An illustration of an Amazon box
Source: Inc. Magazine

Amazon sees dip in sellers signing up to sell counterfeits, company notes
In order to protect customers from fraudulent products, Amazon has been increasing investments to keep counterfeit products off its site.

Amazon logo seen at an office with employees in front
Amazon said that it saw a dip in sellers signing up to sell counterfeits.
Source: The Economic Times

E-commerce giant Inc reportedly stated that it ramped up investments last year to keep counterfeit products away from its retail website. Most importantly, it noted it even saw signs of its efforts  working, as revealed in an annual brand protection report released on Wednesday, June 1.

Revelations showed how the retail giant spent over $900 million on its anti-counterfeit programme, along with employing more than 12,000 individuals focused on the issue last year. Evidently, this is up from $700 million and the employment of 10,000 people in the year before that.

Simultaneously, the e-commerce company specified how its automated systems detected and prevented lesser attempts from bad actors from setting stores on its site last year. Along with it, Amazon stated how one measure showed fewer brands on average flagged cases that turning out to include counterfeits.

The vice president of technology at Inc, Mary Beth Westmoreland, stated how growing investment of money and manpowers from the company is a necessity. She pointed how this necessity highlights the fact that the issue of counterfeit is going to last, and how it is an ‘industry-wide problem.’

Evidently, the evil of counterfeiting has dwelled on retail sites for a while with counterfeiters selling inauthentic goods to millions of customers. This is owing to the simplicity that comes with online shopping where customers easily buy products and small businesses find a suitable global market.

“That unfortunately speaks to the fact the problem of counterfeit isn’t going away.”

Amazon, the most prominent e-commerce platform in the US, has been the recipient of growing criticism from consumer protection advocates, along with business groups. This is owing to them causing the exposure of shoppers to potentially dangerous counterfeits and unsafe businesses by offering a platform to fraudsters.

Notably, Amazon went on to hire AI scientists in charge of quick identification of fraudulent goods and shady sellers. Alongside, the e-commerce giant also responded through the creation of a brand registry establishing a communication line between the company and streamlines tools for reporting issues. Moreover, it even made a system for brands to suppress listing that seemed to be their products’ counterfeits.

Amazon even went on to sue sellers it alleged were selling fraudulent products, asking courts to direct them to halt their sales on the site. In April this year, Chinese authorities raided a warehouse comprising counterfeit luxury products following Amazon and fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo having shared intelligence on the alleged occurrence.

Though US lawmakers tried to look into counterfeits via legislation, Amazon did not receive their efforts as actively. Like Etsy and eBay, the retail giant endorsed the House of Representatives’ version of the INFORM Act. Essentially, this requires such platforms to verify informations of their sites’s sellers. However, this clearly opposed the bill’s Senate version, possibly creating risk of lawsuit in case companies do not follow a list of best practices.

As of now, Amazon has come up with a seller verification version, which requires in-person or video sessions with sellers, who are required give identification documents for the opening of online stores.