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Amazon... A warning.

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Amazon... A warning.

Old 06-30-20, 12:31 PM
  #1  
Ross520
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Amazon... A warning.

Just an FYI for those that weren't already aware, Amazon is an awful place to purchase bike parts and accessories.

Here's the thing, counterfeits run rampant on their Marketplace, and they do practically nothing to stop this fraudulent behavior.
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The worst part? You're not even getting them for a super-low price like all that highly questionable stuff on Ebay.
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In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a brand name bicycle part on Amazon that I couldn't purchase at a legitimate store such as JensonUSA for less, and be guaranteed that they're the real Mccoy.

This is not only seen with bicycle parts, but many other items as well. And once again, Amazon does very about to stop this activity.

I only buy cheap household stuff and such (that I figure would be pointless to counterfeit), or items that are sold through the manufacturer rather than a third party now.

Be careful when shopping online.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:36 PM
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Indeed - for example, I won't buy SPD-SL cleats on Amazon, as there are endless no-name "SPD-SL-compatible" versions out there, and the line between real and fake is blurry at best - I'll pay a little extra at the LBS and know what I'm getting

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Old 06-30-20, 12:42 PM
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^^^^^ So what did you purchase that was counterfeit? I purchased a Nitto stem w/o any drama on Amazon.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:45 PM
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Did you return it with an explanation as to why?
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Old 06-30-20, 12:46 PM
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I don't doubt this is true, but, like CAT7DR, I've bought several items from Amazon after not being able to find them elsewhere, for cheap, with free shipping and no drama. Don't get me wrong, I'm not fond of lining the pockets of He Who Does Not Need More Money, but sometimes that two-day free shipping is hard to turn down.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:50 PM
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What’s wrong with “compatible” versions? If you use LOOK Delta format all you can get now are the compatible third-party cleats because LOOK stopped making them when the switched to Neo design. I find them just as reliable as the LOOK brand cleats were.

But I do agree there are internet merchants that do what you are describing. It happened to me recently.


Dan
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Old 06-30-20, 12:57 PM
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As Amazon is often times just a store front to an unknown seller, you are right in that it can be risky to buy just about anything on Amazon. Pay attention to the "Ships from and sold by" reference below the buy button on the right. That'll show who is really selling the part and you can investigate the company a little. If the "Arrives" date is several weeks to several months, you can be sure the merchant is in a foreign country.

I ordered Ultegra SPD-SL pedals on Amazon earlier this Spring w/o issue and they sure look legit. I am waiting for XTR brake rotors purchased on Amazon to arrive tomorrow. I noticed the rotors are coming from a bike shop in Florida via FedEx, so they're obviously not being stocked by Amazon.




The good news about buying on Amazon is that returning an item should be pretty easy... you can return items at your nearest Kohl's Department Store or through certain UPS Stores (if you're in the USA). Now that Shimano put the crack-down on gray market parts a few years back, I've found that Amazon usually has the lowest prices on brand name parts like Shimano. I used to buy my parts from UK bike shops but now the over seas shops will no longer sell to customers in the USA or their prices are no better than what we can get from US based stores.
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Old 06-30-20, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
As Amazon is often times just a store front to an unknown seller, you are right in that it can be risky to buy just about anything on Amazon. Pay attention to the "Ships from and sold by" reference below the buy button on the right. That'll show who is really selling the part and you can investigate the company a little. If the "Arrives" date is several weeks to several months, you can be sure the merchant is in a foreign country.

I ordered Ultegra SPD-SL pedals on Amazon earlier this Spring w/o issue and they sure look legit. I am waiting for XTR brake rotors purchased on Amazon to arrive tomorrow. I noticed the rotors are coming from a bike shop in Florida via FedEx, so they're obviously not being stocked by Amazon.




The good news about buying on Amazon is that returning an item should be pretty easy... you can return items at your nearest Kohl's Department Store or through certain UPS Stores (if you're in the USA). Now that Shimano put the crack-down on gray market parts a few years back, I've found that Amazon usually has the lowest prices on brand name parts like Shimano. I used to buy my parts from UK bike shops but now the over seas shops will no longer sell to customers in the USA or their prices are no better than what we can get from US based stores.
Agreed. Very easy to tell what is junk and what is real on Amazon. Stuff being shipped straight from china, whether a bike part or a dress shirt is a gamble. Could be good but also could be hot garbage.

I will always buy from Amazon before eBay just for the return policy.

