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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Dangerous products may carry "Amazon's Choice" label

Many Montana consumers do an increasing amount of their purchasing online, especially on large clearinghouse websites like Amazon. While there are numerous reports of counterfeit or questionable items making their way onto Amazon, many people rely on "Amazon's Choice" recommendations to guide them to good decisions. However, according to an investigation by journalists at The Wall Street Journal, the badge is visible on a number of products that are mislabeled, unsafe or in violation of Amazon's listing policies. For example, the tagline has appeared beside products that carry false safety certifications, are designated as controlled substances or fail to meet U.S. guidelines for safe products.

Some of the products appeared to have gained the label by gaming the system. Third-party sellers who make goods available on Amazon would use keywords in specific ways in their listings to ensure that their products would be featured high on customer searches, leading to a high sales volume that could garner the prized label even for dangerous products. Amazon introduced the label in 2015 as a way to identify products with good prices that were highly rated by consumers. However, the company has faced growing concerns that defective products or counterfeit items are receiving the badge due to flawed algorithms.

Amazon does not source all of the items on the site itself, including products that carry the designation. Third-party sellers may provide stock to Amazon warehouses for fulfillment without Amazon reviewing the items to make sure they are legitimate. Some warehouses have allegedly distributed counterfeit products that were sold alongside genuine items by different third-party sellers.

Journalists have reported that unsafe products and expired food items have been sold and distributed on Amazon. These products could cause serious harm in some cases. People who have been hurt by dangerous products may consult with an injury lawyer about a product liability lawsuit.

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