Fighting against Counterfeit Products on Amazon

Amazon is very serious when it comes to their brand image, that it has spent the last decade building up. Consumers trust Amazon highly, and so much so that one survey found that:   

“Most people would miss Amazon if it were to disappear” and “most people trust Amazon as much as their bank.”   

Amazon’s guidelines are very clear, that it is up to sellers to provide genuine products and failing that means immediate suspension of the account. Despite the strict guidelines, there are still many sellers selling counterfeit products, and often “piggybacking on existing product pages; which obviously impacts our sales. The problem is so big that:  

In a 2016 lawsuit against the former Amazon supplier Mobile Star, Apple described buying more than 100 iPhones, power adapters and lightning cables sold as genuine, to discover that almost 90% of the products were counterfeit. source

So, what to do when you see fake products that look like yours?   

It is always a good idea to buy it from the seller to prove that the product is not genuine. This just ensures that you can prove your claim is 100% correct.

Where to report fake products?

You can report it following this official link:

What does Amazon do when fake products are reported?

In order to protect the integrity and trust, Amazon’s auto system often instantly closes the listing when a customer claims a product as inauthentic. Another action is account suspension. It is the seller’s responsibility to prove that their item is genuine. So, in Amazon’s rule of law, you are guilty until you’re proven innocent.

To prove genuine products, a seller has to submit invoices and an authorisation letter from the manufacturer to sell the product.

Can this happen to you even if you are selling genuine products?

Most sellers sell genuine products and as a result of this situation, it is small and medium-sized sellers who suffer from this. A buyer can simply file a case that the product is inauthentic simply because they think something does not look right, or they did not get the result as expected from using the product. Currently, there isn’t a system for Amazon to check this process.

Is there any way to avoid this issue?

It is difficult to avoid it 100% of the time, but ways to avoid it as best as possible include sending products in the original box, ensuring there is complete documentation and warranty are a good way to avoid this issue. Additionally, dealing with any buyer queries immediately helps avoid this sort of situation.

Is brand gating the way forward?

Yes, once a brand is “gated,” when a third party attempts to “list against” your ASIN, they’ll receive a notice that he must be approved to sell the brand as new.

In order to apply for brand gating, your brand must first already be part of Amazon’s Brand Registry Program. It is a free programme and you can do it following this link:  Whether you are a Seller Central or Vendor Central user, this is a must do the process. Then it is all about letting Amazon know of your ASINS.

Once you are approved if anyone tries to list against your ASIN, they will be shown the notice below.

If you are a retailer in a similar situation it makes sense getting your brand registered and work on gating your brand right away. If you have further question please feel free to schedule a call.