Here’s why Amazon needs unauthorized seller removal
A few decades ago, cracking down on counterfeit products was straightforward. A company would hire private investigators and try to gather evidence of counterfeits through undercover missions. Since counterfeits do not necessarily rile up the masses, these covert operations are not necessarily difficult. After all, a merchant wants to sell his wares and there is no reason for him to doubt a potential customer of a harmless leather jacket. It becomes a bit more difficult the moment you start tracing back from the seller to the supplier. But schemes like these will have many leads, in as many stores that sell the counterfeits, in fact.
Reminiscing how it was to bust crimes back then is all well and good but what we have learned before unfortunately did not prepare us for what was to come. The wave of online selling has become the target of counterfeiters, in no small part, because of how easy it is to maintain your anonymity behind a computer monitor. Back then, the potential counterfeit store would lead us to the back to see his wares. Today, there are basically a thousands upon thousands of these stores that you have to check. Such is the complexity of counterfeit enforcement brought upon by Amazon, eBay and every giant third party seller out there. That is why there is a need for the company to regulate their own and practice unauthorized seller removal.
Unauthorized Seller Removal Can Help
Knowing what the problem is does not necessarily mean that we know how to solve it but it is a start. Shutting down one online counterfeit seller, and indeed even a hundred, will not mean that the problem will be solved. A lot of opportunists out there are waiting for a chance to pounce and gain their illegitimate slice of the pie. Amazon counterfeiters are particularly notorious. The company itself values third-party sellers as the main drivers of sales for their business. They do not shy away from the fact that they even outdo the products that they do sell themselves. What this means is that, if you consider each of these resellers as potential counterfeiters, then you would end up in an endless loop.
Other online stores like eBay, Newegg and more recently, Walmart, have had their share of counterfeiting problems. The problem is not limited to Amazon despite them probably being plagued by it the worst. On the bright side, all of these companies are trying to curb the problem. Amazon, in particular, have devoted teams to look at complaints filed by legitimate third-party resellers. However, due simply to the number of online transactions that rise year by year, the sources of potential counterfeits have risen along with it. At a glance, the increase has been exponential. By the end of last year, the number of counterfeit seizures have doubled with no sign of stopping.
As an online third party seller, it is imperative for you to be familiar with the kinds of protections that your online selling platform affords you. Amazon for instance has put up several options to call for help should you believe that someone is counterfeiting your product within the online platform itself.
Liability of Amazon For Unauthorized Seller Removal
The common recourse for sellers when they find counterfeiters of their products on platforms like Amazon is to file complaints against the owners of the site itself. However, this never really pans out because one can argue that Amazon were not the ones who were selling counterfeits but those who use their service. If we look at the same scenario in a different setting, you can argue the same for a brick and mortar store selling counterfeits while renting commercial space. The rentee cannot be held responsible, in the same way, for the mis-actions done by their tenants.
Amazon, to their credit, do intend to pursue the matter. They have made substantial investments in preventing the counterfeit products from flooding their online market. This comes as no surprise because their platform itself is at risk for whatever inconveniences that their partners may encounter. Most of the solutions that were presented relied heavily on computing and artificial intelligence, in particular. This solves the problem of having a group of people, with limited capacity, to hunt down the counterfeiters. Patterns of the counterfeiters will be fed into a machine learning algorithm in hopes to understand their behavior.
The customers who feel that they have been a victim of counterfeit products would be able to get a full refund. This removes the fear of losing money over products that they may feel are not up to standard. This is, however, just a stop-gap solution as the counterfeiters need to be apprehended earlier in their crimes. And finally, on the legal front, known companies that resell counterfeits through their site have been filed with lawsuits. At the very least, this could be a deterrent for the behavior and may be a fruitful enterprise in the future.
Fighting Back With Unauthorized Seller Removal
The easiest way to protect your product is by giving a warranty. A simple warranty will reward customers for seeking out legitimate suppliers. This way, buying from the counterfeiters will run the risk even if their products are not counterfeits but are simply procured illegally.
Facing the counterfeiters themselves is also a valid option. But, this confrontational approach may not be for the faint of heart. Talking does not necessarily have to equate into a threat however. Just learning about how they operate and the kinds of tendencies they possess may help you battle them on. Think of it as scouting an enemy.
Finally, it is perhaps the most effective way to deter potential counterfeiters by regularly monitoring your listings. There is no easy way to do it since a few thousands of sellers join Amazon everyday. You may inquire for services that can do this work for you. Awareness is key when it comes to problems like these. And it may not be for your best interest to let the problem grow by itself without anyone intervening. This is your business after all, and you have to take initiative.