Question:

Hello Rabbi

Thanks for the service.

I am an Amazon seller in the Judaica field.
One of my competitors is hurting us by undercutting our prices. This is defiantly allowed.
But the problem is, he is listing items he doesn’t have. He marks them as shipped, within the time frame he has too by Amazon guidelines.

He later tries a few different options. He either ships a similar item from a different brand, he sometimes refunds the order weeks later when a customer complains he never got it or tries another shtick.

The usual prosses this would be eliminated is by Amazon feedback that sellers that are screwed leave. But he has a BLACKHAT company that removes all negative feedback. We have documented this daily.

Are we allowed to report him to Amazon?

Reporting him will result in the temporary or permanent closure of his selling account. No chance this will have any legal issues. Is reporting someone to a company (non-gov) considered messrah?

Reasons to be lenient he is doing this on Amazon in the Judaica field. Lots of buyers of Judaica are not frum Jews and they get a very bad feeling about Judaica.

Thanks

Answer:

Technically if what you are saying is actually true, and not just because he is your competition, if he is hurting the public it might be permitted, however for you to do this, is loshon hora and not permitted. Loshon hora l’toeles is only permitted if  seven conditions are met, one of them being that there is no personal ill feeling for the person, and not for personal gain, which is definitely the case over here. Even for someone else to do it, they would have to know the information first hand, and fulfill the other conditions in order to do something like that.

As a constructive suggestion, maybe send this person an anonymous e-mail that you are aware of his unscrupulous business practice etc,, and for his own benefit he should stop it, because it is known that what he is doing is not allowed by Amazon. This will most probably scare him, and it might cause him to stop. In order to speak loshon hora l’toeles the person has to have been warned beforehand. Besides, you yourself would not want someone else to do something like this to you, even if you would be doing something unethical. Therefore before reverting to harming the other person, try to fix the situation.

As a side point, it is very frustrating when you see a competitor doing things that are wrong, and you may be 100% correct about it, however whatever he does is not going to effect the parnosa that you are supposed to get in any case. Whatever he does will not make your parnosa less, because what you are supposed to earn this year is coming straight from HKB”H to you, and he can not effect it. Even though we have to do our histadlus, but if it involves something that is against halacha, it isn’t correct histadlus and it won’t help, him or anyone else that does it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *