Amazon Facing Criticism for not Doing Enough to Stop Counterfeiters

DooKey

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Counterfeiters (mainly from China) continue to plague small businesses trying to sell their unique products on Amazon. According to some, Amazon isn't doing enough to prevent counterfeiters from selling bogus products on their site. Amazon has long been criticised for not doing enough and many small businesses have lost business or even been put out of business because of this practice. Now I'm all for competition, but when someone just steals your design and sells it for half the price then something needs to be done.

The feds might soon wade into the fray, however. The US Government Accountability Office recently completed an investigation and was able to purchase 47 counterfeit products from Amazon, Walmart and other companies. Senator Orrin Hatch plans to convene a Senate hearing on the issue.
 
I think their complaint is that consumers are buying cheaper versions of their products. But if Amazon cuts out these sellers, Ebay won't. And Ebay is their biggest competitor.
 
I think their complaint is that consumers are buying cheaper versions of their products. But if Amazon cuts out these sellers, Ebay won't. And Ebay is their biggest competitor.

Cheaper versions is one thing, outright counterfeits using another companies design and branding is another thing altogether.
 
Yeah it's kind of amazing how many counterfeit products there are out there. I have had several occasions where I recommend something like a certain model headphone to a friend, and they end up buying a counterfeit because they found a cheap listing for it on Amazon or eBay. Many don't understand that counterfeits can actually look pretty real, and it won't necessarily be obvious. Like in my headphone example, I end up with my friend telling me the headphones sound like crap and telling me I gave a bad recommendation, until I literally demonstrate the difference between it and an authentic version.

Another thing that bugs me is that in many cases people buy this stuff knowing full well that it is counterfeit - they just buy the real version at a local store afterward, swap it with the counterfeit, and then return the counterfeit to the local store, making it "someone else's problem". This happens way more often than you might think.
 
We deal with it a lot at work. Chinese companies come in and copy your product (even to the point of using your name and photos) and sell it. It is a piece of crap in most cases. Amazon doesn't care because they arent the patent police. You can file to have them removed but what happens is the chinese company then closes down and pops back up under a different name and amazon account. You spend lots of resources basically playing whack-a-mole to protect your brand, because a lot of consumers don't know the difference. They buy the fake because it is cheaper then go on to bash the original company online with bad reviews. If amazon were to police it, then they will want paid for that service, which I could see them doing.

It really is a Chinese culture thing. They see it as "well isn't it just easier to copy what someone else did and make it cheaper than to redesign the same thing?". I can't fault the logic, but it sucks when it pulls from your customer base and then causes a bad backlash on your own product. Competition is fine, it's part of the game. I don't blame amazon, they are basically a giant retail store. They aren't there to make sure every product on their shelf is compliant. Although, a new online retailer could cause some serious amazon damage if they did do that service.
 
I unwittingly bought a counterfeit caliper on Amazon a couple of years ago, but I didn't even realise it was counterfeit until I went back a year later to buy an additional one and saw a load of comments pointing out the tell-tale differences. Out of curiosity I bought the second one from an authorised reseller's site (for nearly 3 times the price), and to be honest even side-by-side I don't really have any complaints about the fake. I expect it's lower quality steel or whatever but for my use it's been fine.

Although I did also end up with a fake Samsung sd card which was much less impressive, and which was promptly refunded by Amazon.
 
Counterfeiters are a problem, but I'm more concerned with how Amazon, potentially the first trillion dollar company (No company should ever have this kind of power) treats it's workers, pays nothing in taxes, and gets massive corporate welfare from the feds and states trying to bribe them into their state.
 
Although I did also end up with a fake Samsung sd card which was much less impressive, and which was promptly refunded by Amazon.


Some chinese sd card manufacturers, when you are quoting for batches of cards, ask you what size you want them programmed to. It is often what happens, they take 2-4gb cards and reflash them to report back 32gb or whatever.
 
I remember reading a particular perfume I was looking at had one star and the biggest complaint was everyone saying that they got a counterfeit vs. Sephora or Chanel Boutiques. Pretty awful and it worsens Amazon as a product, csnr believe they haven't done more about it.
 
I think their complaint is that consumers are buying cheaper versions of their products. But if Amazon cuts out these sellers, Ebay won't. And Ebay is their biggest competitor.

