Amazon, Brands, and the Counterfeit Problem
Amazon Has a Problem
Amazon is admitting it has a counterfeit problem that is affecting large and small brands alike. In fact, the problem has escalated to the point that Amazon is now warning investors that it is one of the biggest problems the company is facing. The world's largest eCommerce retailer is attempting to tackle the problem through brand gating and brand registry.
In addition, Amazon announced in February of 2019 that it was putting the power in the hands of the brands to delete fake listings with their Project Zero program . However, this is an invite only program and there have been some hiccups along the way for brands and Amazon alike. Legitimate brands have been flagged as counterfeiters by fraudsters on the site, causing Amazon to shut down brand stores and remove listings, at a huge cost to the brand or manufacturer.
Advice to Brands
While Amazon is working to curb the number of counterfeiters and hijackers that are selling on the 3p marketplace, what can brands do to protect themselves?
First, keep an eye on your content. Not only can changes to your content by an unauthorized seller affect your listing SEO, it could also signal that your listing is being hijacked. The easiest way to track changes to your listing is through a third party tool, like Copybox, that sends notifications when any unauthorized content changes occur.
Second, monitor your product reviews. As customers begin to receive counterfeit items that don't meet a brand's standards, there will be a sudden uptick in negative reviews. This can destroy brands as their star rating plummets and they lose consumer confidence. Brands who don't monitor reviews can be blindsided by unhappy customers who don't realize they purchased fake goods.
Finally, track 3p sellers and monitor your minimum advertised price (MAP). Tools like Pricebox help brands monitor stock and MAP, which in turn helps them maintain control of the buy box on Amazon. Listing hijackers may be selling grey stock at rock bottom prices, which can result in lost consumer confidence and brand's being ousted from reputable retailers who don't tolerate being underpriced.
In addition to tools like Reviewbox, Copybox, and Pricebox, you may need to seek some legal help. That's where companies like Brand Guarde come in - helping brands with legal aspects of brand protection and seller policies. Join Reviewbox and Brand Guarde as we discuss the tools brands need to protect their listings from hijackers. Register here for our upcoming webinar.