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Amazon only protects its chums from counterfeiters

by on19 October 2021

If your brand is unknown you get no protection

Amazon only seems interested in protecting big name brands from counterfeiters and not those who come up with good ideas but are not as famous.

According to Bloomberg there are two classes of merchant on Amazon those who get special protection from counterfeiters and those who don't.

The first category includes sellers of some big-name brands, such as Adidas, Apple and even Amazon itself. They benefit from digital fortifications that prevent unauthorised sellers from listing certain products -- an iPhone, say, or eero router -- for sale.

However Fred Ruckel, inventor of a popular cat toy called the Ripple Rug, found that Amazon was not interested when knockoff artists began selling versions of his product, siphoning off tens of thousands of dollars in sales and forcing him to spend weeks trying have the interlopers booted off the site.

In 2016 Amazon had begun requiring would-be sellers of a select group of products to get permission to list them. But the company doesn't publicise the program, but in the merchant community it has become known as "brand gating".

Most merchants, many of them small businesses, rely on Amazon's algorithms to ferret out fakes before they appear -- an automated process that dedicated scammers have managed to evade.

Last modified on 19 October 2021
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