It's not the cheaper versions that are the issue, it's the flat out counterfeits stealing business from legitimate companies.
 
Some of the Chinese fakes of my apex locator are so real we can’t tell until we pop off the cover and look at the board.

Normally they cheap out on the packaging and markings. Some have figured this out.
 
I unwittingly bought a counterfeit caliper on Amazon a couple of years ago, but I didn't even realise it was counterfeit until I went back a year later to buy an additional one and saw a load of comments pointing out the tell-tale differences. Out of curiosity I bought the second one from an authorised reseller's site (for nearly 3 times the price), and to be honest even side-by-side I don't really have any complaints about the fake. I expect it's lower quality steel or whatever but for my use it's been fine.

Although I did also end up with a fake Samsung sd card which was much less impressive, and which was promptly refunded by Amazon.

Even if the fakes are good quality, it is a real issue because it takes money away from the companies that actually spend R&D to develop the product. Sometimes something is cheap to make only because of a lot of money on the front end. If I spend a billion dollars to develop something I can produce for 10 cents, I need to factor that billion in to the price I sell for to make it back. If someone copies it, they can sell it cheaper since they didn't spend the R&D money. But if that happens all the time, the companies that actually develop shit go out of business.

Usually they are't though, usually the best case is that they are serviceable, but crap. They do what they are supposed to do, sorta, but are much lower quality. However that's best case, more commonly they are unfit for purpose, outright scams. Shit like fake capacity flash drives or fake Intel CPUs that don't work at all. Pure scams to rip people off.

It is the kind of thing that can really hurt Amazon's reputation as well. If they become known as a crap shoot where maybe you get what you paid for, maybe you don't, people will start going elsewhere.
 
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Reminds me when they were selling external hard drives and they were just thumb drives flashed to report a larger size and a chunk of concrete in the enclosure to give it some heft.
 
Cheaper versions is one thing, outright counterfeits using another companies design and branding is another thing altogether.

Totally agree! It's really bad on Amazon and you can no longer always tell by the price that it's a fake. Particularly bad are flash memory and batteries. I've resorted to only buying them from first parties like BH Photo.
 
Totally agree! It's really bad on Amazon and you can no longer always tell by the price that it's a fake. Particularly bad are flash memory and batteries. I've resorted to only buying them from first parties like BH Photo.

You can also contact most companies and ask them who their authorized distributors are if you have any doubts.
 
You can also contact most companies and ask them who their authorized distributors are if you have any doubts.

I highly doubt you will get this kind of info, besides, who has the time for this sort of mickey mouse stuff? I'd rather just purchase from a trusted company and get genuine product without all the runaround. For a while Amazon rarely has any good deals so for me using them is simply a convenience thing. In fact, I've lately found many items cost more on Amazon than other stores so I've been proactively been looking elsewhere.
 
I highly doubt you will get this kind of info, besides, who has the time for this sort of mickey mouse stuff? I'd rather just purchase from a trusted company and get genuine product without all the runaround. For a while Amazon rarely has any good deals so for me using them is simply a convenience thing. In fact, I've lately found many items cost more on Amazon than other stores so I've been proactively been looking elsewhere.

Just because you doubt something does not make it so. Actually I can't recall a company not wanting to share this information, and in some cases they will offer to sell direct. Many will even just post this on their website. I do this often as it really has become habit forming from work. And with seeing how many companies have to deal with this problem, I have become accustomed to just emailing someone before buying. Most things I buy I don't need super fast so I can wait a day or two for a reply and then buy from them. Not saying I do this with every single purchase, but if it is something I am concerned about or there are posts about a fake, then I get in contact with the company.

I would prefer not to have to do that as well, but I can either be proactive or sit and whine at amazon which feels like yelling into the wind. Because lets be honest, if we are unhappy with their service, but buy from them anyways. Our opinion means nothing to them.
 
The thing that irritates me is when you go to buy something that normally sells from amazon themselves, and it's out of stock, the website automatically directs you to the marketplace and now you're buying it from resellers. I don't want to buy it from someone I don't know/trust, I want to buy it from you amazon. Next I want to buy it directly from the manufacturer (It should be more in my face when this happens). I almost never want to buy from the marketplace, and when I do, I want to go to like another storefront...
 
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