Individualism (Friedman's Economic Theory), Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Virtue Theory Analyses of Business Controversies
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
The Buying and Selling of Non-Certified Helmets
Remaining Headstrong After Buying a Fake Helmet: The Buying and Selling of Non-Certified Helmets (November 25th, 2018)
Amazon has always been trusted by buyers to have quality items year after year. You may not have realized, but counterfeit and defective items still find their way onto the website through third-party vendors. Selling these products can have very negative and detrimental effects, such as in the case of selling something that is supposed keep one safe, such as a bicycle helmet.
While courts are yet to find Amazon liable for selling said counterfeit products on its website because the company is able to argue that it is a platform for sellers, rather than Amazon being a lone seller itself, it has still faced legal issues. Amazon, through a spokesperson, has been quoted saying that the company “invests substantial resources into preventing counterfeit products from being sold on its site.” Despite this, Amazon suggests that it does take precautionary measures to make sure that these counterfeit items are not sold, but as it is a vendor website, it is nearly impossible at this point for them to catch all fraudulent items.
As Amazon becomes more legitimate and trusted by the public, their products must be as well. For this reason, they must do even more to prevent these issues. Many ideas have circulated to increase this patrol. These include making the laws of counterfeit items to be much stricter. For example, it one were to buy a fraudulent bicycle helmet and reported it to authorities, the business should be shut down after the investigation of authenticity proves that the item is not up to code. There are many websites as well such as that of the Better Business Bureau that people can research the legitimacy of a given product or service. There is also the possible removal process of these listings. However, the removal can take days or even weeks.
In the sense of individualism, or considering personal benefit to be the most important factor when making a decision, the focus is on that of single person rather than the whole. While at first glance it may seem like there is no driving force of individualism within this ethical dilemma, there ultimately is a reason that people create these counterfeit helmets. However, this can be viewed as a very negative implementation of individualism. These vendors make a large profit directly off these helmets that are made for a very cheap price. On an individualist scale, the creator and vendors of these helmets only see the money they make rather than the possible detrimental effects on others. This level of personal benefit is the basis of individualism- economic Darwinism. Applying the theory of utilitarianism to this topic offers an interesting perspective in the sense that the theory itself it the determination of right from wrong through focusing on the outcomes a certain situation. This moral framework has been used to justify the social correctness of many issues. This can be applied to the selling of counterfeit helmets in the sense that the proof of its unethically is rather blatant; one person’s desire for wealth should allow them to “play God” in the sense that they can potentially severely injure or even kill another human being who believes they are in safe hands. The theory of Kantianism focuses on that of fulfilling a given duty. One can look at this situation as Amazon merely doing what it was created to do: sell goods to the desired audiences via the internet. However, this point of view is a great disservice as the true focus should be on the idea that the creators and vendors, including Amazon, are in no way fulfilling their allotted task of creating a helmet that protects humans from injury in case of emergency.
However, while this system has remained flawed for this long, at a certain point it sadly must become a “buyer beware” situation, despite the fact that it should be necessary for every single manufactured bicycle helmet to be checked for safety and authenticity. For this reason, they must do even more to guarantee that the necessary guidelines are met when creating these helmets. It is important for companies such as Amazon to make sure they are ensuring quality products as it can truly save lives.
Armstrong, Warren. “Government Officials Sounding Alarm about Counterfeit Bike Helmets.” ABC30 Fresno, 16 Nov. 2018, abc30.com/government-officials-sounding-alarm-about-counterfeit-bike-helmets/4696783/.
“Helmet Safety: Keep a Lid On It.” Rush University Medical Center, www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/helmet-safety-keep-lid-it.
“How to Stop the Sale of Counterfeit Goods at Online Marketplaces.” Yellow Brand Protection, www.yellowbrandprotection.com/resources/preventing-counterfeit/how-to-stop-the-sale-of-counterfeit-goods-at-online-marketplaces.