Amazon blocked 10 billion listings in counterfeit crackdown

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon, which has been beneath strain from buyers, manufacturers and lawmakers to crack down on counterfeits on its website, stated Monday that it blocked greater than 10 billion suspected phony listings final 12 months earlier than any of their choices could possibly be bought.

The numbers had been launched in Amazon’s first report on its anti-counterfeiting efforts because it introduced new instruments and applied sciences in 2019. The variety of blocked phony listings final 12 months was up about 67% from the 12 months earlier than.

The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth stated the variety of counterfeiters making an attempt to promote on the location rose as scammers tried to make the most of buyers who had been shopping for extra on-line in the course of the pandemic.

Amazon has been wrestling with counterfeits for years. But since 2019, it has warned traders in authorities filings that the sale of phony items poses a threat to the corporate and its picture. Brands could not wish to promote their gadgets on the location in the event that they know there are faux variations being provided. And knock-offs might trigger buyers to lose their belief in Amazon.

Counterfeiters attempt to get their merchandise on Amazon by way of its third-party market, the place sellers can checklist their gadgets instantly on the location. The firm destroyed 2 million counterfeit merchandise despatched to its warehouses final 12 months earlier than they could possibly be bought. And it stated fewer than 0.01% of all gadgets purchased on the location acquired counterfeit complaints from buyers.

Amazon stated it could cease counterfeiters earlier than they will promote something because of machine-learning expertise, which robotically scans listings to take away suspected counterfeits. The firm additionally provides manufacturers a method to take away faux gadgets from the location themselves, relatively than reporting them to Amazon and ready for it to do one thing.

The firm’s efforts comes as lawmakers are methods to scale back counterfeits on-line. Two senators, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Dick Durbin of Illinois, each Democrats, re-introduced a invoice this 12 months generally known as the INFORM Consumers Act. It would require third-party sellers to be verified and to reveal their identify and deal with to buyers. The invoice was launched final 12 months, however wasn’t voted on.

Amazon and smaller on-line shops, akin to eBay and Etsy, oppose the invoice for causes together with issues it might discourage folks from beginning a small enterprise and promoting on-line. But teams that symbolize big-box bodily retailers, akin to Home Depot and Lowe’s, assist it as a result of they are saying it ranges the taking part in area, since bodily retailers already ensure their cabinets are freed from fakes.

Amazon stated it spent greater than $700 million final 12 months on its anti-counterfeiting efforts and has 10,000 folks engaged on it. The firm has additionally been submitting joint lawsuits with manufacturers, together with one earlier this 12 months with Salvatore Ferragamo towards counterfeiters who had been promoting knock-offs of the high-end model’s belts on the location.

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