(protohiro)
(protohiro)

When you order a certain brand’s product on Amazon and end up with a fake version of the real thing, who’s to blame? Some companies say it’s Amazon’s fault for commingling its inventory at some warehouses in the name of expediency, mixing up products that come directly from them with third-party sellers who also use the e-commerce giant’s warehouse order-fulfillment services.

The Wall Street Journal gives the example of the company that makes Tovolo-brand ice-cube molds and trays, ICI USA LLC. The company sells its products to Amazon directly but there are also third-party merchants sending Tovolo trays through the Internet retailer’s fulfillment warehouses. And that method is allowing fakes to squeak through, ICI says.

For example, one customer said his wife bought him a specific cube tray from Tovolo, listed as sold by Amazon. But the couple claims the tray was flimsy, water slopped out of it and it just basically sucked. When he bought the same tray at a kitchenware store, he realized he likely had a fake.

“The ice cubes slide out much more easily, and it’s more stable when full of water,” the man explained. “I definitely wish I’d gotten the correct tray…