Amazon Steps Up Effort To Rid Site Of Counterfeit Products

Image courtesy of DJHeini

Amazon has previously said it would escalate its war on counterfeit merchandise this year, but now the online retail giant is providing more details on how it plans to accomplish that feat. 

Reuters reports that Amazon’s “Brand Registry” — a test program that currently allows a handful of high-profile brands to register their products with Amazon, making it easier for the site to flag and remove fakes — will soon be expanded to include more brands.

This announcement was made by Peter Faricy, the VP in charge of Amazon Marketplace.

According to Faricy, starting as early as next month any brand can register its logo and intellectually property on the registry in North America. Amazon can then take down listings and seller accounts when counterfeit goods are flagged by the e-commerce company, brands, or shoppers.

Amazon is also preparing to offer another anti-counterfeiting program for customers. Dubbed Transparency, the program would create specific coded labels allowing shoppers to cross-check their purchases against official information, Reuters reports.

In addition to soon offering the brand registry and Transparency programs, Amazon has taken other steps in recent to cut back on counterfeit goods showing up in its marketplace.

In August the company began rolling out a new process, dubbed “brand gating,” requiring some sellers to pay a one-time nonrefundable fee and show invoices from manufacturers for each top brand they sell.

The fees, which can be as much as $1,500 per brand, are intended to weed out sellers who are either selling fakes or illicitly obtained products from brands like Nike, Adidas, and Hasbro.

Counterfeits have become a growing problem for Amazon and other e-commerce sites, like Alibaba.

In October Apple filed a trademark lawsuit against Mobile Star LLC, claiming the company sold counterfeit power products — like adapters and charging cables — on Amazon. The tech company filed the suit after purchasing more than 100 iPhone devices, power products, and lightning cables from Amazon over the past nine months, finding that 90% were fake.

Additionally, an increase in products from Chinese merchants has led to commingling of products at Amazon fulfillment centers. This allows the company to put together orders with products from different sellers, making it difficult to know you’re purchasing a counterfeit item.