Amazon Has A Strange Definition Of 'Counterfeit'

Philip has a fun and profitable hobby: he looks for great deals on items online, then resells those items on the Amazon Marketplace. Recently, he found a great deal on headphones on Amazon itself, so he bought the item before the price expired, then listed it on Amazon as usual. This resulted in a nastygram from Amazon telling him that his account had been suspended for listing counterfeit Sennheiser headphones. You know, the same ones that he just bought from Amazon.

I have this funny little problem with Amazon.

As a student, I like to earn some money on the side, and an easy way to do so is to sell stuff on Amazon.

So, I spend some time every day scouring the ‘net for deals which I presume would sell well.

A couple of weeks ago, I chanced upon a pretty decent deal for Sennheiser headphones on itself. Deals don’t usually last too long, so I bought some, and a few days later they’re happily listed on for sale.

Last week, I get an abrupt email from Amazon saying that my account has been permanently suspended for the sale of counterfeit Sennheiser goods.

I tried emailing and reasoning with them to no avail. I know selling counterfeit is a serious thing, and I would never do such a thing knowingly. But I did think that buying on Amazon would be pretty safe.

Funnily enough, as a buyer, Amazon was willing to take back the fake goods, but for some odd reason held back a restocking fee. So I have another fight there.

So Consumerist, is there any way to get Amazon to take notice and reopen my account? After all, it was them who sold it to me.

UPDATE: We heard back from Philip on who actually sold him the headphones. He writes:


t was from a 3rd party merchant but it was fulfilled by Amazon.

Thats why it was Amazon that accepted the return.

It was a 3rd-party merchant, but shipped out of one of Amazon’s warehouses. If what Amazon alleges is true, then, they were fulfilling orders of counterfeit merchandise. If it’s not true, then they’ve unjustly shut down Philip’s account.

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