Book Review: Horrorstor
Book Review: Secret Route 66

The Case of the Counterfeit Nivea

Don’t be confused by the title of this piece, it is not another review of a teenage mystery novel. It’s a cautionary tale of the cesspool that Amazon has become.

A couple of years ago, in Europe, I tried a men’s deodorant made by Nivea. I liked it, but it’s not widely distributed (if at all) in the USA, so I have ordered it several times since, always in bulk, from Amazon.

When the last set that I ordered arrived, I quickly noticed that something was wrong. One of the bottles was broken open. Then, I noticed that the bottles were made from plastic, not their usual heavy glass. ‘OK, an unfortunate change in packaging,’ I thought to myself.

Next, I found that the bottles had a label that was haphazardly stuck over another label. Under the first one, the labeling was entirely in Spanish and declared that the contents were made in Mexico. The glass bottles from my previous order were labeled differently, and the country of origin was Germany. ‘OK, an unfortunate consequence of globalization,’ I thought to myself.

But things were starting to stink. Literally. The gooey liquid leaking from the “unscented” deodorant had an overpowering scent. ‘OK, something is not right,’ I thought to myself.

Either Nivea has lost their mind and made some radical changes to an established product, or Amazon just sold me a box of counterfeits. The latter seems most likely. I’ve heard that Amazon has a huge problem on their hands with regard to fakes, but fake deodorant? I suppose it’s possible.

I’m returning the broken, leaky, fake bottles to Amazon for a refund. Also enclosed in the package will be the last vestige of trust in the retailer.

Why do I blame Amazon for an insidious and difficult to police issue? I used their “Buy It Again” button to order these, an expedited checkout process that, I have since deduced, took me to an Amazon-approved vendor that was different from whom I had placed my previous orders.

Additionally, Amazon has no process for reporting a vendor who is supplying questionable merchandise. The only option is to return the order and select the reason for doing so as “merchandise not as described” — which is technically true for a counterfeit, but doesn’t help the company identify the actual problem.

Finally, I attempted to post a review of the product to alert other buyers. Amazon rejected my review saying their “community standards” don’t allow reviews that mention the vendor. This prevents me from alerting others that Kyli Commerce sold my poorly packaged and possibly fake products. My previous orders were sold by Wiki Deals and those were genuine. However, having been burned, I’ll just go back to buying lesser American deodorant from the corner pharmacy conglomerate and not risk more Amazon nonsense and hassles.

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