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Amazon appears to be getting serious about ridding its site of fake goods

Amazon HQ
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock
Amazon is stepping up efforts to purge its site of fake goods, an immense task considering the vast size of its sprawling site filled with products from an expanding global network of third-party sellers.

The ecommerce giant is so determined to clean up its online store that it’s hit the courts, this week filing lawsuits that for the first time go after sellers allegedly offering counterfeit products to customers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The legal documents – filed in a Washington court on Monday – state than when customers buy fake products from the online retail site, “it undermines the trust that customers, sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand and causing irreparable reputational harm.”

One of the suits focuses on a number of outlets that have allegedly been selling fake Forearm Forklift straps for moving heavy loads. The California-based company recently appeared in a CNBC feature about how its business has been “ravaged over the past half-decade by counterfeiters, mostly selling on Amazon.” It was even claimed last month that an incredible 90 percent of items sold on Amazon as genuine Apple products are actually fake.

In other efforts to rid the site of counterfeiters and their phony goods, Amazon has recently begun demanding invoices from new sellers of particular brands to prove that the products are coming from legitimate sources.

Amazon says it invests heavily in systems designed to weed out bogus items and bans the sellers from the site whenever it identifies them.

The legal action against sellers of counterfeit goods follows other recent lawsuits from Amazon that targeted companies creating fake online reviews for merchants. The Seattle-based behemoth has even sent its lawyers after some of the merchants who create or buy those fake reviews in the hope of deterring others from becoming involved in the underhand behavior.

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