Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by rick harper, Aug 16, 2019.
25% of CDs 'Fulfilled by Amazon' Are Counterfeit, Major Labels Say
"100% of boxsets"?!?!
wow! that sucks! I had no idea! damn...
Not surprising........I've come across a few.
I've only gotten a few that I can easily identify as counterfeit... and they were "too good to be true" items. Like all of a sudden these Hendrix 80s polydor CDs that have been mad rare forever are showing up all over ebay for $15 a piece. The hub was the dead give a way for these.
But I wouldn't be surprised if others were also counterfeit. Particularly Chinese sellers. Just because the price just seems too low to maintain a profit margin.
Amazon and Bezos are scum! I suppose nothing will be done about this to correct the problem?
Most likely not I'm afraid unless someone profusely points it out to them and then only a maybe.
Yet, you will probably buy from them.
100% of box sets bought from known counterfeiter Ali Express were found to be counterfeit. Shocker. Add to that 100% of box sets on eBay selling for 25% of the MSRP... my word, not even Holmes could solve this mystery!
Not to take away from the fact that counterfeits are being sold by legitimate businesses - that's a travesty - but this article seems to be intentionally ignoring enormous glaring red flags. Like I posted in a different thread, the writer of this article may as well have gone into downtown Manhattan shouting "I'm carrying lots of cash" several times a minute and then been genuinely shocked at getting robbed. And, like somebody else posted, most people who buy the under-priced boxes won't know or care that they're getting a counterfeit - and most people who are concerned about getting a counterfeit won't purchase something that's too good to be true. The middle ground here of people who want an official product and are being duped by something that's obviously fishy seems to be a very small percentage to my sensibility.
But it's still despicable that this crap is continuing. Now, to be fair, as far as I know, Amazon themselves aren't selling counterfeit goods - they sell made-on-demand CD-Rs and don't disclose it, but IMO that's worse because you can't take action on the grounds of it being a bootleg, because it technically isn't - but they are selling counterfeit merchandise for the third-party sellers who cooperate in their fulfillment program or whatever it is. So pick yer poison and take a gamble. Or, go to a record store, support a local business, and ensure that you're getting the product you want instead of a counterfeit or a worthless clone.
Amazon have already taken action by removing the accounts of sellers that don't buy from the major distributors, this happened a couple of years ago, there was a major purge of these type of accounts, and unfortunately this included the accounts of individual non-business sellers. They have no control over what products those distributors are getting.
Pondering a bit about this is now that the majors have allowed the CD-R on demand treatment they've seriously let the Cat out of the bag. Now genuine counter-fitters won't even be able to dealt with at all. They will sit back on their Laurels and claim “I bought this on Amazon!” Way to go major labels.
Won't be buying CDs from Amazon, thats for sure...
you cannot handle this much material for this many people/entities and not have some bad find it's way into the supply chain
this is nothing new or unique to amazon
amazon is just the store front (for the 3rd party sellers)
acting as the fulfillment agent is a financial arrangement in order to more expediently execute on logistics (as well as chosen by sellers who either do not have or cannot afford warehouse space)
if you want to be safe then order the 1 out of 23 "available from these sellers" that is SOLD and SHIPPED by/from amazon and don't be penny wise in order to be pound foolish
it's when you go with the cheaper 3rd party sellers that you open yourself up to get burned
want the convenience of MILLIONS of items at your fingertips and next day delivery then bitch (and bad mouth amazon) because you get burned by the third party rogue seller(s) that slipped through the cracks because you were trying to save a nickel or two
wise up and pay a little more and buy it from amazon proper and be 100% covered
it's the same as the shipping containers at the port in L.A. - there is no way amazon can check each individual item they fulfill for - I am sure they sign contracts with these vendors and promises are made but obviously not always kept
and even if they did then there goes your cost advantage and your 99 dollar prime membership - we're talking millions, literally, of ASINs and SKUs
(and believe you me I got no pity in my heart for amazon.com)
I mean it's not like you can pretend you haven't heard "theft of intellectual property" every single day for about the past 20+ years - well, this is one of the ways it goes down!
