NEW YORK – (AP) – Amazon, which has been under pressure from buyers, brands and lawmakers to fight counterfeiting on its website, announced Monday that it blocked more than 10 billion suspected false entries in the past year, before one his offers could be published sold.
The numbers were published in Amazon’s first report on its anti-counterfeiting efforts since new tools and technologies were announced in 2019. The number of false entries blocked rose 67% over the previous year.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant said the number of counterfeiters trying to sell on the site rose as scammers tried to take advantage of shoppers who were buying more online during the pandemic.
Amazon has been wrestling with fakes for years. However, as of 2019, it has been warning investors in government files that selling counterfeit goods poses a risk to the company and its image. Brands may not want to sell their items on the website knowing that counterfeit versions are being offered. And counterfeiting can cause buyers to lose trust in Amazon.
Counterfeiters try to get their products through Amazon’s third-party marketplace, where sellers can list their items directly on the website. The company destroyed 2 million counterfeit products that were sent to its warehouses before they could be sold. And it is said that less than 0.01% of all items purchased on the site have received fake complaints from buyers.
Amazon said it can stop counterfeiters before they can sell anything thanks to machine learning technology that automatically scans entries to remove suspected counterfeits. The company also offers brands the option to remove counterfeit items from the website itself instead of reporting them to Amazon and waiting for them to take action.
The company’s efforts come from lawmakers looking for ways to reduce counterfeiting online. Two Senators, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Dick Durbin of Illinois, both Democrats, reintroduced a bill this year known as the INFORM Consumers Act. It would require third party sellers to be vetted and give their name and address to buyers. The bill was introduced last year but not voted on.
Amazon and smaller online stores like eBay and Etsy are declining the bill for reasons including concerns that could discourage people from starting a small business and selling online. But groups representing large physical retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s support this because they say it improves the playing field as physical retailers are already making sure their shelves are free from counterfeit.
Amazon said it spent more than $ 700 million fighting counterfeiting last year, and 10,000 people are working on it. The company has also filed joint trademark lawsuits, including one earlier this year at Salvatore Ferragamo against counterfeiters selling fakes of the high-end brand’s belts on the website.