(Yicai Global) April 10 – Amazon.Com Inc. has banned merchants the e-commerce giant claims have placed fake orders for their own products to push them higher in Amazon search results in violation of the US company’s policies, Chinese news portal Sina reported. Placing faux orders is a new e-commerce scam known as ‘brushing.’ Vendors buy their own merchandise through bogus online accounts and ship it to unsuspecting customers. The vendor then writes a glowing review in the false account holder’s name, which bumps the goods higher in Amazon’s search rankings.
Many sellers on the online emporium first learned of their detection when told their passwords were wrong when logging in around the Chinese New Year. Most received a reply from their performance teams saying that their accounts had been closed for undisclosed reasons and Amazon would not refund their balances.
Amazon launched its ‘Global Selling’ program in China in 2012, and tens of thousands of Chinese sellers signed up to reach over 300 million consumers and over 1 million corporate and institutional buyers. Amazon’s online platforms in the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Australia and China are all open to Chinese vendors. Its 140 operating centers worldwide help Chinese market their products to 185 countries and regions, data show.