• Stuart White

How does Amazon Transparency work and should I join?

Inauthentic and counterfeited items remain a serious issue for Amazon, but there is a way for Sellers to combat the trend.

Amazon Transparency is a product serialisation service that helps identify individual units and proactively prevent counterfeits from reaching customers. The programme scans your products to ensure that only authentic units are shipped to customers. Whether items are fulfilled by Amazon or shipped directly by selling partners, Amazon scans each individual Transparency-enabled code to ensure that only authentic products are shipped.

Thompson and Holt managing partner Stuart White explained: “We still receive a lot of suspension enquiries over inauthentic and counterfeit goods. Some of these are down to genuine mistakes made by Sellers who don’t fully understand Amazon’s terms, but there is undoubtedly still a significant market on the site for black hat traders copying other people’s brands.

“Amazon Transparency is a good way to avoid this if you have a product that you fear is being copied by rival Sellers. It’s certainly worth taking some time to establish whether the scheme would help your product on the site.”

So how does Amazon Transparency work? Customers can authenticate any Transparency-enabled product, regardless of where they purchased it. The Transparency app for iOS or Android lets customers scan Transparency codes on products. Upon scanning, the app will show a green check mark if the code is valid and a red X if it is not.

Sellers can also provide customers with unit-level product details, including manufacturing date, manufacturing place, and enhanced product information. The Transparency app then allows customers to scan the Transparency code, authenticate the product and view the unit level information that you’ve chosen.

To be eligible for Amazon Transparency you need to be able to verify yourself as the brand owner for your products. You need a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), such as a UPC or EAN barcode on your products, and the ability to apply unique Transparency codes on every unit you manufacture.

Thompson and Holt’s Stuart White added: “This is a way to proactively prevent counterfeits. Amazon also has some case studies on their site which are worth reading - they are obviously putting a positive slant on the scheme, but they are from genuine brands that have used the programme. We’ve shown one of them below, from the founder of ‘Beard Head’, a company that produces knit hats that have a detachable beard.”

David Stankunas said: “I knew that just because we hadn't had an issue with counterfeiting before didn't mean we wouldn't have one. Transparency is a great programme. If you're a brand owner and you're concerned with fake sellers, there is no reason not to be part of Transparency. It is the most clear-cut, fail-safe protection.

“For us, the Transparency program’s most important feature is deterring and preventing bad actors from counterfeiting our products as we grow. The last thing we want is for our revenue to drop from lost sales due to counterfeits! And so far, so good; the protection has been worth it. I've not seen an issue with counterfeits since I joined. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Worried about an Amazon suspension?

If you have found yourself suspended while selling on Amazon, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.

Thompson and Holt are also offering a free month’s trial of their Monitor and Protect service to help sellers prevent a suspension of ASINs or an their account during the COVID pandemic, more information on how to protect your Amazon seller account from a suspension can be found here.

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