Beware the latest Amazon scam, plus cash in at car boots

By Sharon Fussell, September 19, 2011

This week I received a horrific email from Colin regarding an Amazon scam.

The latest Amazon scam – beware iffy emails!

Now, the subject of stealing identities is not a new one – I have discussed this issue in previous ezines. But if you are new to selling online you may not be aware of how you can be caught out.

Colin writes:

“Dear Sharon,

Something horrible has happened – can you advise?

Amazon has without warning suspended my account, and now I have received two listing notifications for expensive computer products that I certainly never listed. I suspect someone has hacked into my account and stolen my password…Help!


I advised him to call Amazon via seller help from his seller account. He kept me updated on the outcome:

“Hi Sharon,

I’ve found out what happened – you may like to warn people.

I got a scam email a few days ago purporting to come from Amazon saying they had cancelled some listings following my request (which I hadn’t made) – foolishly thinking it was genuine – I clicked on the link to see what it was they had done.

As a result, I have been inundated with fake listings and genuine orders made to a fake inventory. They effectively hijacked my inventory! Amazon’s technical team have now taken me offline while they clean up my inventory completely, and I must wait until they come back to me with further instructions to restart.

I feel like a total idiot – but perhaps it’s worth warning people not to follow up any unsolicited message purporting to come from Amazon, however reasonable it sounds.


So again I will repeat the warning:

Never click on links within emails from Amazon.

Colin has no need to feel bad; I know how convincing these emails can be. They appear so genuine it’s unnerving really.

It’s not just fake Amazon emails that can be devastating: last week I opened an email purporting to come from the Inland Revenue which told me I had a tax rebate of £500…

All I had to do was to click on the link within the email, enter my bank account details and they would transfer the money.

Yeah right! I forwarded the email to the Inland Revenue to alert them to the scam, I knew it was not genuine. How? Well, the IR doesn’t give tax rebates via emails – you have to apply for them.

So be aware. Don’t click on links within emails: always go to your seller account and check. This is the same for emails sent by PayPal, eBay and other such places. These organisations will never ask you to give out personal details via email.

Luckily Colin is being assisted by Amazon, but at a cost to himself; whilst his account is being sorted out he will lose sales, thus income. Not to mention being totally inconvenienced.

It’s that time again…car booting time!

Yes, here it is again, the fine British summer. Is it the sunshine and the heat that gives it away? No. It’s the car boots popping up left right and centre! Great news for us.

Car boots are really useful for buying or selling so if you have loads of books to offload just take them down to your local car boot.

Take a folding table and sell off your unwanted books, DVD’s, CD’s, videos and of course other unwanted property you have accrued and have found you are unable to list online for one reason or another.

What price to ask?

You may wonder how much you should charge, after all you do not want to price too high and not sell. (And, of course, you don’t want to just give the items away!)

If you are unsure you could have a look around other sellers’ tables and see if they are selling similar items. Take note of how much they are asking, you could match, price higher or lower, all depending on how you feel.

When pricing books, I tend to sell 4 or 5 for £1 as this is usually popular.


Take some used carrier bags: many buyers do not take bags with them and will appreciate you putting their purchases in a bag.

Also, before you go, organise a float of change, you can guarantee a customer will give you a £20 note for a purchase of 50p!

Take refreshments: if it’s a very hot day you will thank yourself later!

Using the profits from your sales, go around the car boot before it ends and buy up any books others are selling. Concentrate on niche, non-fiction and haggle. If a seller is asking 50p for each book, pick up three or four and ‘ask will you accept £1 for three/four?’ In most cases they will. The lower the price the better.

Personally I usually negotiate a really low price of 10p up to 25p per book because I will buy up any book in good condition from them in volume if they have lots available. I do not check values; I purchase ‘blind’ as I know I will always make some sort of profit.

However, if you are new to selling, or are a merchant seller only, I do not recommend you do this; you could end up with lots of 1p books you can’t make any profit on. (If selling via FBA you will usually make a nice profit from low value books).

Of course you could check up values by looking up the ISBN’s on your Internet phone if you have one.

I find by the end of the day many sellers (usually not traders) will be happy to offload their books cheaply as they do not want to lug them home again.


What do you think?

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