Cheap Windows 10 keys aren’t just found on sketchy key-reselling websites. In fact, they’re often the top result when you shop for Windows 10 or Windows 7 keys on Amazon.com, so watch out!
This is because Amazon.com isn’t just a store. It’s a marketplace. Anyone can list products on Amazon.com and you’re often buying straight from a specific seller—just like eBay.
For example, when searching for “Windows 10 product key” on Amazon.com at the moment, the top result is a Sponsored listing promoting a $13.59 Windows 10 key by “Gustavo Calil.” In other words, someone has paid for an advertisement to push their fraudulently obtained keys on Amazon. This is just as sketchy as those key-reselling websites.
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It gets worse if you scroll down. Amazon actually recommends a $9.99 Windows 10 Home key from the same seller, calling it “Amazon’s Choice.”
Don’t fall for the scam!
The Amazon search results are full of this junk. Some sellers name products like “Мíсrоsоft Wíndоws” — did you catch that? Those aren’t i’s in there. They’re just very similar looking characters.
Amazon is smart enough to show these search results when you search for Windows 10 keys, but not smart enough to stamp them out.
The results are filled with junk when you search for Windows 7 product keys, too. But, for some reason, we didn’t see many sketchy Microsoft Office or Photoshop licenses in the results—just Windows licenses.
Amazon does sell real Windows 10 licenses. You can buy a digital Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional license from Amazon itself, for example. You can even save money and buy an OEM copy of Windows 10 Home for $99, sold by Amazon.com, if you’re fine with the gray area around OEM licenses.
Amazon.com Is a Sketchy Marketplace, Not Just a Store
Amazon.com isn’t just a store—well, it kind of is. Amazon sells many of the products on Amazon.com itself. But Amazon.com is also a marketplace, like eBay. Anyone can go to Amazon and list products for sale. So it’s no surprise that some scammers list counterfeit or otherwise fraudulent products on Amazon.
In other words, it’s not like walking into a Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or Target in person. The products on Amazon’s “shelves” are often just provided by third-party sellers, and are sometimes of dubious quality.
In fact, multiple companies are suing Amazon for not doing enough to prevent counterfeit products from being listed on Amazon’s marketplace. Amazon doesn’t want to admit this is a problem, but many companies think it is. For example, the CEO of Birkenstock USA has accused Amazon of “modern-day piracy” and said its behavior was “a middle finger to all brands.”
When trying to avoid counterfeits on Amazon, look for “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” to identify items items that are sold by Amazon.com itself and not third-party sellers.