Here are 5 things you should know.
1. Amazon has a serious problem with counterfeit products, and it’s all because of something called “commingled inventory.”
Anecdotally, the problem is getting severe.
An experience shared: “I used to buy all my household basics on Amazon (shampoo, toothpaste, etc), and I’ve gotten a very high rate of fake products over the past 2 years or so, specifically.
Most recently, I bought a bottle of shampoo that seemed really odd and gave me a pretty serious rash on my scalp. I contacted the manufacturer, and they confirmed it was a fake. Amazon will offer to give your money back if you send it back, but that’s all the protection you have as a buyer.
Since I started noticing this issue, I’ve gotten counterfeit batteries, counterfeit shampoo, and counterfeit guitar strings, and they were all sold by Amazon.com. It got so bad that I completely stopped using Amazon.
The bigger question is “what the hell is going on?” This didn’t seem to be a problem, say, 5 years ago. I started looking into why this was the case, and I found a pretty clear answer: commingled inventory.
Basically, it works like this:
- As we know, Amazon has third-party sellers that have their products fulfilled by Amazon.
- These sellers send in their products to be stored at an Amazon warehouse.
- When a buyer buys that item, Amazon will ship the products directly to buyers.
Sounds straightforward enough, right? Here’s the problem, though: Amazon treats all items with the same SKU as identical.
So, let’s say I am a third-party seller on Amazon, and I am selling Crest Toothpaste. I send 100 tubes of Crest Toothpaste to Amazon for Amazon fulfillment, and then 100 tubes are listed by me on Amazon. The problem is that my tubes of Crest aren’t entered into the system as “SolitaryEgg’s Storefront Crest Toothpaste,” they are just entered as “Crest Toothpaste” and thrown into a bin with all the other crest toothpaste. Even the main “sold by Amazon.com” stock.
You can see why this is not good. If you go and buy something from Amazon, you’ll be sent a product that literally anyone could’ve sent in. It’s basically become a big flea market with no accountability, and even Amazon themselves don’t keep track of who sent in what. It doesn’t matter if you buy it directly from Amazon, or a third party seller with 5-star reviews, or a third party seller with 1-star reviews. Regardless, someone (or a robot) at the warehouse is going to go to the Crest Toothpaste bin, grab a random one, and send it to you. And it could’ve come from anywhere.
This is especially bad because it doesn’t just allow for counterfeit items, it actively encourages it. If I’m a shady dude, I can send in a bunch of fake crest toothpaste. I get credit for those items and can sell them on Amazon. Then when someone buys it from me, my customer will probably get a legitimate tube that some other seller (or Amazon themselves) sent in. My fake tubes will just get lost in the mix, and if someone notices it’s fake, some other poor seller will likely get the bad review/return.
I started looking around Amazon’s reviews, and almost every product has some % of people complaining about counterfeit products, or products where the safety seal was removed and re-added. It’s not everyone of course, but it seems like some % of people get fake products pretty much across the board, from vitamins to lotions to toothpaste and everything else. Seriously, go check any household product right now and read the 1-star reviews, and I guarantee you you’ll find photos of fake products, items with needle-punctures in the safety seals, etc etc. It’s rampant. Now, sure, some of these people might be lying, but I doubt they all are.
In the end, this “commingled inventory” has created a pretty serious counterfeit problem on amazon, and it can actually be a really really serious problem if you’re buying vitamins, household cleaners, personal hygiene products, etc. And there is literally nothing you can do about it because commingled inventory also means that “sold by Amazon” and seller reviews are completely meaningless.”
Here’s a source that explains it pretty well:
but you can find a lot of legitimate sources online to read more about it. A lot of big newspapers have covered the issue. A few more reads:
2. Apologizing to your children and admitting when you’re wrong is what teaches them to have Integrity.
There are a lot of parents with this philosophy of “What I say goes, I’m the boss, everyone bow down to me, I can do no wrong”.
This approach is detrimental to raising children who take accountability for their own actions. They need to see you admit to your faults, and you do owe them an apology when you mess up, even if you happen to think that “seems stupid because they’re just a kid”.
Children learn by example, and they pick up on so many nuances, minutiae, and unspoken truths.
You aren’t fooling them into thinking you’re perfect by refusing to admit mistakes – you’re teaching them that to apologize is shameful and should be avoided at all costs. You cannot treat a child one way and then expect them to comport themselves in the opposite manner.
3. Until November 2000, military dogs were euthanized or abandoned after retirement, however, you can now adopt one as a member of your family.
Before this time service dogs were considered “military surplus equipment” and deemed unfit to adjust to civilian life. These heroes were thrown away or put down instead of honor. President Clinton passed “Robby’s Law” in 2000 which allows handlers and their families first dibs at adopting military animals at the end of their useful service. The dogs are next offered to law enforcement, then adoptive families. Organizations like Saveavet.org place these retired heroes with suitable families and ensure they are given the honorable discharge they deserve. There is currently waiting lists of civilians who want to give these veterans a loving home in which to retire. The wait is up to 12-18 months.
Military working dogs usually hold a higher rank than their handler. This is to prevent the handler from mistreating their dog and is usually a sign of respect. Most Military working dogs hold the rank of a Non-Commissioned Officer. After their service, every measure is taken to ensure that they are trained to get acclimated to civilian life. MWD’s are usually German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Labrador’s to name a few.
There are about 2500 dogs in active service today and about 700 deployed overseas.
4. NEVER fly a drone near a wildfire. It will cause all firefighting air support to be grounded.
5. If you call 911, all your blocked call numbers will automatically be unblocked for 2 hours.
An experience shared: “This popped up on my Android after I called 911 for a guy at work having a suspected heart attack. Not sure if this is a Pennsylvania only rule or not.”