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Inside Amazons Get Rich Quick Scheme

Like a lot of Amazon sellers, Chad Christensen had his ups and downs over the years trying to make a living on the giant shopping platform. However, when the 58-year-old from Ogden, Utah, heard about an opportunity in 2018 to invest in this brand of bestselling laser tag toys on Amazon, he handed over $20,000 of his savings.

The entrepreneurs pitching the toy brand, called Dynasty Toys, talked up their highly ranked laser tag guns that were supposedly a hit on Amazon during the previous holiday season. Now, they were guaranteeing Amazon sellers a return on their investment, a chance to own a piece of their business, and behind-the-scenes access to their secret playbook for Amazon-selling success.

Two years later, however, Chad's decisions to invest in Dynasty toys would be proven to be a disaster, He only received $4,000 in repayment and believe it's highly unlikely he'll get his money back. Chad is one of the hundreds of existing and aspiring amazon sellers who bought into the promised opportunity, with many losing thousands of dollars along the way.

Dozens more have lost their investment with a seller saying he at least contributed $200,000 to a failed enterprise. Some of these sellers are also facing these consequences even worse than losing all their money. In early June, Amazon suspended at least a dozen sellers linked to the Dynasty Toys, including Christensen's. More than two months later, however, Chad and others would still be banned.

Amazon is not responsible for its merchants' investments, but the popularity and complexity of the Amazon marketplace provide fertile ground for such schemes targeting its sellers. Nearly two million small and middle-sized merchants like Chads now sell products on Amazon, and they account for 60 percent of the company's gross retail sales. They are a massive part of the platform's retail success. While Amazon does provide some education for new sellers, Its large and competitive platform has created an ecosystem of experts and opportunists alike promising all sorts of help to mom and pop sellers with dreams of E-commerce glory. Some of these offers are worth the money, but others are unhelpful or, worse, harmful to the sellers lured. The Dynasty Toys story is a cautionary tale of the risks posed by retail wizards.


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