Amazon’s crackdown on the sale of cheap, knock-off hoverboards from suspicious sellers has had a big effect on the market for the devices, Quartz reports.
The market for cheap hoverboards was “wiped clean,” a vendor told Quartz. “Small factories have exited the market, and everyone is paying more attention to safety and patents.”
Hoverboards — or, as they are also known, “self-balancing two wheel boards” — were one of the biggest gifts this Christmas time, but safety concerns arose after a number caught fire due to faulty electronics.
Many of these dangerous boards cost significantly less than the real thing — which can start at £599 ($890) — making them seem like a good deal.
One seller from China told Quartz that his factory has laid off 400 workers as sales dropped 50% after Amazon’s crackdown. “Before we were making about 1,000 hoverboards a day,” the retailer said. “Now we’re doing [a] few hundred.”
The UK government seized over 32,000 dangerous hoverboards before Christmas, some of which were destroyed. The big three US airlines — Delta, United, and American Airlines — banned hoverboards from planes over security concerns.