Last edited by vespasianus; 06-30-20 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 06-30-20, 01:25 PM
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I generally only purchase bike and computer parts from Amazon if it is either sold by or fulfilled by Amazon. There are also some storefronts that are trustworthy (e.g. Competitive Cyclist, Silca, backcountry, etc.). Never had a problem. And yes, they sometimes don't have the best price. Don;t throw out the baby with the bathwater
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Old 06-30-20, 01:27 PM
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I've made 140 Amazon orders in 2020 alone. Probably a third of them cycling related, everything from cranksets to tires to bar tape. There are countless legit sellers operating in the marketplace, like Gap30Cycles, Planet Cyclery, USAmade, Prestacycle, Bicycle Addiction, and on and on.

No matter the seller or the item, if they're bought through Amazon, it's covered by the A-to-Z guarantee. I've never gotten a questionable item through Amazon, ever. I've probably had to make ~20 Amazon returns over the years and never had a single issue with any of them.
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Old 06-30-20, 02:01 PM
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Don’t order much from Amazon but did recently order some Miele vacuum bags. Did pay close enough attention to the description. They were knockoffs. My fault. Got a return authorization, walked a couple of blocks to a UPS store, and my money was refunded to my credit card in short order.

I have bought some bike-related item from Amazon, like lights, brake pads and water bottles. They have all been legit.
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Old 06-30-20, 02:19 PM
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I've bought countless bike items on Amazon and never had an issue.

Amazon doesn't always have the best price, but what I like is the Amazon web site is often easier to navigate than most on line bike retailers. Often times I will start on Amazon to find stuff I want, than end up ordering from somewhere else. This is especially true if I am ordering multiple items and Amazon has them coming from multiple retailers. I would rather see everything ship from one location, minimizes waste.
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Old 06-30-20, 02:27 PM
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I realize it may not be the most sophisticated method, but I've never gotten anything counterfeit if I stick to "prime" delivery dealers. Dozens of items, some name brand, some not, with only a couple of duds.
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Old 06-30-20, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
What’s wrong with “compatible” versions? If you use LOOK Delta format all you can get now are the compatible third-party cleats because LOOK stopped making them when the switched to Neo design. I find them just as reliable as the LOOK brand cleats were.

But I do agree there are internet merchants that do what you are describing. It happened to me recently.


Dan
the consequences of my foot pulling out of the pedal at the wrong moment are potentially serious enough to make me spend the extra on the real thing rather than an alternative of unknown provenance and QC. At the end of the day, “compatible” means nothing more than “it’ll fit in your pedal” - says nothing about “it’ll stay in your pedal”

Last edited by Litespud; 06-30-20 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-30-20, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
good for you, I guess, but the consequences of my foot pulling out of the pedal at the wrong moment are potentially serious enough to make me spend the extra on the real thing rather than an alternative of unknown provenance and QC. At the end of the day, “compatible” means nothing more than “it’ll fit in your pedal” - says nothing about “it’ll stay in your pedal”
I've bought "compatible" non branded products from prime sellers and it turned out to be crappy quality and some that met all of my expectations. I've had some great knockoff $12/pair brake rotors but extremely poor $3 brake pads. None of it was counterfeit or Shinamo instead of Shimano. Just random makers of stuff. Some works, some does not. Not specific to Amazon at all.

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Old 06-30-20, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
People are mixing several different issues here. Junk parts, off brand, cheap parts, knockoff parts, counterfeit parts. Counterfeit is bad because they are deceptive regardless of the actual quality of the product you got. All others are YMMV
If you bought Shimano cleats and they ship Shinamo cleats or Shimano cleats that were obviously bogus then I understand. I can buy an off brand set of cleats that is complete garbage or great on Amazon, the quality is not specific to Amazon or Amazons fault.
fair enough, but the thread is discussing Amazon - they’re not the only source of stuff, but they’re the ones under discussion here, and whether or not it’s Amazon’s “fault”, the fact remains that buying from Amazon can be risky if you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. I use Amazon all the time, and it’s fine if (1) you’re buying some commodity item, the source of which is irrelevant - so, for example, I recently bought a small slow cooker for melting chain wax. Do I care what brand it is or what company made it? Not a bit - it’s for melting wax and it cost $13 with free shipping - job done, or (2) you’re buying something that that you can be reasonably sure is the real thing- either because you can tell real from fake, or it’s not economically fakeable. I’ve bought plenty of brand name bike parts on Amazon with no problems, because I’m pretty sure that, for example, producing a fake Campagnolo part with the same fit and finish as the real thing wouldn’t be economically feasible. Would I buy a Pinarello CF frame on Amazon? Unlikely. Too much financial incentive to counterfeit.
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Old 06-30-20, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I've bought "compatible" non branded products from prime sellers and it turned out to be crappy quality and some that met all of my expectations. I've had some great knockoff $12/pair brake rotors but extremely poor $3 brake pads. None of it was counterfeit or Shinamo instead of Shimano. Just random makers of stuff. Some works, some does not. Not specific to Amazon at all.
as you’ve attested here, it’s a crapshoot that I, personally, would like to avoid. Unfortunately, whether the item quality is great or crappy may only reveal itself when the part fails, and I’d rather not be on the receiving end of a cleat failure. So I buy guaranteed Shimano in this instance. Why would I try to save a couple of bucks here?
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Old 06-30-20, 04:35 PM
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Pay attention to the description, pay attention to the seller. I've never bought a knockoff that I didn't already know was a knockoff.

