Amazon reportedly fails to stop sale of banned or unsafe products on its platform

Amazon Prime shipping
Credits: Amazon (screenshot from Prime Day Delivers 2017 video)

Amazon failed to implement strong oversight of third-party sellers selling thousands of unsafe or restricted products on its platform, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper investigated the products listed on the e-commerce giant’s platform and found that more than 4,000 have misleading labels or have been declared unsafe by federal regulators.

A number of toys and medications without warnings about safety and health risks to children are for sale on Amazon’s site. It appears that the company lost control of its platform and turned into a huge online “flea market,” according to the newspaper.

In response to the report, the e-commerce giant changed the product description or removed most of the problematic listing on its site.

Amazon invested millions of dollars to protect customers and stop bad actors

In a blog post, Amazon emphasized that its “top priority” is “safety.” Its sophisticated tools prevent third party-sellers from listing products that do not comply with laws and regulations.

According to the company, “…We work hard to earn and maintain your trust. In 2018 alone, we invested over $400 million to protect our store and our customers and built robust programs to ensure products offered are safe, compliant, and authentic.”

“Amazon offers customers hundreds of millions of items, and we have developed, and continuously refine and improve, our tools that prevent suspicious, unsafe, or non-compliant products from being listed in our store.”

In addition, Amazon said its seller account vetting includes a number of verification. Its proprietary machine learning technology stops bad actors from registering to sell a product on its store. The e-commerce giant has a global team of specialists reviewing submitted safety documentation.

The company stated, “In 2018, our teams and technologies proactively blocked more than three billion suspect listings for various forms of abuse, including non-compliance, before they were published to our store,”

Furthermore, Amazon provided different ways for brands, customers, industry organizations, regulatory agencies to report safety issues. The company said, “When we receive these reports, we move quickly to protect customers, remove unsafe products from our store, and investigate.”