People Are Ordering Expensive Cameras on Amazon and Receiving Cat Food Instead

People Are Ordering Expensive Cameras on Amazon and Receiving Cat Food Instead

In January, the BBC published a story about a man who was sent dog food by Amazon when he ordered an iPhone. The article prompted numerous other readers to come forward with similar stories, including cameras being replaced with cat food and computers swapped for surgical masks. 

One reader relayed the story of having spent £1,420 on a Sony a6400 and accompanying Tamron lens, only to receive Felix cat food. Even worse, Amazon initially refused to refund the man, as he had accepted the package and given the driver the accompanying security code since it had looked normal from the outside. Thankfully, after multiple attempts, the lens was replaced and the camera was refunded since it was out of stock. 

Another person described how devastated her son was when he received surgical masks in place of a graphics card he had saved years for. She said she spent hours on the phone with Amazon and was only allowed to receive a refund once she shipped the masks back to the company at her own expense. 

Perhaps the most egregious story was that of a man who spent £1,999 on a Panasonic camera and lens. The equipment was sent to an Amazon Hub counter. The man was careful to open the package in view of the Hub's security camera, and sure enough, he only found two pairs of shoes in the box. Despite multiple attempts to get a refund, including informing Amazon he has video evidence of the incident, he has been unsuccessful and has resorted to filing a charge dispute with his bank. 

This is far from the first time such incidents have been reported on Amazon. It is an important reminder to be very careful which retailers you purchase from and to take steps to protect yourself. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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That's why you have to, at the minimum, make sure big ticket items are shipped and sold by amazon itself. Even then it doesn't protect you from commingled inventory. But really I do not buy this kind of stuff from Amazon any more, after seeing horror stories like this and pictures of bare hard drives being chucked into a mostly empty Amazon box.

The only thing I would order from Amazon is Cat food.


Only purchase high value items from a reputable seller and use your credit card or Paypal.

I wouldn't order cat food from Amazon. I tried that in January and ended up getting a Sony camera and a Tamron lens. Which was completely useless because my cat is a Canon shooter.

I'm sooo sorry, that is outrageous. Poor Cat, the trauma! I hope you reported Amazon to PETA.

Bravo sir, Bravo.

And your cat is still hungry!

Years ago I ordered a lens on Amazon and had to return it because the focus was off and the focus adjust on my camera didn’t solve the issue. Trying to talk to someone from Amazon who isn’t knowledgable about camera tech and explain the problem was bad enough. Yes I’d be very nervous about ordering high price goods from Amazon and other online outlets to be honest. Luckily where I live there’s a decent camera shop in the city centre where I can go to when I purchase high price camera goods.

I ordered new flash from amazon once, and I received the flash,however it was obviously a used item, the box was torn and taped shut, and the flash has leaking batteries inside. Since then I order from B&H or adorama and have never had a problem. I also have a local camera store in my area.

That's why I always buy electronics from the local stores

I buy camera stuff from a camera store in the city that I live in; it's the same price and I can go there and pick it up and talk to someone about it. And, I want my city to have local businesses.

I ordered some stuff from Adorama before, and they seem to be a reputable company. Amazon is just really not very reliable and I only would buy lower cost items from them.

Just ordered a side handle for a gimbal and ended up with an incense candle instead in the box that was marked as the gimbal handle

At least you'll get you money back and it hasn't gone up in smoke.

I no longer buy any high value items from Amazon or Ebay. Maybe the chance of a ripoff is small, but if it happens, the chance of a quick resolution after talking to an actual support person is even smaller.

Shop local and support your local retailer, preferably a small business. I realize sometimes it's not practical, but I shop local as much as possible.

A perfect example of why I don't order high-dollar items through Amazon anymore. I ordered what was supposed to be a US warranty Nikon body, only to find out through Nikon that it was gray market. Luckily, I got a refund.

Just stop using Amazon. Amazon has increasingly done next to nothing about scammers on their platform. You're taking a huge risk when buying expensive things from amazon. They aren't even cheaper than their competition any more anyways.