It is now very common for legit Amazon sellers to cry foul at the rampant selling of Chinese knock-offs in the Amazon marketplace which is causing uncertainty to their business and jeapordising sales.
Their average daily sales continue to dwindle as counterfeiters sell goods at half the original price, and fabricate reviews to improve their rankings on Amazon.
According to a report by CNBC, long-time third-party sellers on Amazon have brought this issue to the attention of the Company, asking them to come up with a solution that will stop Chinese manufacturers from manipulating the system.
Although they’re used to competition, the sellers won’t take the counterfeiting issue sitting down.
Amazon have released a statement to the Business Insider website in response to the complaints, and it states:
“Amazon does not allow the sale of counterfeit items on its Marketplace and occurrences of counterfeit products are very rare. Every customer who orders on Amazon is covered by our A-Z guarantee and if they do receive counterfeit goods from a marketplace seller, we will refund or replace that item.”
However, it failed to appease the sellers who believe that this problem all started when Amazon tied up with Chinese manufacturers to expand their logistics operation.
What Qualifies as a Counterfeit?
Amazon sellers are not restricted to selling only branded items; they may opt for unbranded ones if they want to.
Unfortunately, a counterfeiter would deliberately obtain goods from a manufacturing company and package them like their original counterparts.
Now that is the exact recipe for counterfeit goods.
Whether it’s a piece of clothing, gadget or software, if the product that you’re selling is a replica of another retailer’s brand then it’s most likely a counterfeit.
Not only does counterfeiting take advantage of unsuspecting consumers, but it also kills many legit businesses online and offline.
How You Can Fight Counterfeits
The widespread of counterfeit goods on different marketplaces has had a negative impact on many businesses, but you have the option to protect yours.
To avoid being a victim of cunning counterfeiters, it’s really important that you come up with a well-thought-out brand for your line of products.
All it takes is an ounce of creativity, a dash of patience and a rich contingency plan.
Come up with a brand name that your customers can easily associate with your products. Use a unique word or symbol to avoid ending up with a brand name which another seller is already using.
Ask a professional trademark lawyer to conduct a comprehensive search of the brand name that you have in mind. By doing so, you’ll know if anyone in the same line of business as you are is using the same or a similar name.
Once your trademark lawyer has confirmed the availability of the name, proceed to file an application to register it in order to prevent others from using it.
If a competitor on Amazon uses a trademark which is similar to yours, you can send them a trademark enforcement letter demanding them to remove their listings.
Suppose a trademark enforcement letter doesn’t work and they continue to sell, file a trademark infringement report with Amazon and they are going to take down the listings of the trademark copycat.
Suppressing counterfeit goods on Amazon may be difficult, but these tips are sure going to help safeguard not only your products but business as a whole.
What’s your take on this issue? We feel it is a shame that as honest sellers you have to go to such lengths to protect your business, but ultimately as entrepreneurs we do what we must.
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.
Dave & Matt