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Amazon expands anti-counterfeit program

Amazon is expanding its successful anti-counterfeiting program to more countries.

Transparency is now available to sellers and customers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, India and Canada, the e-commerce giant announced on Wednesday. Previously it only operated within the US. 

Online marketplaces are rife with counterfeit products sold cheaper than the genuine product, though often at a much lower quality. And platforms, facing increasing pressure from businesses and consumers, have increased efforts to stop fake goods from ending up on their websites.

Chinese marketplace Alibaba revealed its ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance’, launched in early 2017, has resulted in the arrests of 1277 suspects, the shutdown of 524 manufacturing and distribution locations, and product seizures totalling US$536.2 million.

EBay has also launched ‘eBay Authenticate’, an opt-in program where sellers can have items examined by a third-party, giving shoppers confidence they’re getting the real thing.

Amazon’s Transparency program enables marketplace sellers to apply unique codes to their products when they are manufactured. These codes are scanned before orders are shipped to ensure the products are authentic. Online shoppers can also check the unique codes to verify the products they buy. 

“Counterfeiting is an industry-wide concern – both online and offline,” said Amazon customer trust and partner support vice president Dharmesh Mehta. 

“We created Transparency to provide brands with a simple, scalable solution that empowers brands an dAmazon to authenticate products within the supply chain, stopping counterfeit before it reaches a customer.”

According to Amazon, more than 4000 brands are enrolled in the initiative in the US, and have generated more than 300 million unique codes, stopping over 250,000 counterfeits from reaching customers. 

The program also allows customers to scan products using a Transparency app, and see unit-level information about a product – though currently the app is only available in the US.

Internet Retailing has reached out to Amazon to see if this initiative will be expanded to Australia.

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