What is the Amazon Transparency Program?
In March 2017 Amazon introduced a new measure to cut down on counterfeiting and the sale of fake goods on the site.
The Amazon Transparency Program is a system that that enables Amazon to authenticate each item before it is shipped to the customer. Protected products must pass the Transparency authentication check in order to reach the delivery stage of Amazon fulfilment, whether sold by the brand owner or a third party seller.
If another seller attempts to hijack a listing and sell counterfeit products, their fakes will be flagged by Amazon and won’t reach the customer. This program is designed to ensure that the end customer receives the authentic product they ordered, not a cheap imitation, and is available in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and India.
So how does it work? Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey - who welcomes all moves to clamp down on counterfeiting on Amazon - explains.
Gedey said: “When brands or sellers sign up for the Amazon Transparency Program, they are issued with a series of Transparency codes - to be exact, a Data Matrix 2D barcode. Brands and sellers are then responsible for placing a Transparency code on each unit that they intend to sell.
“Each unit gets its own unique code which is tracked and traced back to a single brand, so Amazon knows which code belongs to which brand. So if you manufacture 1,000 units, Amazon will generate 1,000 unique codes - one for each unit. If a shipment of products that are signed up to Transparency come to Amazon without the codes, the associated seller will be investigated, and the inventory will be rejected or destroyed. Sellers pay for Transparency codes based on quantity, ranging from one cent to five cents per code.
“Amazon alsonow offers a Transparency mobile app that customers can use to easily authenticate Transparency-protected products purchased both online or in-store. When you scan the code with a smartphone, the app shows a green check mark if the code is authentic and a red X if not.”
So what are the main benefits of the Amazon Transparency Program?
Gedey continued: “There are three main benefits. First of all you are protecting your brand’s reputation, or the brand that you’re selling. If customers are buying products that are fake through Amazon they are unlikely to be happy and it will tarnish that brand.
“The program also prevents black hat practises such as significantly undercutting you on prices by selling fake goods. And it protects high value or best selling products that are most liable to be damaged by counterfeiters.”
How do I sign up to Amazon Transparency?
Before enrolment, Amazon Sellers will have to meet certain requirements. You must be brand-registered and 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 you mist be able to apply unique Transparency codes on every unit you sell.
Once you tick all of those boxes, click on the “Get Started” button on Amazon’s Transparency page, fill out a short form and then click “request more information” and wait for Amazon to get in touch. If you are accepted, you can chose the products you want protecting.
You can read the further details of the scheme and how it works via Amazon here: https://brandservices.amazon.co.uk/transparency.
What to do if your Amazon Seller Account is Suspended?
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 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.