With more than billions and billions of products on sale at any given moment on Amazon, it should come as no surprise that some of them will be counterfeit. What IS surprising however, is the actual number of counterfeit products popping up on the site.
If the Facebook Group "Who stole my images?" is any indication, more and more small retailers using sites like Zazzle and Society6 are being ripped off by counterfeiters, stealing their product images and selling knockoffs on Amazon for a fraction of the price.
In fact, one women in the Facebook group noted that the total number of her specific products being stolen and counterfeited, then sold on Amazon is 88. Another artist claims that the problem has caused a 50 percent drop in her revenue.
Take this throw pillow for example. On Zazzle it's selling for $31.60, in which the artist gets paid a royalty. (Zazzle then creates and manufactures the items and handles shipping.) The same throw pillow popped up on Amazon for a merely $3 from a seller named s4V3qiW. The page has since been removed by Amazon, but not before it raised the price to $12.99 and listed 19 other throw pillows.
Photo courtesy of CNBC
So what can you do to protect yourself from this scam? The rules are simple:
- Don't buy from third parties. If you do make sure the person selling it has contact information or a website so you can do some research for yourself.
- If you're a seller and find counterfeits of your products, fill out this form to report infringement and get the counterfeit page taken down.
- Zazzle merchants can also fill out this form to report offenses.