Amazon Project Zero is the company's first attempt to remove all counterfeit records from the Amazon marketplace. But how does Project Zero work and how does it impact on clients like you?
Wait, there are fakes on Amazon
It sounds strange, but there is a massive market for fake products on Amazon. Whether you remember it or not, there is a possibility that at some point you bought a counterfeit product through the retailer.
Unlike stores such as Target and Best Buy, Amazon relies heavily on third-party products to list products and fulfill them. These sellers are not affiliated with the brands they sell, but according to Jeff Bezos, their offers make up half of the items sold on Amazon.
Many of your Amazon purchases are probably third-party, no matter if you're & # 39; I recognized it or not. Instead of dividing each seller (such as eBay) into its product page, Amazon sums up all offers in a single product page. For example, a listing for an Apple Lighting Cable may be made by dozens of different sellers, including Apple. You can check on the product page if a product comes from Amazon or a third party.
This system allows Amazon to keep prices low, and it is a backbone of Amazon's extremely fast settlement system. But as you can imagine, many scammers and counterfeiters are willing to engage in real product lists.
Amazon has some counterfeiting measures, but they do not work so well. Amazon's review process is surprisingly slow and relies almost entirely on user feedback. Not to mention that this verification system sometimes works in favor of fraudsters by banning "suspicious" users.
Therefore, there are many fake products on Amazon. The fake report estimates that 1
This fake issue is harmful to customers, well-known brands and Amazon. Some consumers do not buy from Amazon due to counterfeiting, and some brands refuse to publish their products on the site. Last year, a deal broke out between Amazon and the Swatch Group (a Swedish watch conglomerate) for counterfeiting. Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch Group, said the Chinese company Alibaba had better counterfeiting measures than Amazon. Ouch. The Swatch Group has reluctantly turned around, but only sells a selection of watches on Amazon.
You can not buy everything from Amazon
You can buy almost anything from Amazon, except luxury clothing and apparel. Branded clothes, watches, handbags, perfumes, hats and sunglasses have a notorious fake market. Since Amazon is heavily dependent on third-party providers, luxury brands are reluctant to publish their products on the website.
In recent years, Amazon has been trying to reverse things. The company has managed to make small deals with many exclusive brands such as Disney, Hugo Boss and Nike. In return for some minor offerings, such as perfumes and overstock, Amazon will prevent third-party vendors from selling any items listed or associated with that brand.
Therefore, the listings for certain brands like Nike at Amazon are incredibly narrow. These are boring, old or crowded items with many sold out sizes and colors. This is also the reason why the Hugo Boss Amazon site is full of cologne, polo and out-of-place guitar pedals and not with the Boss luxury suits.
Here are some brands that are slim or not -existent at Amazon:
- Nike: Simple clothing, shoes, and overstock.
- Hugo Boss: perfumes and plain-colored shirts.
- Fila: A narrow selection of clothing and footwear as well as a special focus on work shoes.
- Bape: Slim shots, but Amazon has a lot of blatant knockoffs.
- Disney: A large collection that feels mysteriously outdated and undervalued compared to the Disney website.
- North Face: A thin selection of solid color shirts and coats.
- Rolex: Most used and reduced watches.
- Versace: A limited selection of watches and cologne.
- Chanel: A good selection of perfumes, but only used handbags.  Swatch Group (Omega, Longines, Blancpain) – Sells only selected watches on Amazon A fake controversy.
- Louis Vitton: A book written by Louis Vitton.
- Supreme: nonexistent.
- Spark Electric Bikes: nonexistent.
- Sumo Lounge: nonexistent. 19659033] If Amazon guarantees that counterfeiters are not a problem, brands have an incentive to list more of their products on Amazon. However, this system is clearly flawed. Most of these brands use Amazon like a cheap department store. And while there are likely to be some arguments in favor of this system (brands appear to be less exclusive when sold on Amazon), most consumers would probably buy Nike shoes and luxury watches with the convenience of Amazon.
