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, so watch out!

This is because isn’t just a store. It’s a marketplace. Anyone can list products on and you’re often buying straight from a specific seller—just like eBay.

For example, when searching for “Windows 10 product key” on 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.

RELATED: Cheap Windows 10 Keys: Do They Work?

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, if you’re fine with the gray area around OEM licenses. Is a Sketchy Marketplace, Not Just a Store isn’t just a store—well, it kind of is. Amazon sells many of the products on itself. But 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” to identify items items that are sold by itself and not third-party sellers.

RELATED: I Got Scammed by a Counterfeiter on Amazon. Here's How You Can Avoid Them


Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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