Amazon has started cracking down sales of counterfeit goods by suspending and banning thousands of sellers every month. Unforuntuneltey in some cases unjustified.
Online sellers that specialize in the sale of items from reputable brands like Apple, Reebok or even the popular Disney brand have to prove legitimate invoices that indicate that they have purchased at least 35 items within the last three months.
Aside from providing these much-required invoices, these online stores also are needed to pay a fee. The fees paid by these stores add to about $1800 for each brand that they plan on selling. Sellers can choose between paying the exorbitant fee or getting their selling privileges removed and their Amazon seller account suspended.
Robert Patel, an Amazon spokesman, through an email to the sellers, calls this process Brand gating’. The process which officially begun about two weeks ago is set to make it challenging for counterfeiters to keep up their charade. Mr. Patel also noted that since Amazon is one of the top online businesses, it is important that its visitors are confident about their services and their authenticity. He says that Amazon aims to instill the confidence in its customers that it is taking all of their complaints into consideration. This is the reason why for certain a specific product, Amazon requires performance checks from online stores that sell them.
One of the major reasons that Amazon has put its foot down concerning the sale of counterfeit products is because the problem is too rampant! Some stores have even expressed the need to stop using Amazon platforms to sell their products, while some have made good on this threat. Brands like Birkenstock have taken the bold step of stopping their merchandise from being sold via Amazon. Every sell who tries to sell Birkenstock goods will have their seller Amazon seller account suspended or banned instantly.
The fact that Amazon initiated this crackdown or mass banning of sellers has obviously amounted to a very high competitiveness for online commerce as is. The process has had such a big toll on the e-sellers; they are now suggesting that Amazon has probably overreacted by taking this action. Ms. Lesley Hensel, one of the co-partners at the seller’s help service has raised her concerns saying that what Amazon is actually doing is wrong because while the good guys are overcharged, the bad guys are going scot free. To most online sellers, this is unacceptable. Two weeks ago, an online seller’s conference was held concerning the same issue. In the meeting, they stated that levels of Amazon seller suspensions have sky-rocketed. They state also that seller performance issues have reached unprecedented high levels!
So far, a definite list of brands has not yet been released to the sellers, but there has been a notification by some brands like Asics, Reebok, and Apple to charge $1800 for the privilege of selling their shoes. However, currently, items like Lego, Disney, and Pokémon have a reseller fee $1000 from Amazon. Brands like Reebok have also come out to state that they have policies in place that do not allow their goods to sell on Amazon.
Ms. Lesley has stated that for the counterfeit snub to be more effective, the brand gating should also be extended to more brands and categories. However, this practice being a double-edged sword, some merchants strongly have a belief that by going through with this practice, Amazon is slowly but surely getting rid of the very effective and hence popular marketplace. By suspending Amazon sellers left right and center, Amazon will get as whole a lot less attractive for sellers and in the end prices will increase which will lead to costumers turning their back on Amazon as well.
The Brand gating’ that Amazon is carrying out has encouraged some businesses to liquidate their online businesses. Amazon now has to find a way to accommodate listings that come only from authorized sellers. Many sellers are complaining that Amazon is unfairly suspending sellers and Amazon is overreacting, Mr. Steiner begs to differ. Being the founder of an online search tool that helps sellers to price their goods competitively, he says that many Amazon sellers are just a worried lot that their account might get suspended next.
He was quoted as saying that despite the fact that all these brand protection measures have been taken, the prevailing practice of banning hundreds of Amazon sellers every month will not stop anytime soon.
During the Seattle conference, some online entrepreneurs expressed their worry that these new regulations being enforced on the sellers have already prevented them from their normal sales. These Amazon sellers are unable to sell most of their items without having proof in terms of the said invoice supporting the fact that they bought legitimate items. One seller for instance, with thousands of Samsung products, now has to pay $1000 just to sell the products that he already has. This, he said, was unjust, and unnecessary.
Although Amazon officials have resulted in these drastic measures so as to stop counterfeit products being sold on the Amazon platform, they say that they have something up their sleeves to ease the pain of legitimate sellers. They pledge to do their best to work with legitimate sellers to satisfy customers by working hand in hand with anybody committed to play by their rules.
Online sales service executive Ms. Hensel insists that instead of Amazon going after the good guys, and charging them for being faithful, they should actually do the opposite. She says that Amazon should actually fund guys who are going after sellers who sell counterfeit goods. This fact may encourage the good guys to continue with their spirit allowing sales to grow while, at the same time reducing the number of Amazon seller suspensions.
Robert Patel, one of Amazon’s spokesperson has categorically stated that Amazon is committed to providing the best services for its clients. They will stop at nothing to discourage such products and will do their best to restore the client’s confidence in the e-commerce system that Amazon so conveniently provides.
Conclusion Amazon being globally one of the greatest largest and most successful e-commerce platforms is proving to be dealing with the unauthorized sellers seriously.
Amazon is showing customers that they are serious about quality, and are ready to make the sacrifices of suspending as many sellers necessary to keep the ensure and deliver a positive Amazon buyer experience.
The only thing they have not managed to get under control is the fact that they are crucifying the good guys alongside the bad guys.
This, if it runs unchecked, will be their undoing. They may run out of business because they may lack sellers if this trend continues of suspending innocent Amazon sellers.