Why Amazon now requires US Sellers to disclose their address
Amazon has informed its US Sellers that they will have to follow Europe, Japan and Mexico in having to disclose their business name and address on their public profile.
The move comes into effect from September 1, 2020 after a notice was sent to Sellers on Wednesday July 8. Sellers were already required to provide this information to Amazon, but this new measure makes it available to consumers.
The message sent by Amazon to Sellers reads: “These features help customers learn more about the businesses of a seller and the products that they are selling. We are making this change to ensure there is a consistent baseline of seller information to help customers make informed shopping decisions.”
It is an attempt to give customers a greater ability to vet third-party Sellers and their product before making a purchase, as well as potentially helping them to track down merchants that they suspect are selling unsafe or counterfeit goods on the platform. It could also help serve brands that are trying to spot unauthorised sellers of their products.
E-commerce research suggests that the US marketplace accounts for around 461,000 active sellers from a global total of over two million, so it is a significant move by Amazon.
In a further statement later issued to news outlets via spokesperson, Amazon expanded: “Over the years, we have developed many ways for sellers to share more about their business, including through features like the seller profile pages, ‘Store’ pages for brand owners, and Handmade ‘Maker Profile’ pages. These features help customers learn more about sellers’ businesses and their products.
“Beginning September 1, we will also display sellers’ business name and address on their Amazon.com seller profile page to ensure there is a consistent baseline of seller information to help customers make informed shopping decisions.”
The change in policy will make it harder to be an anonymous seller within Amazon Marketplace, and also ensures that customers will know exactly which individual or entity they’re buying from and where that business is located.
Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey has welcomed the move - but warns that it might not be an entirely positive one.
Gedey explained: “Given that Amazon has long required Sellers in Europe, Japan and Mexico to publish their business name and address on their public profile, it makes sense to mirror that move in America. And with that will come good news from a brand and Seller standpoint.
“I think we will see mistaken IP infringement claims go down, which should have the positive knock-on effect of reducing the load that is currently planned on Amazon’s Notice teams. At times they can be overwhelmed with the volume of IP infringement complaints, both real and fake. I think this move will deter baseless or erroneous complaints in America moving forward.
“What we have seen happen is brands or rights owner reporting Sellers in error, basically because they cannot match the storefront they see to a known customer. Even when companies purchasing from authorised distributors are cited, the brand might have no idea that they are doing that.
“If in future they can identify who is counterfeiting their products quickly and more accurately, that should work in everybody’s interests.
“Where the negative may come in, is the potential for the system to be abused, with fake counterfeit claims going down from brands who understand how to ‘game’ Amazon’s often inconsistent enforcement systems. The bigger picture needs to be considered before assessing how successful the move has been.”
The news has been welcomed by many in America. In recent years, Amazon has launched a number of initiatives in an attempt to down on counterfeit and unsafe goods, but lawmakers and the Trump administration continue to pressure the company on these issues. In January, the Department of Homeland Security released a report on combating counterfeits, which included a number of recommendations for e-commerce companies like Amazon, such as enhancing third-party vetting processes by requiring various forms of identification.
TIP: 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.
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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.