Strategies to Handle Counterfeit Goods Mixed with Genuine Goods & Control of Sales on Amazon
There’s a serious issue on Amazon where you have sellers who will mix grey market / genuine products with counterfeit branded items.
The first step is that you need to catch the sellers selling at least one counterfeit item. This involves test buys. The goal of the test buy is to get the product from the seller with Amazon’s email to that shows that you actually received the product.
Amazon has a program called the transparency program. When it was developed and launched, Amazon presented it as sort of the be-all and end-all of brand protection. It absolutely is not perfect and you cannot rely on the transparency program alone to protect your products on Amazon.com from unauthorized sellers. But, the provision of QR codes through the transparency program is a very useful tool in terms of protecting your brand’s products from being sold by counterfeiters, by unauthorized sellers, and also by sellers who simply cannot deliver on the warranties that you have now built into your product.
Another step that brand protection needs on Amazon is a software solution to continuously monitor who is selling your branded products on Amazon. This is important for large and small brands. The software solution that we use is absolutely tremendous where we get a daily report for each of the brands that we’re monitoring. It goes ASIN by ASIN. (ASINs are Amazon’s identification system for every single product). This allows us to communicate with the unauthorized sellers, or an authorized seller who is going outside of your contract and is now selling on Amazon when they should not be selling your products online.
When you’re selling your products through your distribution channel, you likely have the brand, distributors, and retailers. Each one of these entities should not only have a contract with you, but a contract that actually has teeth. A contract that lets the retailer / distributor know that if your products end up online, they’re going to have financial responsibility. I highly recommend that’s what the contract says. That if your inventory ends up on Amazon specifically, that you will not only be cut off from future products, but you would be financially responsible for our clean up efforts to recoup control of sales on Amazon.com.
If you have questions on how to protect your brand sales on Amazon, call for a free consultation: 1-877-9-SELLER.
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Rosenbaum Famularo, PC, the law firm behind Amazon Sellers Lawyer.