If you do a quick search with Google and type in “Does Amazon Sell Fake Products”, you can easily find 20+ complaints from Amazon customers about their experience buying fake goods sold on Amazon.com.
This is one of dozens of credible complaints that I found on one of the Amazons discussion boards about fake products being sold on Amazon.
Posted on Apr 10, 2013 7:06:18 AM PDT
I visited with a friend this weekend who sells consumer electronic accessories through Amazon. They have spent the last nine months in battle with Amazon to get them to stop selling counterfeits on their products.
They did the investigations and brought the offending distributors to Amazon’s attention. Amazon refused to do anything.
Doing their research by ordering as secret shoppers, they discovered that over 70% – that’s OVER SEVENTY PERCENT – of their product sold on Amazon by third-party sellers was counterfeit. Only when they filed a lawsuit did Amazon BEGIN to cooperate with them. BUYER BEWARE.
The above post states that 70% of the products sold by Amazon Third-Party Sellers are counterfeit.
If you’re scratching your head and thinking, “What’s a Third-Party Seller“ let me briefly explain it to you.
3rd Party Seller’s are independent sellers who offer a variety of new, used, refurbished, and collectible merchandise.
These can be brand name products, or unbranded goods bought at wholesale from factories.
Now 70% is a high number of counterfeits in the Amazon marketplace, but it’s also understandable..
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As a third party seller, it’s a challenge to find new products to sell online.
One can sell generic products that can be imported from places like Alibaba or Aliexpress.
And you can also sell used items or extra stuff you’ve got hanging around collecting dust.
But many of Amazon’s 3rd Party Sellers end up buying knockoffs from Chinese companies like Aliexpress.com.
The fact of the matter is that there are tons of counterfeit products sold on Amazon everyday, most come from 3rd party sellers that buy their products directly from China.
How Do Fake Products Get Into Amazon?
Setting up an Amazon third-party seller account is easy and anyone in the world can do it.
And if you know anything about China’s ability to copy and replicate brand name products, then the picture becomes clear.
The reason there are so many fake products is because it’s easy!
China is incredibly gifted at copying whatever product they can get their hands on. Once they get a hold of a molding for say, an iPhone Case, they can replicate that product almost perfectly.
And they care absolutely nothing about US copyright laws or restrictions. Big surprise there, huh?
Does Amazon Support Selling Fake Products?
I would like to think not, but it’s tough to say after reading so many complaints.
There are numerous stories about people reporting counterfeit products to Amazon and ranting about Amazon’s lack of effort to reconcile the situation.
I personally have used Amazon for years and one time had a fake camera sent to me.
I complained about it and Amazon immediately refunded my money and the seller just told me to keep the camera.
When I called Amazon’s support line about this issue, they clearly stated that they do not support selling counterfeit products.
But, “Generic” products can be sold if sold correctly.
As long as the products are labeled correctly and they don’t violate copyright restrictions, you can sell them legally on Amazon.
It’s called selling private label products.
What are copyright restrictions?
Use of brand name, trademarks, and photos to advertise the Generic Product.
Look at the ad below.
This is an ad for a brand name cell phone case made for iPhone 5.
It’s called Lunatik Taktik Extreme.
It’s a military case that has Gorilla Glass and a protective matrix system that provides incredible protection for your iPhone.
It normally sells for $100 to $120 USD directly from the original manufacturer, Lunatik.
This ad is a perfect example of a counterfeit product that is being sold today on Amazon. There are easily 3 copyright violations in plain view
Fake Product Red Flags:
Well, the dead giveaway is that the product is sold by Generic.
Also, look at the price; $24.83.
That’s about 80% off of the retail price.
Sounds too good to be true? It is!
Now look at the Yellow highlighted sections.
These are clear copyright violations using the Lunatik Taktik name and the trademark name of Gorilla Glass.
Plus they are using a copied picture from Google images.
Click To Enlarge
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Do You Care About Buying Fake Products?
The reality is (from the consumer’s perspective) there is nothing wrong with generic products in the marketplace.
