Amazon has been forced to update its third-party seller policy after a damning report found sellers flogging items they’d found in dumpsters.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) spoke to sellers who admitted to finding items like humidifiers and keyboards in rubbish bins, cleaning them up then listing and selling them on through Amazon Prime.
Not only did journalists speak to sellers who had been reselling items salvaged from the rubbish for over a year, but they were able to sell multiple items they had found in the rubbish themselves.
Journalists picked unopened or new items out of bins behind Trader Joe’s and Michaels stores, including a jar of Trader Joe’s lemon curd, breath mints, sunflower seeds, marmalade, crispbread, fig fruit butter, olives, a headband and a Halloween mask, and were able to list and sell them on Amazon.
The online retailer has responded to the report by updating its terms to specifically forbid sellers from listing items sourced from bins.
“Sellers are responsible for meeting Amazon’s high bar for product quality,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.
“These are isolated incidents that do not reflect the high quality customer experience provided by the millions of small businesses selling in our store every day. Any negligent and potentially illegal activity by a few bad actors is unfair to the vast majority of exceptional sellers.
“We have expanded the scope of our existing supply chain verification efforts including increased spot checks of source documentation to ensure seller compliance with our policies. We will take appropriate action against the bad actors involved, including possible legal action.”