Amazon is finally fighting the fight against counterfeit products, sellers and brands that imitate the real ones out there. Story goes that the online retailer was contacted by Fayebeline, a California based baby clothing seller, to not only remove counterfeit product listings, but also ban the impersonators via appropriate action.
This is not the first time that Amazon, or any other online retailer had to deal with such dilemma. The problem is that it is hard to track down each and every bad actor who is either promoting or selling fake products at the said eCommerce websites. Fayebeline isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last one to experience such inconvenience at the hands of counterfeit products/ sellers.
There is the case of other genuine retailers from various other categories at Amazon. For instance, Hugh Milstein, a 25-year-old digital photographer, was making a decent amount of money by selling his original work at Amazon. Sometime later, another retailer popped up with Milstein’s listings, mixed in with work similar to his, and promoted at half the price.
Milstein was baffled, appalled and shocked at what came next. People buying knockoffs of his work gave negative reviews at his original seller listing page, thinking that he was “scamming” people by selling his artwork at relatively high price as compared to other “sellers” who are selling the same photos at very cheap rates.
Milstein said, This is unfair competition. Our sales have gone to virtually nothing.” He did complain and contact various Amazon customer support agents to share his grievances. Fortunately, his complaints didn’t fall on deaf ears because Amazon has been working on something called ‘Brand Central’, the company’s secret plan to help thwart such counterfeit products and impostors once and for all.
Milstein and Fayebeline just wished that Amazon announced ‘Brand Central’ a bit earlier, so that it could have at least saved genuine sellers all the hassle and reputation. At the moment, exact details about Amazon’s ‘Branch Central’ project are unknown because the company wants to keep it undercover. For a few people close to the project developers, it has now come to my attention that this project is aimed at helping small scale retailers and sellers at Amazon against phony product promoters.
‘Brand Central’ will aid genuine sellers in protecting their original work, trademark, or intellectual property, without having any second thoughts. The announcement is huge, but the work is tedious because Amazon is looking at protecting, filtering and screening over 300 million product listings. On the same lines, Amazon did take some strong steps in discouraging fakers.
In correspondence to ‘Brand Central’ announcement, an Amazon representative said, “Our company has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeit items on our website.” Therefore, Amazon has taken action such as filing proper lawsuit against phony product promoters, banning their accounts for life, and reaching out via emails to “disgruntled” customers who accidentally bought fake products under the wrong impression.
More so, Amazon has also encouraged small scale retailers and sellers to take part in the ‘Brand Central’ pilot program. For instance, the CEO of TRX, and exercise equipment retailer at Amazon, said, “I do feel very good about the efforts they are bringing forward. To thwart such people from depriving hard working retailers of their earnings, we are about to witness a sea change.”