If you sell products, Amazon is an exciting platform — it helps you reach an enormous audience across the world. As you become successful on Amazon, it’s important to keep an eye out for counterfeit copies of your product. In many cases, a proactive strategy and quick response can help you keep your competitive advantage.
How Do Amazon Counterfeits Happen?
When you sell a product on Amazon, it’s visible to shoppers in any country. If your product starts selling well, it can catch the eye of counterfeiters. These people then make a lower-quality copy of your product, often in China. Then, they create a third-party seller account on Amazon and start selling the product under your brand name, usually at a lower price. The problem? These products are usually low-quality, and customers might not realize they’re counterfeits. As a result, you could end up with unfair negative reviews and a reduction in sales.
How Can You Spot Counterfeits of Your Products?
Although Amazon has a robust system in place to stop counterfeiters, many are still able to slip through. As a small business owner, your best defence is to keep a lookout for illegal copies of your product. One great option is to simply run a search for your product name every day. If you spot a third-party seller that’s offering a strangely low price, or if the product photos aren’t quite right, you can investigate further. Many counterfeiters ship their fake products to Amazon, so you can often spot the listings as "sold by [seller name] and fulfilled by Amazon." It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your sales numbers. A sudden drop can mean that a counterfeiter is taking your sales.
What to Do If You Spot a Counterfeit Product
When it comes to counterfeit goods, quick action can save your business time and money. As soon as you spot a fake product, Amazon encourages you to report the infringement through your Seller Central account. Amazon reviews these claims, and if it discovers that the other seller is a counterfeit, it removes their account. You can also report this type of patent protection problem to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by phone or using its online Fraud Reporting System.
Educate Your Customers
Once you report fake copies of your products, it’s time to get the word out about them. When a company called Elevation discovered counterfeits on Amazon, it raised awareness with a blog post that went viral. Although Amazon does not allow you to call out other sellers in the Amazon listing, you can do so from your company’s blog, website, or social media. Another option is to help your customers spot fake versions of your product, either before or after the purchase — you might show side-by-side photos, point them toward genuine listings from your business, and tell them how to report fraudulent sellers if they accidentally purchase a fake. When your customers are aware of the problem, it’s easier to reduce lost sales to counterfeit sellers.
Fraudulent sellers are often inevitable on Amazon, but they don’t need to stop you from taking advantage of this powerful selling platform. In many cases, staying vigilant and taking quick action are enough to cut counterfeiters off at the pass.