Some Amazon sellers are tricking people into paying thousands of dollars for shipping -- here's how to spot it

  • Two different Amazon customers have complained to local media they were recently tricked into paying too much for shipping.
  • Both bought relatively cheap items – toilet paper and paper plates – but were charged thousands of dollars for shipping.
  • The practice violates Amazon‘s seller agreement. The company confirmed to Business Insider that both buyers were refunded their shipping charges.

Amazon customers love shopping on the site, as its customer-centric policies make it easy to trust you’re going to get what you ordered with few surprises.

That trust was shattered for two customers who were charged thousands of dollars to ship consumable items earlier in May. According to local news reports, they bought from third-party sellers on the website without realising that the price of shipping was much higher than it should be.

One of the customers, Lorie Galloway, bought 100 paper plates that were listed for $US24, but she didn’t realise they carried a $US1,080 shipping cost.

“I mean that’s just crazy for paper plates,” she told NewsChannel 5 in Nashville earlier in May.

Another woman, Barbara Carroll of Atlanta, was charged $US7,455 for shipping an $US88.17 order of toilet paper. Carroll works as a building manager, and she was placing a restock order.

“After I screamed I thought, ‘Oh this is not a problem, this is Amazon and Amazon will take care of it,” she told local ABC Atlanta affiliate station WSB-TV.

Amazon refunded both customers’ shipping charges, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

The third-party sellers who charged the thousands for shipping broke Amazon’s policy that states that “sellers cannot set excessive order fulfillment or shipping costs.”

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider:

Amazon is always innovating to improve and protect our customer experience. We have selling policies that all sellers agree to before selling on Amazon, and we take action against those that violate them and harm our customer experience. Policy violations can result in cancellation of listings, removal of selling privileges, withholding of funds, and legal action, depending on its severity. If customers have questions about their purchase, we encourage them to contact us directly and we will investigate and take appropriate action.

How can you protect yourself from a similar ordeal? Pay attention to the last screen of the order process, where it lists the exact charges a customer should expect for an order.

Though Amazon is usually diligent about taking action against sellers who abuse its platform, a second look can save you a lot of trouble.

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