The counterfeit problem is a rising issue for Amazon
Amazon undoubtedly is the world’s largest online retailer, with the advancement in internet and technology the company is growing at a very fast rate and is creating new benchmarks every year. The company has individual websites, software development centers, customer service centers and fulfillment centers in many locations around the world. But with the development, it seems like the company’s counterfeit problems are getting worse. Amazon is not a seller; it provides a platform for the third-party sellers. The third party sellers are independent sellers who offer a variety of new, used, refurbished, and collectible merchandise.

These can be brand name products or unbranded goods bought at wholesale from factories. According to the recent data, around 40%-60% of the products available on Amazon’s website are counterfeit products or lesser quality rebranded replicas of brand name products. Counterfeit goods are fake items deliberately made to look genuine. The Chinese factories are the biggest producer of such goods and the products range from clothes, bags, watches, cosmetics and electronic items. Even the pirated DVDs. CDs, computer software, and games also come under the same list. Nowadays, the fake Chinese products sale is increasing and most of them are now being sold online.

While shopping from online websites like Amazon, consumers generally have a perception of the chain as Manufacturer to Amazon and Amazon to the consumer. But the reality is quite different; Amazon provides the platform to the manufacturer as well as the third party sellers. The third party sellers are the one who ships the products from their shops or warehouse. The counterfeit problem is arising because of the third party sellers providing fake or Chinese products. Importing goods from Chinese factories are a bonus and provide these sellers with much profit. The third party has three options when they are selected by Seller Central:

1. Self Fulfillment- the third party directly ship to the customer and no prime badge is provided.

2. Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) - you ship the product to an Amazon warehouse and Amazon fulfills the order for you. Moreover, the products are delivered with a prime badge.

3. Seller Fulfilled Prime- you directly ship the product to the customer but with the same terms as Amazon does. The products are delivered with a prime badge.

How do fake products get into Amazon?

Setting up an Amazon third-party seller account is easy and anyone in the world can do it with just a few clicks. There is almost no barrier to entry. China is incredibly gifted at copying whatever product they can get their hands on. They can replicate that product almost perfectly and if you know anything about China’s ability to copy and replicate brand name products, then the picture becomes clear. So unscrupulous Amazon sellers can obtain counterfeit or knocked off brand name products and sell them as their own. Refer for an example from the pet industry.

How to avoid buying a fake product?

Providing focus on few details can help you from buying fake products. Here are a few tips that can help you from getting counterfeit goods

a. Check for the shipping location of the product, most of the brand name products are directly shipped from the brand’s warehouse.

b. Thoroughly enquire about the products which are sold at significantly less price.

c. Check for the sellers rating and product review before making the purchase.

d. Read through product description, many third-party sellers on Amazon that uses a brand name in the title of their listing their product description states that the product is generic.

Even if you are having slightest doubt on its originality, without any hesitation return the product and get refund.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer