Amazon would be investigating data leakage by employees. The employees would also have taken bribes in exchange for those dates. In addition, they would have removed bad reviews and put banned accounts back in place.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the practices are said to occur particularly in China on the basis of insiders. There, the number of salespeople would grow rapidly and employees would have a relatively low salary. This may help them to take risks more quickly. In exchange for the data, they receive between $80 and $2,000.

The investigation started in May. Then Eric Broussard, the vice president of international markets, received a tip on practices in China. The top people in China have now also changed their position in order to stop the practices. The company has confirmed that it is investigating the claims.

According to former executives of Amazon and other insiders, the company also tries internally to prevent their systems from falling prey to rogue sellers. But crooks are getting more and more creative, which would make this difficult. However, strict rules have been put in place to prevent this from happening, according to a spokesperson. A system has also been set up to limit the data to which employees have access.

Independent sellers

In recent years, Amazon has approached independent sellers to sell their products through the webshop. As a result, more products are available and prices are lower. Meanwhile, more than 2 million sellers sell about 550 million products via the website. That comes down to about half of all sales.

To ensure that the products appear on the first page of search results, sellers must compete aggressively. This is where most products are bought. Amazon’s automated systems sort the products based on various factors, including the quality of reviews, the number of clicks on a product and the number of sales.

However, some sellers try to bypass the system by using tricks. For example, some people are paid to regularly click on a product or to write a positive review. But now also employees of the company are approached to share data.

Prices

These people are approached by so-called brokers, who are looking for employees on WeChat. They then send a message asking if they can provide services to sellers in exchange for money. The data that is shared are for example internal sales statistics and e-mail addresses of reviewers.

For the removal of negative reviews, employees generally receive $300 per review. The brokers often want a minimum of five reviews. The e-mail addresses of reviewers are sold for less money.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.