That is to say, if they are sold honestly as a generic product.
Many times generic products cost 50-80% less than the original brand name and perform exactly the same, saving the consumer costs.
In the ad listed above, the seller has a 3.5 seller rating.
It’s not the best but after reviewing 22 customer reviews, he’s got 13 great reviews and 3 that are poor.
Take a look at his two most helpful reviews.
Most buyers don’t really care about a brand name when it comes down to it.
The real issue is how does the product perform.
If it functions exactly like the brand name version, do you really care? Especially if you’re getting the product at a 70% – 80% discount.
If you have an opinion about this subject, please leave a comment below, I’d love to get your take on the subject.
Do you really care about getting a fake Gucci Bag for 150 dollars?
Especially if it looks and performs exactly like the original Gucci Bag that costs $600 dollars.
It just depends on who you are.
My guess is that most people would choose the knock off bag and save $450 bucks.
But if the product is inferior and doesn’t perform as expected, most people are pretty upset about this, and for good reason..
Now Amazon is awesome about protecting their buyers. So if a problem arises, they will refund your money and hold the third-party seller responsible.
But who wants to go through this type of buying experience? Kind of a pain in ###, wouldn’t you say?
5 Tips to Avoid Fakes on Amazon
— Todd Maltzahn (@ToddMaltzahn) August 7, 2017
Once you’ve spent 1,000 of hours on Amazon like I have, it’s pretty easy to spot the Fakes from Brand Name Products.
Here’s some tips to improve your chances of not accidentally purchasing a counterfeit product on Amazon.
1). Where is the seller shipping the product from?
If it’s a brand name product, then it usually is going to be shipped within the US (that is if you’re buying from a branch within the United States).
Most brand name companies use logistic companies or have their own storage warehouses here in the United States. So if the product is being shipped directly from China, you know that it’s a fake.
2). If the price is significantly less than the known retail price, be suspicious.
Unless the item is being sold as used, if the price is 30% – 80% less, keep on investigating.
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3). What’s the seller’s rating?
Go into the seller’s profile and see what past buyers have to say about the particular seller.
4). What are the customer reviews of the product?
People (for the most part) are honest on Amazon. Check out what they have to say about the product. Maybe it’s a good quality fake. People will put that down if it’s the truth.
5). Read through the entire ad.
I see many third-party sellers on Amazon that use a brand name in the title of their listing.
But then in their product description, they state the product is generic.
If you see Generic anywhere in the ad, then you know it’s not a brand name product. Also, Compares To… is another dead giveaway.
Conclusion with Amazon & Counterfits
I hope this post has improved your awareness regarding the prevalence of fake products sold on Amazon.
I also hope I didn’t scare too many people from shopping with Amazon because they do offer excellent buyer support and great products.
Most of the problems that occur with counterfeit products are from third-party sellers, not Amazon itself.
Hopefully you are now better prepared to spot a fake product so that you can have greater confidence in your online buying experience.
With such a large selling platform that Amazon provides, it seems impossible for Amazon to police all the activity that occurs by third-party sellers.
If you want to sell products on Amazon to make money online, it’s an awesome gig if you’ve got the products.
If you want to become a honest 3rd Party Amazon Seller, you can get legit training right here.
Sell On Amazon Without RISK?
There are a few problems with importation and selling on Amazon..
- Expensive importation costs
- Length of time to establish a good relationship with suppliers,
- Getting products through customs and into the Amazon market place.
It can happen, but it takes patience and time. This is also assuming you have a hot product that will sell fast.
Personally, for me, I wanted to work online but didn’t want the stress of dealing with customs, buying in large quantities of inventory, paying storage fees, and having to constantly check the quality control of my products.
But I wanted to be able to work online. ()
I eventually found an easier way to sell products online, including from Amazon themselves, and not the fakes but the real Brand Name Products.
If you want to do the same thing, that is, sell brand name products without the risk of buying inventory or dealing with customers, learn how I got started.