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Amazon's counterfeit goods problem growing - Here's how to fight back

Amazon's counterfeit goods problem growing - Here's how to fight back
Amazon Cracking Down On Counterfeit Products
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Who doesn't love online shopping? It's such a convenient way to get the things you need without having to battle the crowds at the mall. You don't even have to get out of your pajamas if you so choose.

Amazon is the largest online retailer and you can find most anything imaginable to purchase. The downside is, the retail giant has had a rash of counterfeit items showing up on its site recently. There may be some good news on that front, though.

What Amazon is doing to crack down on counterfeit products

There are three ways that Amazon fulfills orders:

  1. Amazon Direct products are sold and shipped by Amazon.
  2. Amazon Fulfillment items are provided to Amazon by a third-party. They are then warehoused and shipped by Amazon.
  3. Amazon Marketplace products are sold and shipped directly from third-party sellers.

Many of the counterfeit items come from the Amazon Marketplace. That's because those items are never inspected by Amazon.

Now, Amazon is taking a step to try and fend off fake items. The company announced that any brand will be able to register its logo and intellectual property with Amazon so that counterfeit listings can be removed and seller accounts can be flagged.

The brand registry will be made available as early as next month for free in North America. The registry will allow Amazon, brands and shoppers to flag any counterfeit items that are discovered.

This will not only battle counterfeit items but also attract more reputable third-party sellers. Amazon gets a commission from third-party sales, which makes it important to raise consumer confidence in the Marketplace.

How to tell if an item is counterfeit

It can be difficult to spot a counterfeit item. Scammers are great at producing fake products, but there are some things you can watch out for:

  • Quality - Counterfeit items don't go through the same quality control procedures that the real items do. If the item doesn't seem to be up to standard or is poorly made, there's a good chance it's fake.
  • Too good to be true deal - If you see a product that is being sold by an unknown source and it's really inexpensive, it's probably fake. If it is a bargain that is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Incorrect packaging - Items made by reputable businesses will not have simple mistakes on its packaging. Counterfeit items may have the wrong logo design or could even have misspelled words.
  • Make sure you receive all items - Many counterfeit products are sent without things like the owner's manual or product registration card. If you receive an item without these things it's most likely fake.

Now that you know how to spot a fake item, follow these steps to help battle the problem:

  • Third-party sales - If you purchase an item from a third-party, make sure the seller has contact information or a website so you can do some research for yourself.
  • Buyers - If you purchase an item and determine it is counterfeit you need to report it to Amazon. Click here to report it on the Amazon site.
  • Sellers  - If you are a seller and find counterfeits of your product you need to report it to Amazon. Click here to fill out a form to report infringement and get the counterfeit page taken down.

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Source: Reuters
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