Walmart Caught Red-Handed Selling Fake Products

Walmart has reached a new low. The retailer has been caught red-handed selling fake products on its website.

By Kristi Eckert | Published

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Walmart isn’t exactly what one would call the cream of the crop in terms of retailers. Its behemoth business is often characterized by sub-par service and sloppy stores. The only real benefit of shopping there would be to snag some nice discounts. However, Walmart has now reached a new low. The retail giant was caught red-handed selling counterfeit hard drives to its customers. 

A source who spoke to Vice ousted Walmart’s egregious offense. The individual, who identified himself as Ray, works in cybersecurity. While browsing Walmart’s website he noticed something very odd. On the website, Walmart had a 30TB solid state hard drive (SSD) listed for the very low price of $17.99. Given his background, Ray noticed immediately that this could not be correct. And honestly, this is something that any individual somewhat familiar with tech would identify as odd. Solid state hard drives, in general, are not cheap. And the more storage they contain the more expensive they get. For context, a 1TB SSD will run someone approximately $105. Using that price as a baseline, that would mean that a 30TB SSD would cost approximately $3,150. Hence, a price tag of $17.99 comes off as an immediate red flag. 

Ray decided to purchase the $17.99 SSD to get a full picture of what was going on. When Ray received the hard drive in the mail he took it apart. What he found inside were two memory cards glued together. He was able to determine that the two memory cards had been reformatted to make it look like they contained 30TB of storage when connected to a computer. Just as Ray had hypothesized, the product was counterfeit. The whole thing was a rouse. “I knew going in it would be a scam but I thought we might use it as an educational opportunity,” said Ray. 

Ray immediately reached out to Walmart and reported his findings. The company responded by quickly removing the item from its website. “Thanks for reaching out and bringing this to our attention…After reviewing this item, it has been removed from our site,” Robyn Babbitt, Walmart’s director of corporate communication, wrote in an email. 

So how did this happen? If Walmart is so keen on ensuring the products it sells are authentic how could such a fallacy occur? The problem exists in Walmart’s online platform. Walmart runs its website much like Amazon or eBay. It allows third-party sellers to vend products through them. When looking at a product unless it says that it is sold and shipped by Walmart, that product is being fulfilled by a third party. As a result, Walmart has very little control over some of the products that reach the end consumer. 

This is certainly an issue that Walmart needs to get better at addressing. However, since this is the case, it is very important for individuals to be very careful about the products they purchase on Walmart’s website. Read the fine print. Read the reviews. Ultimately, use your best judgment. If an item or deal looks too good to be true, more than likely it is.