Amazon has been a source of essentials, hobbies, electronics and supplies during the pandemic, and business has been booming as a result. You can find just about anything on Amazon, which is both good and bad. Need an obscure replacement part for your dishwasher? You can probably find it on Amazon. But not all products are useful, and some can be downright dangerous.
Amazon recently pulled some weight loss products from its online store after being contacted by the Food and Drug Administration. The drugs contained unlisted ingredients that could interact with prescription medications. Tap or click here for the full story and some precautions.
Amazon’s inventory is growing and changing all the time, so while you’ll always find something new, you must exercise caution when making your purchases. Check out our rundown of things you should not buy from Amazon.
1. Costco-branded (Kirkland) products
There’s nothing wrong with Costco-branded products (which sell under the Kirkland name), but be careful where you get them. Kirkland products on Amazon can be marked up or counterfeit. A 2.5-pound jar of cashews, for example, is more than twice the price on Amazon as it would be directly through Costco.
Amazon is full of fake products, and you’ll likely find some labeled Kirkland in that group. Go to a Costco store in person or shop at the company’s official site at www.costco.com.
2. Cheap charging cables/adapters
You don’t need to spend a fortune on brand-name charging accessories for your tech, but make sure they’re certified. A cheap and poorly built charger can not only damage your device but can catch fire. Tap or click here to check out some safer options.
How well do you trust a product that you apply to your face? Knockoff cosmetics are often not subjected to extensive testing, so the side effects are up in the air. The FBI previously found some counterfeit products to contain carcinogens like arsenic, beryllium and cadmium, in addition to high levels of aluminum and even bacteria.
4. Ikea products
Ikea’s affordable furniture and household products are quite popular, which is why resellers offer them at marked-up prices on Amazon. Understandably, you would browse these items if you don’t live near an Ikea location, but it’s not worth it. You can find many of the Swedish conglomerate’s wares at its official online store, www.ikea.com.
Just as with cheap cables, cheap batteries can mess up your gadgets or even put your safety at risk. You don’t need to buy the most expensive branded batteries, but don’t go for the cheapest either. Read reviews outside of Amazon to help narrow down your options. Tap or click here to check out our battery buying guide.
6. Google (and some Apple) tech
Even if you find legitimate products from Google and Apple on Amazon, chances are you’ll find better prices elsewhere since they compete with Amazon’s own gadgets.
No matter where you get your medicine and supplements, check with your doctor first. With that said, be very careful when buying them online. They are subject to markups, but even worse, they can contain unlisted shady ingredients. You’re better off sticking with your favorite pharmacy. Tap or click here for more tips on buying supplements.
8. Trader Joe’s Products
Like the retailers we mentioned above, Trader Joe’s products listed on Amazon can be heavily marked up, fake or expired. While you can’t order Trader Joe’s online directly from the store, there are alternatives such as the Amazon-owned Whole Foods, which you can shop for with Prime.
9. Household staples
While it’s important to get the essentials you need during the pandemic, you can still price shop. The 2020 shortage isn’t really an issue for products such as toilet paper, paper towels and masks, so run price comparisons on other sites like Walmart and Target.
10. Name brand clothing
Browse a hot item from a popular clothing designer on Amazon, and you’ll likely find a wide variety of pricing from third-party sellers. This is because they are selling knockoff or overpriced shirts, shoes, bags, etc. Stick with traditional retailers to make sure you don’t get ripped off.