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Amazon Reveals Fake Vendor, Product Data; to Mention Seller Address on Listings to Gain Trust

Amazon has published its first ever Brand Protection Report, detailing a self-audited list of numbers and measures that it has taken in order to counter the presence of fake products on the platform. The report underlines measures that the brand has seemingly taken in order to reduce fake sellers and products on the platform in all markets where it has a presence, and has also spoken about steps that it already takes, or will take going forward, in a bid to gain more consumer trust in its services. Among these moves, Amazon states that starting 2021, all global markets including Amazon India will get product listings that not only show the seller name but also the seller address, in a bid to add transparency to the overall product marketing process.

Volume of fake sellers and products

Amazon says that its process of seller verification via one-on-one video calls and physical interactions have helped it ban over 6 million seller applications even before they were listed on the platform, up from 2.5 million in 2019. The global e-commerce major further claims that of all applications, only 6 percent of all attempted new seller registration applications passed Amazon’s screening process. However, this metric is not divided on a per-market basis to give insight into which nations end up offering the highest number of counterfeit seller registration attempts.

When it comes to products, Amazon claims that it “scanned more than 5 billion attempted changes to product detail pages daily, for signs of potential abuse.” The company also claims to have seized over 2 million products from its warehouses and fulfilment centres through the year, as a result of the company’s counterfeit product detection efforts. It did not detail whether this number holds true for just USA or the entire world, and what technologies did Amazon use in order to detect these products as counterfeit. Additionally, Amazon has claimed that less than 1 in 10,000 products sold via Amazon have received consumer complaints through 2020.

Tools and partnerships

Amazon highlighted Project Zero, which it says is an automated machine learning product that can be signed up for by brands in order to detect counterfeit products on the platform. In terms of its efficiency, Amazon states, “For every 1 listing removed by a brand through our self-service counterfeit removal tool, our automated protections removed more than 600 listings through scaled technology and machine learning that proactively addresses potential counterfeits and stops those listings from appearing in our store.” The technology has been offered to Amazon India brands since 2019.

As for other actions, Amazon highlighted the introduction of its copyright aid feature for small businesses, called IP Accelerator, to India and other markets. Under this, small and independent sellers on Amazon will get access to Amazon certified legal partners, as well as Amazon affiliated brand registry and counterfeit protection tools. It did not highlight how many takers for its services has it found in India so far.

Finally, Amazon has highlighted that it now has partnerships with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association, among other global bodies, to help cut down further on fake sellers and products on its platform. The issue is a sensitive one, found to be persistent in listings of key products such as face masks during the outbreak of the first wave of Covid-19.

During an investigation, News18 found that while most e-commerce platforms had a standing, generic anti-counterfeiting policy, it was largely inadequate, and was being easily bypassed by companies to market fake products at largely inflated prices on its platform. With its first Brand Protection Report, Amazon will hope to offer a more robust accountability and recourse against counterfeiting – which is expected of its stature as a global e-commerce behemoth.

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