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Amazon employees caught selling sales data and accepting bribes to remove bad reviews

And maybe this is why Amazon feels more like Wish these days.

amazon logo on wooden planks
Image: Fox Business

Employees at Amazon have allegedly been leaking confidential sales information to merchants and receiving bribes. The accusations are now being investigated by Amazon, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Reportedly widespread in China, the practice of buying sales data can net an employee between $80 and $2,000, depending on the information. For that, sellers are receiving sales metrics and reviewer’s email addresses. Some employees are also offering to delete negative reviews for items and restore banned Amazon accounts.

The e-commerce giant was tipped off about the practice in May. Since then, it has been investigating and trying to root out the bribery. As part of its probe, the company has since shuffled the roles of critical executives in China.

With Amazon allowing almost anyone to sell, it sometimes starts to feel like shopping on Wish

Through a spokesperson, Amazon told The Wall Street Journal:

We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties.

Of sellers caught doing this, the company said: “We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems, and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them.”

In recent years, the company has recruited independent merchants to sell their products on the company’s marketplace. In doing so, the variety of products it offers has broadened, while prices have fallen.

Two million merchants now sell an estimated 550 million products on Amazon, which represents half of all units sold on the site. To get their products noticed merchants much aggressively compete. One of the ways they’ve done this is to bribe willing employees for sales information.

Are you surprised by this? Let us know in the comments below.

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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