As far as spd-sl cleats go, if it says "Shimano compatible", you know it's a knockoff. I buy my cleats there, but they always say "by Shimano" and cost twice as much.
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Old 06-30-20, 05:28 PM
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According to the Googles, the Amazon Marketplace offers in excess of 350,000,000 items. Would be close to impossible for Amazon to police them all.

I recently bought a Ritchey handlebar off of Amazon on Prime, actually sold and fulfilled by Planet Cyclery. Oddly, the bar was $10 cheaper on Amazon than through Planet Cyclery directly.
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Old 06-30-20, 05:42 PM
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Although it's not the primary place where I order bike parts, I have used them occasionally and have always been satisfied with both price and product. I did get an Mirrycle IncrediBell that was a cheap copy but Amazon processed a refund without having to make the return. In hindsight, there were plenty of signs on the product page that should have told me that the product was a substandard quality take-off.
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Old 06-30-20, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
According to the Googles, the Amazon Marketplace offers in excess of 350,000,000 items. Would be close to impossible for Amazon to police them all.

I recently bought a Ritchey handlebar off of Amazon on Prime, actually sold and fulfilled by Planet Cyclery. Oddly, the bar was $10 cheaper on Amazon than through Planet Cyclery directly.
Funny and getting off topic but I bought my Ritchey handlebar direct from Ritchey for $10 less then everywhere else at the time. Shipping took forever though. I usually compare places like Planet Cyclery and 365 cycles direct vs Amazon too.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:01 PM
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Amazon's price matching policy has drove me to look twice elsewhere for anything of certain value. Bought something from them not long ago that shipped & sold by Amazon that drop over 50% in price the very next day my order shipped. I inquired for a price adjustment & was told to pound sand. That just ground my last gear with them. They are no better than the next retailer these days.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:49 PM
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read the reviews....

So many amazon scratch and dent returns being sold of as new items.

I started window shopping Amazon, and then I 90% of the time order somewhere else.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:11 PM
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But if we don't support Jeff Bezos, how will he stay a multi-billionaire? If we don't buy the knock off pedals and panniers, he could become just a billionaire or worse a multi-millionaire. The poor guy lost money because his thieving hoooor of a ex-wife stole half of his hard earned billions and now he is just barely worth 161.1 billion dollars. His employees have to work knowing he is basically in the poor house, he gives them everything from free employee saunas while working and employees can wash their own pants while on the job with clean sterile urine so they aren't working in dirty pants all the time. He even gives permanent time off for employees with breast cancer and he has on call mental health people for when you are feeling blue about Jeff Bezos not being nearly rich enough. Some people might call it emergency services and say it is a a public thing but without Jeff Bezos they wouldn't even have had a need to visit 189 times. He also helps free local businesses from the burden of being in business.



He is just such a loving, caring individual and it is an absolute shame that he is always being slandered and maligned. Hasn't the poor man suffered enough?
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Old 06-30-20, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
But if we don't support Jeff Bezos, how will he stay a multi-billionaire? If we don't buy the knock off pedals and panniers, he could become just a billionaire or worse a multi-millionaire. The poor guy lost money because his thieving hoooor of a ex-wife stole half of his hard earned billions and now he is just barely worth 161.1 billion dollars. His employees have to work knowing he is basically in the poor house, he gives them everything from free employee saunas while working and employees can wash their own pants while on the job with clean sterile urine so they aren't working in dirty pants all the time. He even gives permanent time off for employees with breast cancer and he has on call mental health people for when you are feeling blue about Jeff Bezos not being nearly rich enough. Some people might call it emergency services and say it is a a public thing but without Jeff Bezos they wouldn't even have had a need to visit 189 times. He also helps free local businesses from the burden of being in business.



He is just such a loving, caring individual and it is an absolute shame that he is always being slandered and maligned. Hasn't the poor man suffered enough?
Did you take your pills today?
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