We have heard about counterfeit products being sold on Amazon, but are they affecting us? Today, I will share with you two stories which will tell you that the problem could affect even a smaller brand.
- A cosmetics D2C brand was launched in December 2019. New brand, no publicity and just started selling on Amazon and Flipkart. Within a couple of months, this brand discovered that a seller had already started offering products using their brand name. Clearly, these products were counterfeit.
- A recent social media post highlighted that about 30 sellers are selling potential counterfeit/fake products of a feminine hygiene products brand, launched a few years back.
Counterfeiting is a problem faced by big as well as small brands and as a brand owner, you need to make sure that you put efforts to tackle this menace. In this newsletter, we discuss why it is important for you to take immediate action and how you can eliminate such issues:
How do counterfeit products affect brands?
- Loss of sales: Naturally, if the product is counterfeit, you don’t get the sale. The counterfeit products directly compete with your products and often they are sold at a lower price. What is worse is that you may be advertising your product, but the sale will be clocked by the seller of the counterfeit product.
- Degrade brand reputation and value: Counterfeits severely damage a brand’s reputation. Customers are usually unaware that the products they are buying are fake. In case, the items do not meet their expectations, or they are damaged and spoiled, the customers will blame the authentic brand. Dissatisfied customers will start leaving negative reviews and ratings online, further cementing the reputation crisis and furthering the misconception that the brand itself manufactures low-quality products.
- Compromise product quality and safety: The products sold by these counterfeiters may not adhere to the legally required product quality and safety standards. For categories that have mandatory reporting requirements, the counterfeited products pose an even bigger problem.
- Damage relationship with authorized sellers: The relationship between the brand and its authorized sellers is also affected. If a seller has a price agreement with the brand, and they see listings on Amazon offering lower prices for products then they will lose trust in the brand.
How to deal with counterfeit products?
Now that you know how counterfeits are affecting your brand, the major question that arises is- how do you deal with the problem of counterfeit products? Here is a step-by-step approach to tackling this growing problem:
Step 1: Identify potential counterfeit products and unauthorized sellers: Following are two types of counterfeit products that exist in the Amazon system-
- Exact counterfeits: Some unauthorized sellers attach to your existing product listings and start selling your or counterfeit products. They may also create duplicates of your listings.
- Variation counterfeits: Some unauthorized sellers start selling fake copies of your products by converting your product designs into their own versions, listing them as variations of your products.
It is necessary to identify these issue listings and their sellers on Amazon. If your ASINs are few, you can do this manually. However, an automated system to identify the issues is quite useful.
Step 2: Regular monitoring and tracking: Once you have identified the issue listings and their sellers, you need to keep a check on them. Here’s how you can do this –
- Closely monitor the prices at which your products are being sold by all the sellers
- Regularly track the sellers that sell your products.
Regular monitoring is necessary, as some sellers may cease to sell your products at some point of time but may list them again after a few days.
Step 3: Take action to eliminate them:
- Approach the sellers directly: Contact these unauthorized sellers directly and issue warnings and notices.
- Report to Amazon: File a listing violation complaint against these unauthorized sellers on Amazon. You can use Amazon’s Intellectual Property Rights Tool to get these sellers banned from selling your products on the marketplace.
- Make use of legal channels: Legal channels can be utilized to address the issues of violation of your policies, intellectual property, distribution, or copyright. For this, you may also have to place test buys from these sellers to validate the quality of those products.
The overall online counterfeit market is estimated to be around USD 300 billion globally. The problem is bound to increase in future and hence needs to be addressed proactively.
Growisto has developed an AI-based tool to identify potential counterfeit products and unauthorized sellers on Amazon. Want to get a demo of our tool, hit reply