Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Amazon to Give Power to Brands to Remove Fakes

Alex Hern (via Hacker News):

Amazon will hand over unprecedented powers to brands to remove suspected counterfeits from its site, as part of a concerted push to eliminate fakes and frauds from the shopping experience.

Under the company’s new Project Zero programme, companies will now be able to remove counterfeit listings themselves, without having to wait for Amazon to take action.

For companies that face a serious counterfeiting problem, a further tool called “product serialisation” allows them even greater control. Manufacturers can now assign unique serial numbers to every product they sell and require Amazon to scan those serial numbers and check authenticity on every sale.


Powered by Amazon’s machine learning expertise, automated protections continuously scan our stores and proactively remove suspected counterfeits. Brands provide us with their logos, trademarks, and other key data about their brand, and we scan over 5 billion product listing updates every day, looking for suspected counterfeits. We’ve been testing these automated protections with a number of brands, and on average, our automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what we reactively remove based on reports from brands.


Update (2019-06-25): David Dayen:

Counterfeits help Amazon. They serve a disciplinary function to force sellers to advertise (or to lower prices) to stay ahead of the fakes.

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And what recourse will there be for sellers who are falsely accused of selling counterfeits?

For example, there is a significant market in used iPhone parts, collected from junked phones. The parts are completely genuine, but used. Apple has in the past accused sellers of these parts of selling counterfeits. It looks like this new Amazon policy will allow Apple to completely shut down this market without having to prove anything.

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