Amazon's Project Zero Could Stop Counterfeiter
Following a messy lawsuit in February, Amazon finally confirmed its counterfeiting problem in a report to the SEC. However, the company claimed in this report that "sellers may not be able to sell fake items on the Amazon market due to" rapid growth. "
Obviously, counterfeiters are bad for the Amazon brand, but if Amazon decides to step up in-house counterfeiting, the company will have to hire thousands of new employees to pay for universal product serialization and third-party vendors Even Amazon agrees that these aggressive measures can "negatively affect operating results."
However, Amazon has found a solution for the middle of the road, as most counterfeit products are well-known brands as Apple, Nike or Sandisk imitate, you can not give these popular brands the power to counter counterfeiters, this anti-counterfeiting solution is called Project Zero and should help alleviate Amazon's counterfeiting problem.
How does Project Zero work?  Project Zero gives trusted brand n the ability to manually remove fake collections. In addition, trademarks registered on the Zero project can opt for enhanced product serialization and the ability to familiarize Amazon Warehouse employees with counterfeiting techniques.
Registration at Project Zero is free, and all companies registered with Project Zero are free of charge administrative privileges. These privileges allow brands to bypass Amazon's slow reporting system. Rather than reporting a fake listing to Amazon, trademarks registered with Project Zero may immediately cancel the listing and cause refunds to withdrawn buyers. Do not Worry – Amazon claims that these distances are reviewed retrospectively to ensure that the system is not abused.
Brands registered with Project Zero also have the ability to serialize all of their products. Currently, Amazon relies almost exclusively on simple, easily forged serial numbers to identify products. The Project Zero serial numbers are used exclusively in the Amazon warehouse and may differ for each item.
According to Amazon, brands that choose to serialize the product cost between $ 0.01 and $ 0.05 per unit, based on volume. "Some brands pay an additional $ 50 for every 1,000 units sold on Amazon. But hey, you can not fake fake products for nothing.
If Amazon looks like it's responsible for brands, that's what happens. It may not be the best solution against counterfeiting, but it's promising. Brands like Apple are now better equipped to remove fake cables and devices from the Amazon market, and brands that have tapped the Amazon market in the past now have an incentive to do it all.
Some brands are skeptical of Project Zero, but they want it to succeed
Unsurprisingly, some Project Zero people are skeptical. It's an overdue counterfeiting measure and it's hard to know how well it works. However, it is important to note that brands are critical of Project Zero because they want to succeed, not because they want it to fail.
Remember the Swatch Group, the company whose CEO said that Alibaba has better counterfeiting measures than Amazon? We asked this company for a comment on Project Zero, and I received an openly skeptical, largely optimistic response.
The Swatch Group told me that "there is a big difference between the announcement of the Project Zero initiative and its implementation In addition to this surprisingly honest answer, the Swatch Group also said it is" optimistic that Amazon will make progress " and that the two companies will in the future "continue the discussions."
Kevin Williams, CEO of RGK Innovations, made a similarly optimistic, yet skeptical, statement in an interview with Inc. Williams says, despite the idea of Project Zero he is worried that it will "have a boatload with unforeseen consequences."
How can I check if a company is participating in Project Zero?
You probably do not want to buy any knock-off products It's a fair guess, so it would be nice to know which brands are participating in Project Zero, or, strangely, it's hard to find brands to use in the program are taken.
Currently, Amazon Project sends zero invitations to well-known brands, and smaller brands can sign up for a Project Zero waiting list. As Amazon tries to create luxury items and exclusive brands, we can assume that companies like Nike and North Face have received invitations. Frequently fake electronics brands like Apple and Sandisk have probably received invitations, but there's no way to know for sure. We can also assume that the Swatch Group is involved in Project Zero through our correspondence with the company.
Some brands, such as Kenu, have already praised Amazon for their recognition project zero initiative. So if you want an authentic Kenu product, now is your chance. And on the Project Zero website, there are testimonials from companies like Vera Bradley, Thunderworks, and Chom Chom Roller … Yes, I have not heard of it yet.
Of course, we asked Amazon if there are any plans to create a comprehensive Project Zero listing list in the future. The company said that while Amazon does not "comment or speculate on the future," our idea is passed on to "the team." Hopefully, "the team" hears our suggestion.
In the meantime, you may refer to a list curated by The Selling Family with restrictions. This list contains some trademarks that are used to limit Amazon's listing of third-party products. The brands on this list are worried about fake products and could join the Project Zero program in the future.