scattered throughout the forum regarding Amazon and the vital subject of CONTROL.

Can we bring this subject together here?

Amazon has a lot to answer for with their arrogant contempt for those who provide a big slice of their income, i.e., their third party sellers.

Several years ago they began actively encouraging Chinese manufacturers and traders to sell on their platform. They even went so far as to provide free teaching seminars to Chinese sellers to better equip them to compete with their existing loyal third party sellers - their clients.

It is well known that Amazon harvest sales information from their sellers accounts in order to effectively double cross them by setting themselves up to compete with their own clients when they find best selling products. When sellers ship direct to Amazon from their suppliers they have the added advantage of knowing where their clients buy their products.

Walter
 

Jack Robinson

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For those that sell on amazon, be wary. Amazon might have been hacked. A bunch of listings are showing a Guy Fawkes mask (anon mask) as the main image or amazons dog. Bunch of million dollar brands/products affected and are being removed from amazon.. a bunch of my listings affected too..

A lot of people are saying to change your passwords, enable 2 factor auth if you haven’t already, and even as far as changing your email password. I’ve emailed seller support but have received no reply as of yet.
Thank you for the info was actually gonna make a purchase but now i'l wait a bit to see what happens.
 

Walter Hay

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Any suggestions on how to set up in the first place, or regain an acceptable level of control when selling on Amazon?

I have two to start with:
  1. Don't ship direct from suppliers to Amazon. Exception - when selling branded US products.
  2. Set up your own eCommerce site (not Shopify) and brand or label your products to include your URL.
Walter
 
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RazorCut

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@Longinus is following @biophase method of concentrating on non sexy products, by which I mean ones that sell consistently but not in enough volume to spark strong attention. If you have enough of these products trickling out I guess you can make a very nice living.

When I did Amazon and eBay, although we had a great width of products, (in the thousands) we still needed high volume sellers as we had 2 warehouses, 8 staff and all the bills associated with such an opperation. Slow volume products were fine but the law of 80/20 always rules supreme.

80% or more of our profits would come from 20% or less of our products and it stands to reason that those 20% will inevitably be volume sellers so prime targets for others.

-
 

Paul David

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Any suggestions on how to set up in the first place, or regain an acceptable level of control when selling on Amazon?

I have two to start with:
  1. Don't ship direct from suppliers to Amazon. Exception - when selling branded US products.
  2. Set up your own eCommerce site (not Shopify) and brand or label your products to include your URL.
Walter
Why not shopify Walter? Isn’t that just the same as having your own website?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

GoGetter24

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Why not shopify Walter? Isn’t that just the same as having your own website?
It's not your own website -- it's one of Shopify's websites. Your own website is one that you're the sole controller of.

Some might argue that because all websites need hosting, you don't have total control of those either. But the difference is you can easily move your website to another host if you keep backups and pay a computer guy to do it. Not so if it's a shopify site.
 

RazorCut

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The Keto listing I quoted in my first post (that was hacked) is back up on Amazon with the pictures re-instated.

However all the feedback ect. are gone. It's effectively a new listing. All that social proof of 75+ feedback and multiple questions and answers have been wiped out by Amazon. This effectively kills the listing for generating sales right now. Right back to square one. ZERO CONTROL.
 

Longinus

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It's known that Chinese sellers hack into unused Amazon accounts to write verified reviews in their name. There's still a lot of fake or manipulated reviews on Amazon.

Found this website that scans products on fake reviews, has also Chrome extension (no affiliate) ReviewMeta.com - Amazon Review Checker

SO STAY AWAY FROM AMAZON KIDS
 

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biophase

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It's not your own website -- it's one of Shopify's websites. Your own website is one that you're the sole controller of.

Some might argue that because all websites need hosting, you don't have total control of those either. But the difference is you can easily move your website to another host if you keep backups and pay a computer guy to do it. Not so if it's a shopify site.
The only thing to be afraid of using Shopify is that they can shut down your website at any time. This happens is you are selling gun related stuff and a shooting happens, or to some CBD related sites. But other than this I don't see any issue using Shopify as a platform.

The other alternative is to self host you own cart and manage the software which is a pain.
 

biophase

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Any suggestions on how to set up in the first place, or regain an acceptable level of control when selling on Amazon?

I have two to start with:
  1. Don't ship direct from suppliers to Amazon. Exception - when selling branded US products.
  2. Set up your own eCommerce site (not Shopify) and brand or label your products to include your URL.
Walter
You can insulate yourself from all of this but it becomes very complicated. For example, if you don't want anyone to know your supplier, you need to create 2 LLCs and import with one with a different address and registration, then sell your product from one LLC to another. This is because you can google import records and see what factory a company is using just from the shipping records.

So if you aren't doing this, there's really no point to try to hide your supplier from Amazon or anyone else.

BTW, just googled this so found out there is a way to hide your shipment info.
Hiding a Shipment from Import Genius – Callum Makkai

Regarding Shopify vs self hosted, I'd rather use Shopify or BC than to self host my own store. There's just alot of shopping cart work that I'd rather pay someone else to manage. There aren't many self hosted solutions out there anymore, Woocommerce, Magento?
 

Longinus

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This is because you can google import records and see what factory a company is using just from the shipping records.

So if you aren't doing this, there's really no point to try to hide your supplier from Amazon or anyone else.
When I discovered my files on Import Genius, I sent them an email that they must take down my personal information based on GDPR. They took it offline immediately.

Thanks EU! (Never thought I was gonna say this...)
 

amp0193

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However all the feedback ect. are gone. It's effectively a new listing. All that social proof of 75+ feedback and multiple questions and answers have been wiped out by Amazon. This effectively kills the listing for generating sales right now. Right back to square one. ZERO CONTROL.
It'll probably get the reviews back.