I personally have not been 'burned' by amazon. But I don't buy CDs or DVDs from third party sellers, EXCEPT Movie Mars, [and they are not counterfeits; usually imports, but who really knows? Steeleye Span, Richard Thompson anyone?] and for used books that are hard to find. I have no problem w/ "on demand DVDs" as they're usually something only a few people want. I got How I Won The War that way. They did tell you up front that it was on demand, and authorized by Richard Lester. The quality and artwork are superlative, but authorized. There are a lot of films I'd buy if they were available on demand: mostly British films like One Way Pendulum. Ted Turner used to run stuff that was not available elsewhere. And some were sold on demand. I guess they still do. I don't have cable anymore. If i wanted it, I'd put it on VHS. I still watch 'em.
I'm in Louisville. Lots of fulfillment warehouses. The town would go broke without them. If someone wants to get rid of this sort of thing, the movie industry has the cash to do something about it. Just imagine the unauthorized downloads. One used to be able to download You Tube vids. I dunno if ya still can. I've used Movie maker/DVD Maker for that reason. [I really like Win 7] But not very much. Many streaming recorders out there.
IMHO this comment is essential to keep in mind. If - as it appears the RIAA did - you go bottom-feeding on AliExpress and eBay for cheap box sets, you're going to come up with all counterfeits. 99% of box sets of any value out there exist at two price points: The higher price for the real thing, and the much lower price for the counterfeit. Except for the occasional flash sale or freak eBay auction that doesn't draw many bidders, the price difference between counterfeits and the real thing is large and not subtle. So if you go for the 10 cheapest - or 100 cheapest - sales of a popular box, you're going to get 100% fakes. It's not like there are many price points where real ones and counterfeits can easily be found together.
In addition, a lot of counterfeit box sets - and for that matter a good number of expensive counterfeit single discs - are for out of print releases. So while it's still illegal and scummy, the artists and labels aren't losing any money on those - it's just a symptom of the labels' greed, stupidity, and the complex mess of the licensing world. If there are buyers out there for the Beatles mono box, for example, maybe they should make more of them instead of just complaining about counterfeits.
As @InStepWithTheStars says, this is not to discount the importance of the counterfeit issue. But the RIAA is not an honest broker when it comes to piracy and their study methodology should be assumed to be deeply flawed, borderline actively misleading, unless there is evidence to believe otherwise.
This "study" was clearly designed from the outset to confirm a preconception, and to generate screaming clickbait headlines.
Who is getting screwed with counterfeit CDs? Is it the labels, artist, consumer or someone else? Anyone that owns a rare CD with some value to it may be the only loser. Please clarify some of this for me. Thanks!
If I could get a copy of an out of print rare CD just to hear its content for 7.99 or so that would be a good deal for someone. Of course these countfeit CDs will never rise in value but they will probably drag down the value of the real thing.
You're right - as long as the consumer is satisfied with the purchase, they aren't getting hurt. The company who makes the legitimate one doesn't make any money - but, the same can be said about secondhand sales of legitimate copies. Nor would the artist in the case of used media (and, by the time the company who manufactured it takes their cut, the artist is lucky to get 10% of that anyway).
The biggest thing is that - and I'm not 100% certain on the details, so if someone knows more, please correct any errors - sale of counterfeit merchandise is illegal in the US. Now the buyer receiving the counterfeit is not at fault (or shouldn't be, anyway) because it was the selling party's responsibility to ensure that what they are selling is, well, legal.
Now, as for Ali Express, where many of these counterfeits are being purchased from and then resold for a (small) profit... I don't know all the exact details, so forgive my vagueness, but international trade regulations are not as black-and-white as domestic ones within the US. Copyright laws in whatever countries these are being manufactured and sold are much more lax than the US and most major countries. I could be wrong, but I believe there is either little or no copyright law in Russia - which explains why there are so many bootlegs from there. The point is, copyright law varies depending on the country, and places like Ali Express use that (and fancy words) to legally sell counterfeit merchandise.
So, if Joe Sneezenheimer buys a counterfeit Bowie box from Ali Express for $25 and lists it on eBay for $40 - please correct me if I'm wrong - his purchase from AE was not technically punishable by law, but if someone buys the box, then he is guilty. He may have obtained an illegitimate item through legal means, but to sell it within the US, it would be illegal. Once again I do not know the particulars of the law, but I believe it is something along those lines.
