The battle with Amazon counterfeiters continues. But whose battle is it?
Back in 2014 Amazon began aggressively courting Chinese sellers. Since then, it has been a counterfeit product free for all affecting the sellers and customers on their platform. Years and multiple lawsuits later, this rampant counterfeiting is still going on with no signs of stopping.
Offering perks like free international shipping & reduced fees. The platform was quickly deluged with all kinds of counterfeit products exactly duplicating the look and packaging of some of Amazons top sellers. These items very obviously commingled with the inventory of legitimate sellers without their knowledge. ‘Commingling’ is an option that sellers have that allow them to have their inventory stored with that of other sellers. At least we thought it was an option. An option, that I quickly learned, was not a good one. However, an option it is. One that Amazon feels is at their own discretion, even over the wishes of their sellers.
They are aware that fakes are being openly sold on their platform, yet do nothing about it. Heck, they themselves copy the best selling products, using very a very finely tuned algorithm to mete out the best products They then go nose to nose with their most lucrative sellers for the bottom line under their Amazon Basics brand. All with no shame. Often, Amazon’s products are far un-superior to the actual product. Do we need to guess who is manufacturing these products?
The fact that they openly destroy businesses by comingling (mishandling) the inventory of legitimate business owners shows their lack of concern for the sellers on their platform. They should be fully liable for the service that they CHARGE FOR. The mistake Amazon makes is in thinking, for some reason not known to mankind, that they own the seller, when they simply charge for & provide a service. Same as any other business.
All of this falls back down to the customer.
Each bad review equals a dissatisfied customer. Customers who are NOT receiving the product they thought they were purchasing. Funny, that Amazon has always maintained that these are THEIR customers, not those of the seller. This is true, of course, until they receive a counterfeit item or taxes are involved, then they quickly become the sellers’ customer. A fickle friend indeed.
Of course Amazon’s predominant concern is their bottom line. A dollar earned is a dollar earned. But at what cost? I do not agree that they are not liable for the activities of counterfeiters that they openly invited onto their platform. For me, it did not take a college degree to figure out how this was going to go. I expected that a behemoth like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos would know better. The question is who does Amazon care about. It is certainly not their sellers. It is certainly not their customers and where will this finally end up?
My two cents.
An article written by David Pierson for the LA Times , adds an additional look into this mayhem.