CNBC Logo

Amazon and similar e-commerce websites have come under fire for shipping expired food from third-party sellers to consumers. As Amazon’s customer base grows, brand protection and consumer safety becomes increasingly important.

Josh Gerben discussed the implications of Amazon shipping expired products for brand loyalty and trust:

(1:30 – 1:42) “Amazon currently just has the potential for a massive liability and they’re certainly trying to take steps to clean things up and make the products that are being sold through the platform more reliable.”

(1:48 -1:56) “Consumers have this false sense of security that because it’s coming from Amazon, it must be okay. But what consumers really have to know is that you’re not buying from Amazon, they’re buying from somebody else.”

(2:44 – 2:57) “I would hope that Amazon is reading these stories in the news and understanding that third-party sellers are abusing their platform and selling these types of products. And [that they’re] doing everything possible to clean it up and start to protect consumers better.”

(3:32 – 3:40) “Sometimes you’re buying from very unprofessional sellers that are literally just trying to unload product and make a quick buck and they don’t care about your safety.”

(5:34 – 5:56) “It’s not a flea market – a local flee market – where a few goods are going to be sold. Folks can go on there and sell at scale expired items – items that can harm consumers. And, ultimately, Amazon needs to be liable for that harm it has caused in order to induce Amazon to take the appropriate action to protect consumers from those types of sellers.”

(7:41 – 7:54) “Brand owners have a real problem here in the sense that once somebody gets expired food products and has a problem with it, maybe they get sick or it’s just a horrible taste, they’ve probably lost a customer for life at that point.”

(15:47 – 15:55) “You’re getting a product that somebody has already opened and just filled up with something else, and they’re able to sell it to you. That’s scary.”

(18:27 – 18:43) “You walk into Target or go to Target.com, you’re buying from Target. You’re not buying from somebody that’s shipping out of a warehouse that is not Target-related. So, that’s just the biggest difference that you have with Amazon. It’s that they don’t even control all their inventory.”

Source: CNBC. “Amazon’s Expired Food Problem”. CNBC, March 4 2020. https://youtu.be/jnuczi9aBqQ