There seem to be a few suspicious sellers on Amazon Marketplace.
Well, I say they are suspicious, but I prefer to tell you what’s going on so that you can judge for yourself.
There are several accounts on Amazon Marketplace selling fountain pens for £7.99, £8.99 and £9.99, but even pens usually selling for several hundreds of Pounds are being offered for under £10.
Some of these sellers have real names, some just have random letters as their seller name. All of them seem to be registered in the USA. I wrote ‘seem’ because I don’t know whether Amazon will actually check the address used by sellers who register.
Why would they sell these pens so cheap, far cheaper than what they’d have to pay from the manufacturer?
..and especially when Amazon offers their “A to Z Guarantee”, which means that if there is a problem the customer won’t be out of pocket (and Amazon will probably chase the seller to get their money back…).
I rule out that this is just a simple mistake form the sellers. All these pens are sold by new sellers on Amazon Marketplace and they put a lot of them online. One wrongly priced pen might be a mistake, but not if all you offer is under £10.
Explanation a) Maybe it’s a bored millionaire who just wants to make people happy by reselling pens with a colossal loss.
Explanation b) Maybe they want to get people’s address details? ..but I guess there are easier ways of collecting people’s addresses
Explanation c) When you pay they get the money from Amazon and keep it for a while. Delivery times are very long (many weeks), so they have many weeks before the customers can complain that the product didn’t arrive (and then the postal service can be blamed), so it will be a long time before they have to return the money. Time they could use to get interest on the money or time to pack it all up and disappear.
Well, the good thing is that if anyone wants to try these sellers out and my suspicion that this is dodgy is right the customers are only out of money for a few weeks – until Amazon reimbursed them, so the risk for customers seems small.
Update: shortly after posting this I have been told that Scribble has discussed this issue a few days ago in Facebook’s Fountain Pens UK group. Thanks Mark Porter, for letting me know.