Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) played its best card by finally lashing out against fake products and merchandise, reports Bloomberg. Reports were ablaze of fake products being sold on this platform, but now Amazon has pulled the chord to ensure only genuine products and merchandise.
The world’s biggest online retailer will now create a brand registry where every brand, whether they are selling on the site or not, will need to register their products. Teams in the US and Europe will be working on the brand registry. According to the report, any merchants selling products on Amazon will need to provide evidence that they have the respective brand’s authorization.
News also surfaced last week of something called Brand Central, as reported by CNET, which is a suite of digital tools to assist sellers in combatting fakes and knockoffs. Details of this project are yet to be released, but reports say that Brand Central will help small sellers in guarding their intellectual property. Amazon, however, denied the existence of such a project to CNET.
Fight Against Counterfeit Products
The fight against fraudsters is still on. CNBC reports that this whole issue increased this year when Amazon decided to include Chinese manufacturers. Sellers like Birkenstock and Whaley faced low revenue days due to Chinese vendors selling cheap counterfeit products. Birkenstock had also cut off from Amazon in January for the very same reason, according to Bloomberg.
Apple sued a company that was selling counterfeit iPhone and iPad chargers, which were causing phones to explode.
But it seems like Amazon isn’t going to ignore the concerned voices anymore. Even before the news of the brand registration surfaced, Bloomberg had reported that the retail giant filed two lawsuits earlier this month against merchants selling counterfeit goods.
And that’s not all. In the last month, Amazon banned paid reviews from sellers, who give out their products to reviewers for free or at a discount. Dazeinfo had earlier reported that 92% of Indian internet users compare products and read reviews before buying products. Therefore, this move from Amazon should help in curbing fake product sales on its site.
Cold War with Alibaba to Freeze Over?
Southeast Asia is slowly becoming the greenfield for E-commerce giants. According to Forbes, the two retail giants, Amazon and Alibaba, are competing to take over this new land.
Both the companies are in constant competition. Amazon invested $600 million in Indonesia, $3 billion in India and is now planning to take over Singapore. Alibaba is not far behind, acquiring Rocket Internet’s Lazda and spreading out its finance investments in the South-east Asian region.
Why Southeast Asia?
The answer is simple. According to Forbes, America and China already locked up with their own E-commerce occupants. Thus, it is only Southeast Asia that holds the maximum potential for growing companies and startups.
However, both the companies are rampant with counterfeit products and scams. Dazeinfo had earlier reported that more than 62% of products listed on Alibaba are counterfeit. But with Amazon combatting its counterfeit product fiasco, it will be interesting to see the outcome of this Cold War!
Competition with Indian E-commerce Sites
Earlier in June, Dazeinfo reported that Amazon is set to invest almost $3 billion in India affecting the existing companies, Flipkart and Snapdeal.
The report said that “Flipkart’s valuation has been marked down from $15 billion to $9 billion, while Snapdeal also suffered the loss.” These factors are sure to aid the conquest of Amazon in our country. Further, it is highly unlikely that Amazon will stay behind Flipkart till 2019.
Amazon has steadily adapted itself according to the Indian market. It has strategically played its cards to boost sales in this country. Not just this, Amazon has posed an open threat to Flipkart and Snapdeal by capturing their existing customer share. Only time will tell if this eCommerce giant can beat the existing top eCommerce sites.
Save Yourself from Counterfeit Products
With the online market getting flooded with scams and fake sellers, it is best to be cautious. Look out for fake products, as they could end up causing damage and loss to yourself. Some guidelines on identifying such products are:
- Brand Validity: Research a brand name or company name thoroughly to be sure of its authenticity.
- Brand Tags: Every brand has a unique logo and every product is sure to include that logo in some form or the other. Identify these before ordering any product.
- Too Much Assurance: If the seller uses excessive words like ‘genuine’, ‘authentic’, ‘real’, then stay on guard as these could be fake products.
- Cheap Price: The best way to identify a fake is to check the price. If the price is too good to be true, then it’s probably not the right product.
- Returns: Check the packaging for safety labels, especially for electronic goods. If not, return them immediately and get your money back.
It goes without saying that it’s better to buy real authentic goods. It might cost you a little more, but you will know you have paid for a genuine product.