Amazon will start publicly listing the names plus addresses of US-based third-party retailers on its Marketplace platform as being a measure to fight counterfeiters, based on a report from Business Insider. The change has been announced in a note sent to retailers on Wednesday, and the change switches into effect on September 1st.
“These features help customers learn more about the businesses of a seller and the products that they are selling,” the note says, according to the copy obtained by Business Insider. “We are making this change to ensure there is a consistent baseline of seller information to help customers make informed shopping decisions.” The change in plan will make it harder to stay a good anonymous seller on Marketplace, it also means customers will know exactly which usually individual or entity they’re purchasing form and where that company is located.
In a declaration given to The Verge, Amazon verified the policy change. “Over the years, we have developed many ways for sellers to share more about their business, including through features like the seller profile pages, ‘Store’ pages for brand owners, and Handmade ‘Maker Profile’ pages,” an organization spokesperson says. “These features help customers learn more about sellers’ businesses and their products. Beginning September 1, we will also display sellers’ business name and address on their Amazon.com seller profile page to ensure there is a consistent baseline of seller information to help customers make informed shopping decisions.”
Business Insider notes that the suggestion to provide a lot more transparency around e-commerce transactions originated from a January counterfeiting report from the Department of Homeland Security. “To increase transparency on this issue, platforms should significantly improve their pre-sale identification of third-party sellers so that buyers can make informed decisions, potentially factoring in the likelihood of being sold a counterfeit or IPR infringing merchandise,” the statement reads.
Amazon provides long fought counterfeiters on Market place, which is now responsible for more than half of all the company’s e-commerce sales. The company provides tried a number of tactics over the years, which includes monitoring suspicious listings and retailers using various automated software plus taking action against sellers of items that are prone to price gouging and other forms of fraud, such as face masks and hand sanitizer, in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company has also reduce deals with some sellers, like Apple and Nike (which ended the deal last year), to create devoted storefronts for brands on the platform, although deals like all those have had the adverse effect of kicking off legitimate third-party sellers in the process.
Last month, Amazon proceeded to go so far as to launch a Counterfeit Crimes Unit made up of “former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts” to “go on the offensive” against counterfeiters. Included in the announcement, Amazon said it invested $500 million last year to combat fraud, abuse, and counterfeit items, and that it took down 2.5 million potential bad professional accounts shut down 6 billion dubious listings.
Part of the reason behind Amazon’s aggressive enforcement here may also be attributed to its rocky relationship with all the Trump administration, which stems simply from the ongoing feud between Amazon . com CEO Jeff Bezos and Leader Trump over the Bezos’ ownership associated with The Washington Post. In 04, the Office of the US Trade Consultant placed five of Amazon’s foreign websites on the annual “notorious markets” list, in effect labeling Amazon’s global businesses as hot spots for product sales of counterfeits. Amazon responded simply by claiming it was a victim associated with Trump’s vendetta against the company. However, Amazon has made a renewed energy in recent months to show that it takes counterfeiting seriously.
Update July eighth, 7:10PM ET: Additional statement from Amazon.