An amateur photographer has revealed his experience of selling a camera through Amazon. Despite eventually resolving the matter, the company first sided with a fraudulent buyer, refunding the scammer the money and letting him keep the camera.
Cliff Redeker is an amateur photographer who has sold cameras through Amazon for a number of years as he’s changed models. In this particular case, he decided to buy and then resell a Sony a7R IV for a shoot, as rental fees were actually more expensive than seller fees. In what Redeker says was a “combination of social engineering and ambiguity,” Amazon ended up siding with the scammer to whom he sold the camera for a period time.
Upon listing the camera, Redeker says it was purchased by a buyer who Florida who was using only an initial for his surname, something in hindsight he says is a potential red flag. Days later, he received a notification from Amazon that the buyer had flagged that a “product purchased/packaging” was missing. He replied by sending through the photos he’d taken of the mint-condition camera, in its box, as evidence to dispute the scammer’s claim. Likewise, the buyer couldn’t provide any evidence to the contrary.
After Amazon initially sided with Redeker, a second claim on the same product was processed, with a “refund request initiated.” And here’s where the story is most intriguing. This time around, Amazon favored the buyer, despite the fact he shipped the camera (or, more likely, an empty box) back to the wrong address. As per their A-to-Z Guarantee, the buyer is, unbelievably, not responsible for sending the item back correctly. Redeker then found himself in the position where a fraudulent buyer had both his camera and the cash, yet wasn’t obligated to return the item and wasn’t being chased to prove the item was missing or damaged. Redeker also says Amazon refused acknowledgement of the 23 emails he sent them over the course of the handling of the incident.
It wasn’t until Redeker tweeted the Amazon support account that there was any development. They reviewed the case and eventually refunded him the money for his camera. He says he feels the resolution is fair, but that “equitable safeguards can be built to restore future buyer and seller confidence in the community.”
This story was originally told to PetaPixel, retold with permission of Cliff Redeker.