Thus, these third-party Amazon sellers who are using Amazon to distribute their crap are profiting from illegal merchandise, and Amazon is participating in the sale as well. Technically, Amazon should be inspecting these to ensure they aren't mailing out illegal merchandise. But, I'm guessing there's some kind of a contract they signed with the sellers who are participating in the distribution deal, which Amazon would then use to wash their hands of the whole deal in court. "They signed a contract saying we didn't need to check these for authenticity, so they lied and it's their fault." (And even if that doesn't hold up and Amazon has to pay for it, I'm sure the total cost it would incur would be about 0.000000001% of their total worth.)
As for the third-party sellers, they wouldn't have the same means to defend themselves, but thieves are slimy and I'm sure they'd find some way to back out of it. Or, they're stupid and thought that they were going to make a killing by ordering these things cheap from China and genuinely didn't realize that they were counterfeit - which, if you're in the selling game, is something you really need to know before you start making profits off illegal crap, and if you neglected to learn that lesson, you deserve to pay for it IMO.
So, in short - as long as the customer doesn't care if it's legitimate or not, nobody is going to dig into this, and through fancy legalese and cries of innocence, the counterfeit machine marches on.
"Customers are always protected by our A-to-z Guarantee. If a product doesn’t arrive or isn’t as advertised, customers can contact our customer support for a full refund of their order."
Love them or hate them, Amazon does have great customer service.
Of course you have to know the CD is counterfeit first.
If someone doesn't like that the CD they received was a counterfeit I'm guessing Amazon would take it back and refund your money? Has anyone had this experience?
Of course I do. Many others here and on the web elsewhere have expressed their dissatisfaction for Amazon and other eCommerce stores for this counterfeit problem and various other issues over the years. I buy from 3rd party, well known and established sellers like importcds and the like. I also buy used from the 3rd party sellers for used CDs. I've never bought anything that was to good to be true for a cheap price without investigating first. I most likely contact the seller to inquire about an item I'm interested in before I do a purchase. This is what happens when Amazon is too big and unorganized for it's britches. If Amazon invites people to sell on their store like a consignment sort of thing, that's fine. They should also be responsible for what these merchants are selling since the problem they are having is not only bad for the customer but it also makes Amazon look like a bunch idiots and very shady. But what does Bezos care? The workers at Amazon are just doing their job so I don't hold them accountable. I feel sorry for them since they work hard and don't even get paid very well. This counterfeit problem is on eBay as well. Probably even moreso than Amazon and I buy from them as well but like I said if it's too good to be true I avoid at all cost. There are other eCommerce outlets out there buy from.
I still wish the omnipotent RIAA would NAME the CDs they bought. And what they define "counterfeit" as.
I am confused. Are you guys saying the items that are fulfilled by amazon, not 3rd party sellers, are counterfeit?
No, the counterfeits are coming from third-party sellers who use the "fulfilled by Amazon" service. Meaning, sellers with counterfeit merchandise ship that merchandise to an Amazon warehouse where Amazon then handles it (and presumably takes a cut of the profit). If you buy directly from Amazon, you won't be getting a counterfeit*. However, there's no guarantee that a third-party seller with the Prime option available is selling the real deal. That scenario is what the article is about.
* Amazon does manufacture CD-Rs on demand, with the cooperation of the label/rights holders, and they are getting increasingly negligent at disclosing when this is going to happen. It is legal because the owners of the copyright are allowing it to happen... but let's be real, it's a bulls*** clone of an existing product. You could do the same thing yourself with a laser printer and a digital download for half the cost, or less. There's another thread about this, where I first found this article.
I have seen on both Amazon and eBay the various ridiculously low priced Pink Floyd box sets over the last decade or so and I was initially tempted. But from reading here on the forum and doing my own research made me aware of these fake China pirate editions that are being sold mostly from that country but other countries/sellers as well. They have multiple copies of these being sold on their site but Amazon just turns a blind eye since they get their commission for each sale. And people buy them too. They must be naive or don't care. As wealthy as Amazon is they could certainly hire some people that directly work with the sellers and their products and screen them for fakes/pirates. Not to mention stuff being sold on these sites that are homemade knockoffs. You would think that Amazon would be adamant in getting rid of these pirate sellers so Amazon can sell their real legal editions and make more money. It's hurting them too but mostly the customer gets screwed. It's pathetic.
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