Amazon is to hand brands the power to remove suspected counterfeits from its site, without the lengthy application process of the past.
The move from the online giant is part of a concerted push to eliminate fakes from the platform, an issue that has been rising in public awareness over the past couple of years.
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.
A further tool called ‘product serialisation’ allows brands even greater control, as manufacturers can assign unique serial numbers to every product they sell, and require Amazon to scan those serial numbers and check authenticity on every sale.
Meanwhile, Amazon has said that its machine learning-powered tools now ‘proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what we reactively remove based on reports from brands.”
Amazon Marketplace, which allows third party retailers to sell on the website, accounts for about 20 per cent of Amazon’s total income. It has frequently be found to unwittingly host counterfeit items.
Late last year, a child was hospitalised and subjected to life-changing surgery after ingesting 13 magnets from a counterfeit toy.
Project Zero may now be able to squash the growing issues around counterfeit, knock off and unsafe toys appearing on the site. However, brands will still have the responsibility of seeking counterfeit products on the platform themselves, while the product serialisation carries a cost of $0.05 a unit.
There are fears that the scheme has handed too much power brands. However, th participating brands will be invite only on the part of Amazon who has insisted a high bar of responsibility is maintained for them to maintain their Project Zero rights.