Amazon creates ‘brand registry’ to speed up removal of fake goods from its site

Amazon HQ
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Amazon is doubling down on efforts to rid its site of fake goods in a bid to give users of its online shopping service the best possible experience.

The issue of bogus goods on the site was brought into sharp focus last October when Apple claimed that up to 90 percent of Apple products sold on Amazon as genuine — including iPhones, Apple power products, and Lightning cables — were anything but. The tech giant was so incensed it took one of the sellers to court.

This week Amazon said that in the coming weeks it plans to expand a program to purge knock-off items from its site.

Starting in April, brands will be able to add their logo and intellectual property to an Amazon database as part of a system that should allow for faster removal of fake goods from the site when spotted by shoppers, the brand, or Amazon itself, Amazon’s Peter Faricy told Reuters this week.

The “brand database” has been in a testing phase, but will become available first to companies based in the U.S.

As well as reassuring customers, the company hopes it will also satisfy brands like Apple, upset at the apparent number of counterfeit products offered by sellers on Amazon’s vast online store.

Other efforts to tackle the problem include Amazon demanding invoices from new sellers of particular brands to prove that the goods are coming from legitimate sources.

The Seattle-based company is also filing lawsuits against sellers on its site that it believes are dealing in fake goods. In a suit launched last November, Amazon said that when visitors to its site purchase counterfeit items from its web store, “it undermines the trust that customers, sellers, and manufacturers place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand and causing irreparable reputational harm.”

But Faricy is well aware that the battle to completely rid the site of fake items is a monumental task, telling Reuters, “I don’t think it’s the kind of thing where you ever feel like there’s a clear ending, it’s a journey.”

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