One day a package from China that you don’t remember ordering (because you haven’t really asked for it) and when you open it you find a few plant seeds. The situation, surreal as it may seem, is more common than it seems. And it all has to do with a positioning practice in stores on the Internet. Because you should never underestimate the ingenuity of some when shopping online.
The cases occurred during 2020 especially in the United States, although they have also been reported in some areas of Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom. The origin of packages is usually China, but there are also cases in which they come from other Southeast Asian countries.
People report that they receive small packages in protective envelopes like those typically received when buying small products from AliExpress or similar stores. These packages They arrive free of charge and without the user having bought them Really.
Inside they are usually found small bags with seeds of all kinds of plants such as mustard, roses, rosemary, cabbage … According to the authorities they have identified up to 14 different types of seeds at the moment.
Being an organic product, one of the first alarms and concerns that has jumped is that it may be a contaminated product that could be harmful to people or the environment. The authorities have reported that it is not harmful products (more dangerous packages can reach you), however they recommend not planting these seeds in any case since they can be invasive species for the environment. In the United States, the Department of Agriculture asks all citizens to hand over these seeds to the authorities if they receive them.
How the ‘brushing’ technique works
But why do these seeds arrive? That they are seeds makes the situation quite peculiar, however the reality behind it is much simpler. Everything seems to indicate that some marketers are trying to better position themselves on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy, or eBay. For this they use a technique called brushing.
The technique of brushing allows Internet marketers to better position themselves on platforms where they have their products. It is no secret that having good reviews and ratings as a seller makes stores give you more visibility and that users trust more to choose you as a seller. Therefore, it is a matter of creating false valuations. However, many of these Internet stores do not allow you to leave ratings unless they come from a user who has received a package.
Said and done, some sellers have started shipping products for free to random users and leave positive feedback on behalf of these users. They have probably gotten the shipping addresses and other data from leaked databases or just from finding them public on the internet.
As for the fact that they are seeds, it is because it is a product that has little weight and does not take up space (less shipping costs). They can also be found extremely cheaply. A small expense for the seller that allows him to significantly increase his sales volume and thus deceive the Internet sales platforms.
Via | Popular Mechanics
Images | USDA