Amazon being the largest global online retailer is very desirable for retail companies trying to reach greater audiences. Building a successful e-commerce website is difficult, very difficult, so the temptation of using a sales platform like Amazon is almost overwhelming.
Yes, Hunters Knives have also used Amazon, ebay and other selling platforms in the past especially during the early stages of building the company both for profitability and in profile but not any more.
As Lucy Cavendish reports in the Daily Mail, it was far too easy for her to impersonate her 13 year old son and buy a range of goods that are age restricted. A knife, porn, alcohol and violent games were added to her shopping list and in the blink of an eye purchased and quickly delivered without being challenged to provide proof of age.
Amazon banned the sale of knives a few years ago in response to a public outcry but slowly they started to reappear as the publics awareness tapered off. To sell knives like the one Lucy purchased the seller must simply request permission from Amazon themselves. Amazon staff then request details about the products you are looking to sell and after a few days you’ve made it and now trading legitimately on Amazon.
So whats the problem? Well Amazon has recently started to push for super fast delivery times, sometimes under 24 hours in some cases and this puts the pressure on sellers to complete orders quickly. Amazon is a nasty old dog thats always waiting to bite you, it is continuously monitoring the sellers performance from a dark unseen corner. Account suspension on Amazon is never far away, warning email’s are quite threatening and indefensible and before you know it your account has been suspended – game over.
Selling knives on Amazon is not a good idea. A knife retailer by law needs to take reasonable steps to verify that the person purchasing the goods is over 18 years old. Hunters Knives always performed age verification checks on the items sold through Amazon and this takes time, on average 24-48 hours. If electronic verification was not possible the customer would have to be contacted and asked to provide proof. Only once these checks were made and satisfied would the goods be processed for delivery, sometimes several days after the initial purchase.
Amazon doesn’t like delays and in no uncertain terms will tell you to improve your seller performance by dispatching goods quicker, regardless of your legal duties to perform these age verification checks. So are we surprised that it was so easy for Lucy to purchase age restricted goods from Amazon? No, not in the slightest!