Is Amazon’s latest measure enough to stop counterfeit crime?
Amazon’s efforts to end counterfeit crime on the site have been criticised as inadequate in the past - so is there latest move going to make more of a difference?
Amazon has announced the creation of a new ‘Counterfeit Crimes Unit’ which will be responsible for finding and pursuing those trying to sell fake goods on the site.
Amazon says the new unit will be a global team including former prosecutors, investigators and data analysts.
“Every counterfeiter is on notice that they will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible under the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeits or where they’re located,” Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president for customer trust and partner support, said in a statement.
“We are working hard to disrupt and dismantle these criminal networks, and we applaud the law enforcement authorities who are already part of this fight.
“We urge governments to give these authorities the investigative tools, funding, and resources they need to bring criminal counterfeiters to justice because criminal enforcement – through prosecution and other disruption measures such as freezing assets – is one of the most effective ways to stop them.”
Amazon has previously stated that in 2019 it spent over $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees fighting against fraud, and blocked over six billion listings that year too. The new Crimes Unit will investigate cases where bad actors have tried to evade Amazon’s systems, and will be able mine Amazon data and gather information from external sources to find those responsible.
Amazon also claims that the new group will allow the company to more effectively pursue civil litigation, in addition to helping law enforcement officials around the world in criminal moves against counterfeiters.
For Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey, the move is overdue - but promising. Gedey explained: “Counterfeiting on Amazon has long been one of the biggest issues on the site for genuine and honest Sellers.
“Losing out on business to rivals that are breaking the law is hugely frustrating, and has been for an extended period of time. It also massively undermines Amazon’s ‘customer first’ approach, and leads to negative feedback and distrust in the site.
“What we have also seen in recent years is an increase in ‘super fake’ items - those copying the most expensive products, such as luxury watches, and doing it increasingly effectively.
“Amazon has made moves before to try and minimise this, but this latest one does appear to be the most comprehensive yet. Creating a new dedicated team that includes former prosecutors and investigators should give them an edge that they have been lacking in the past.
“The proof of the pudding will come in the eating however, when we see how effective the new department is in reality. It will certainly be hailed as a welcome investment if they manage to eradicate counterfeiting on Amazon.”
What do do if you have been suspended and accused of selling inauthentic items.
If you have found yourself suspended for selling inauthentic items, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Amazon Seller business back online as quickly as possible.
Thompson and Holt are also offering a free months 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.