The Amazon Prime symbol probably doesn't mean what you think it does

What do you think when you see the Amazon Prime logo on a product?

Most people, even the most devoted Amazon users, will think it's a verified seller affiliated with the ecomm giant -- but that's not necessarily the case, according to Fred Dimyan, co-founder of Potoo Marketing.

Just because a Prime logo is present, Dimyan says, doesn't mean it's sold by Amazon. In actuality, any of Amazon's 3 million marketplace sellers can use the Amazon warehouse to house and ship their items and get the so-called "coveted" mark on its products.

"Don't make the assumption that every item you buy on Amazon is going to be real and genuine. Investigate it like you'd be buying it on eBay," he said. "Understand that there's a marketplace out there."

13 PHOTOS
Best-selling items on Amazon under $50
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Best-selling items on Amazon under $50

LEGO City Town Advent Calendar Building Kit: $29.94

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Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects: $39.00
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Cards Against Humanity: $25.00

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All-New Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation): $49.99
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Marvel's Captain America, Civil War: $19.96
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Beauty and the Beast, 25th Anniversary Edition: $22.99
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Amazon Fire TV stick: $39.99
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RTIC Tumbler: $14.23
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Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container: $15.99
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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: $9.60
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Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen: $19.50
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Disney Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar: $39.95
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While Amazon vets all distributors which products it sells directly, third-party sellers can be a gamble. If you're not buying from Amazon directly, Dimyan recommends buying from the manufacturer directly or an authorized vendor.

Despite the company's reputable standing, counterfeit items do exist on Amazon, especially when it comes to best-selling items, namely, Apple products. Both Amazon and Apple police their items and are constantly monitoring offerings in the marketplace for items being sold outside of the catalog.

But in such a large, complex market, items frequently fall through the cracks, so if you do discover a counterfeit item in your Amazon Prime box, Dimyan suggests two actions.

"Utilize Amazon's return policy, and report on it," he said. "When Amazon receives a report that something is fake or counterfeit, Amazon then investigates that person's inventory and then acts on it if it's found to be true. If consumers don't report it, Amazon doesn't know."

Now that you're ready for holiday shopping, check out the best holiday gifts under $25:

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Holiday gifts under $25
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Holiday gifts under $25
For your golf-loving dad ...
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For your brother that loves to camp ...
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For your caffeine-addicted coworker ... 
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For your niece into the latest beauty trends ... 
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For your sister on a health kick ...
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For your cousin that loves to hike ...
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For your J.K. Rowling-obsessed nephew ...
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For your roommate who loves a good 'Spa Day' ...
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For your aunt who loves Megyn Kelly ... 
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And lastly... because who doesn't love an Amazon gift card?
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