Cameras substituted for pet food and shoes in Amazon deliveries

photo of amazon return center

In recent years Amazon has developed a slight fraud problem with some buyers, to put things mildly, and it sometimes includes cameras.

Recently in January of this year, the BBC reported on a case that must have been particularly galling to its victim. A man who ordered a rather expensive iPhone was instead sent a bag of dog food by the seller.

The BBC’s report prompted a whole avalanche of comments from readers who mentioned having suffered similar misfortunes.

Among these were cases of Amazon customers ordering pricey cameras only to receive cat food instead, and others who ordered computers and laptops finding surgical gloves in their deliveries.

In the case of the cat food camera fraud, the reader explained that he’d ordered a Sony a6400 camera with an accompanying Tamron lens for the not-so-cheap price of £1,420 (roughly $1,715).

Upon receiving the package via courier, he found nothing more than a package of Felix-brand cat food.

To make things worse, Amazon refused to refund the purchase at first because the buyer had accepted the package from the delivery driver and had given over the accompanying security code.

According to the reader, he did these things because the package looked okay and seemed to have the correct weight. He was only refunded the price of the camera (it was out of stock) and sent a real Tamron lens after being insistent with his fraud claim.

Quite frankly, it’s hard to see these cases as anything but fraud on the part of these Amazon sellers.

Being sent the wrong camera or lens model from an Amazon seller that handles many photo equipment orders daily would be tedious but understandable. But being sent cans of cat food in place of a full camera and lens combo? Something about that smells very fishy.

photo of amazon package deliveries

Another even worse case involved a buyer who ordered a Panasonic camera and lens combo for £1,999 (about $2,414 USD).

In this instance, the package was sent to an Amazon Hub Counter, to which the buyer personally traveled to open the box. He made sure to do this in front of Amazon’s own surveillance cameras so that there could be no doubt about fraudulent claims on his part if something turned out wrong.

As it turned out, something was indeed very wrong: Upon prying the package open, he found… a pair of shoes. 

Incredibly, despite video evidence from one of its own security cameras clearly showing that this buyer had been scammed, Amazon adamantly refused to refund his purchase. He eventually had to file s chargeback with his bank instead.

None of the above is to say that Amazon can’t be trusted or that it doesn’t deliver exactly what you order in the vast majority of cases. The company still also has a strong reputation for being very flexible about refunds.

However, if you’re buying pricey camera equipment through the digital mega-retailer, always be sure to do your due diligence on documenting everything and picking your Amazon sellers carefully.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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