E-retailer Amazon is cracking the whip on sellers who retail counterfeit products in a bid to safeguard major brands.
Sellers who are looking to put up products from the likes of Samsung, Nike, Hasbro, Adidas and Asics to name a few, will need to shell out a one-time fee that ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 and is non-refundable.
Moreover, in its attempt to counter the selling of fake products, Amazon will also ensure that along with the fee, the sellers provide the necessary paperwork that guarantees the genuineness of the branded products up for sale.
The news comes courtesy of a CNBC report, which cites anonymous sources. The publication's sources provided a screenshot of the application for selling a Samsung product.
The invoice provided by the seller needs to be not more than 90 days old and should be from the distributor or manufacturer. The invoice is also required to reflect at least 30 items purchased - with five different products.
Dubbed "brand gating," the process is already underway and was pushed out to select Amazon sellers last week. Amazon's logic behind this process is to counter the sale of fake products that affect major brands' sale.
"We want customers to be able to shop with confidence on Amazon. For certain products and categories, Amazon requires additional performance checks, other qualification requirements, and fees," notes Erik Fairleigh, an Amazon spokesman.
The problem of counterfeit products being sold on the site is quite huge. The issue led Birkenstock to take the step of telling its third-party merchants that starting Jan. 1 this year, it will discontinue sales of its products on Amazon. Not only that, the footwear brand also debars any merchants from selling on the site.
While the current effort from Amazon to exercise an iron hand on the sale of counterfeit products will not go down well with sellers who offer unauthorized items, big brands will welcome the step that aims to protect their business.
Smaller merchants, however, will be impacted the most as the one-time fee may not be a welcome proposition. Bigger merchants who are able to afford the fee, on the other hand, will be able to cash in on the opportunity.
On the bright side, the consumer is in a win-win situation as the move will ensure that they land up with fewer knock-offs that are being sold as the real deal for an exorbitant price!