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Watch out for third-party sellers this holiday season | FOX43 Finds Out

Supply chain issues have big retailers depending on third-party sellers to fill the need, but they don't always have the same return or refund policies.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — We've all heard about supply chain issues this year, making it harder to get this or that. 

But if you shop on sites like Walmart or Amazon, and you'll see a lot of products are available. However, it's not always that big retailer that's selling them.

FOX43 Finds Out why you should read the fine print before buying from a third party.

"It opened my eyes, that's for sure," said Nicolette Szymanski. 

The York County woman wanted to buy a tent for her backyard. She found a listing on Walmart's website, hit add to cart, paid about 70 bucks, and a few days later it arrived. 

Turns out it's not what she wanted.

Her husband tried to return the tent at a Walmart. Szymanski said, "They said, 'oh no no, you can't take this back. It was ordered through a thirrd party.'"

A lot of major retailers do this and have been for years. If they don't have an item, they let a third party sell the item instead, through the big retailers' website. It's happening a lot more now, thanks to supply chain issues and item shortages.

So when you're ordering from Walmart now, you may not be dealing with Walmart. You may be dealing with someone else.

And that's what happened here. Let's look at that listing again for the tent. Under where it says add to cart, it shows the item is sold and shipped by Uco Hub LLC.

Walmart calls that company a marketplace seller, which is allowed to set its own set of rules, especially for returns.

Szymanski contacted that company to return the tent. 

"They're telling me I can only get $30. I can keep the item and get $30 and I said no, I want to get all my money back, I want to return it." 

The company stopped answering her, so she contacted FOX43 Finds Out. When we questioned the third-party seller, they changed their tune. They now say they will now give the customer a full refund.

"I don't think people understand that things are coming from anywhere." Szymanski said. "I would say definitely read the small print because I did not realize it was coming from a third party."

A lot of these major retailers also have minimum return policies for third-party sellers. Again, this is just another reason to read all the fine print before you throw down your credit card. 

If you see any deal -- just make sure you read the return policy, just in case.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.  

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