Having experienced a disappearance of 1200 reviews on a high-volume listing before... I've felt the excruciating pain of waiting a day or two for them to show back up.

They're just really slow to upload or whatever.


However, to your point, yes.... Zero Control.
 

amp0193

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You can insulate yourself from all of this but it becomes very complicated. For example, if you don't want anyone to know your supplier, you need to create 2 LLCs and import with one with a different address and registration, then sell your product from one LLC to another. This is because you can google import records and see what factory a company is using just from the shipping records.
This is how I do it.

I gotta check and make sure they are registered at different addresses though... they might be the same.
 

RazorCut

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Having experienced a disappearance of 1200 reviews on a high-volume listing before... I've felt the excruciating pain of waiting a day or two for them to show back up.
Maybe they're better these days, when I used to trade it was a case of tough shit.

Is communication still the same with Amazon? i.e. are they still running the onion? You can only speak to people on the outer one maybe two layers and they have so little authority to do anything it's ridiculous.

Very rarely could you speak to someone with more control or to the same person twice. At least with eBay we had a dedicated account manager who would do their best to sort any issues out.

-
 

Walter Hay

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Why not shopify Walter? Isn’t that just the same as having your own website?
In a way it is, but it is not equivalent to having your own self-hosted site, over which you have control. See also comment below.
The only thing to be afraid of using Shopify is that they can shut down your website at any time. This happens is you are selling gun related stuff and a shooting happens, or to some CBD related sites. But other than this I don't see any issue using Shopify as a platform.
Unfortunately although selling prohibited goods is specified, along with a few other specific rules, in their TOS there is a catch-all clause that entitles Shopify to close an account without explanation. AND THEY DO IT.

There are quite a few complaints posted online about arbitrary closure of Shopify accounts, with no explanation, and often there is no answer to requests for an explanation.

When asked for a reason, if they answer at all, Shopify appear to give generic answers, mainly that the site poses an unacceptable risk, and that is the end of the discussion. In some cases that risk appears to result simply from logging in with a different IP, or changing credit card details for subscription payments.

Walter
 

amp0193

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Is communication still the same with Amazon? i.e. are they still running the onion? You can only speak to people on the outer one maybe two layers and they have so little authority to do anything it's ridiculous.
Nah, it's still like that.

If you're dedicated enough, or go in through the right way through the phone tree, you can get someone in the U.S. who can do something.

emailing jeff@amazon.com still works when needed.
 

Patrickg

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I’m with you Walter.

But I think first step is build a product that has value for people. And approach as a branded business that’s happens to sell on amazon, possibly Shopify.

Because go ahead shut the account down,no big deal you could switch to big commerce , or woocomerce.

I personally don’t want to do self hosted cart,because it’s a ton of extra work. Then I’m not focusing on my core business.
 

Patrickg

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As for the Chinese sellers I agree. But here is Patrick’s positive prediction.

First my analysis of what Amazon really is.
1. USP - prime 2 day shipping.
2. Explosive growth can be contributed to two things.
A. Great USP
B. Model of using third party sellers to
bring products so they don’t have to

Now my prediction. Amazon logistics are being destroyed. Over expansion. Not hitting two days etc.evidence personally as well as they shift of trying to hire last mile companies. Due to the issues. All the while companies like Walmart and cabelas etc and offering two day shipping without subscription.

The second blos will be by the sellers. Chinese will screw it up overtime. Consumers will slowly discover they are buying from Chinese companies.

During this time their own sellers like us here , are discussing how to use them but be weary and try to get what you can while building a business else where.

End of my prediction...

The positive is Amazon won’t control 2/3 e-commerce purchases. This means e-commerce entrepreneurs can leverage more platforms having more control! Bingo bango.

I also could be completely wrong :)
 

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Xeon

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Consumers will slowly discover they are buying from Chinese companies.
I could be wrong, but do people (I assume in the US) really care about where the products are from as long as it's usable and cheap? :)

It's like the analogy for the cure for cancer.
 

Longinus

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I could be wrong, but do people (I assume in the US) really care about where the products are from as long as it's usable and cheap? :)
The second blos will be by the sellers. Chinese will screw it up overtime. Consumers will slowly discover they are buying from Chinese companies.
Chinese sellers know only one marketing strategy: being the cheapest. I have Chinese friends and it's basically impossible to let them understand how marketing works in the west.

"Branding" for them is just getting a trademark for their name (which usually is impossible to pronounce and doesn't have any meaning) and then dumping high selling products in that. Products that have nothing to do with each other.

I don't think most consumers care from where their product is made, but rather if the brand is Chinese. Many of my products are Chinese, but it's obvious my brand isn't.
 

Walter Hay

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But I think first step is build a product that has value for people. And approach as a branded business that’s happens to sell on amazon, possibly Shopify.
I agree on both points, but don't make the mistake made by most if not all Chinese vendors as pointed out by Longinus below.

"Branding" for them is just getting a trademark for their name (which usually is impossible to pronounce and doesn't have any meaning) and then dumping high selling products in that. Products that have nothing to do with each other
I agree that Chinese vendors struggle to understand western marketing. Some will recognize some components of effective marketing, such as a "brand". They see it simply as a differentiating tool, and therefore mistakenly believe that a trademark serves that purpose and is sufficient. A trademark, like any other part of a branding plan must have some relevance to the product and it's perceived benefits.

I must add that whereas almost every Chinese vendor fails to see the value in carefully thought out branding, I see many westerners making a similar mistake. Their brand is in many cases nothing more than their business name. Sometimes it is a meaningless made up name. It's just like putting on the label a brand name like XYZ Co. It differentiates but contributes nothing towards selling.

Why bother? Isn't the whole idea to maximize sales?

Walter
 

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