Falsifying information is not taken lightly by Amazon; it is a serious issue. Owners of brands must take every precaution to ensure that their products and brands are safe from counterfeiters. This is why Amazon introduced its transparency program.
Amazon has faced criticism from the media after allegations of counterfeit merchandise being sold on their platform.
Cheap counterfeits have slipped under the radar on Amazon, due to producers cutting corners. Third-party vendors are allowed to legally relist trademarked goods under the first-sale philosophy. Selling low-quality, counterfeit goods has resulted in negative consumer experiences, tarnishing a company\’s credibility.
Sellers who have licensed their brand can use Amazon\’s Transparency Program to protect their brand\’s credibility and ensure that their customers receive genuine goods, not knockoffs.
Amazon Transparency Program
Transparency is a product serialization service that helps Amazon to check each item before shipping it to the customer. In 2017, Amazon launched its transparency initiative in response to the growing threat of counterfeit products.
Safe goods must pass the Transparency authentication review to reach the Amazon fulfillment stage. This is so if they are distributed directly by the brand owner or by a third-party vendor. If another vendor “hijacks” a listing and tries to sell counterfeit goods, Amazon will mark the fakes and they will not be sent to the customer. This software ensures that the customer gets the genuine product they ordered, not a knockoff.
Benefits of the Transparency program
1. Protect your products that are at risk
When a black hat seller sees you selling a high-value item, they will try to sell a counterfeit version. Watches, electronics, clothes, and even well-known toys are all at risk of being counterfeited. It can, however, occur in any segment. Since hijackers won\’t have the special codes that Amazon generates for your products, the transparency prevents them from selling on your listing. When another vendor wants to sell your product without including a legitimate transparency code, it will be flagged as counterfeit.
2. Prevent possible damage presented by counterfeits
If you don\’t protect yourself, counterfeiters and black hat sellers can do a lot of damage to your Amazon store. A counterfeit seller could undercut your price and steal thousands of dollars from your listing. Another possibility is that a customer complains about getting a counterfeit product, and Amazon suspends the listing for investigation. The longer your listing is down, the more money you can lose.
3. Protect your brand’s reputation
If a customer orders a counterfeit product and receives it, they are likely to be disappointed. This could result in the consumer writing a negative review about receiving a counterfeit product. This could damage your brand\’s image, deter potential customers from making purchases, and ruin the output of your listing.
How the Amazon transparency program works
To prevent counterfeits from reaching customers, a special product labeling scheme is used. Amazon provides businesses with barcodes that are Transparency-enabled and show authenticity. Even if such items aren\’t sold on Amazon, any manufacturer of a protected product is required to apply these codes to every produced unit. The Transparency code is unique to each unit, unlike UPCs or GTINs, which are specific to your brand and product. As a result, if you produce 700 units, Amazon will create 700 unique codes—one for each unit. Amazon would search for and check the unit\’s barcode before delivering any order to a customer to ensure authenticity. Any unit without a barcode or that fails the authentication check would be investigated as a possible counterfeit.
Customers can also use Amazon\’s Transparency mobile app to easily check Transparency-protected items purchased online or in-store. The app will show a green checkmark if the code is correct and a red “X” if it is not after scanning it with a smartphone. Via the app, brands can share extra unit-level product details with clients, such as manufacturing date, manufacturing location, and enhanced product information (e.g., ingredients). This helps you have a high level of accountability and create trust with your customers.
How to enrolling Amazon Transparency Program
Until enrolling in the accountability program, sellers must meet basic Amazon standards.
Enrollment Requirements for Transparency:
- Your name must be licensed, and you must be able to identify yourself as the owner of the brand for your products.
- Your goods would need a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), such as a UPC or EAN barcode.
- Any unit you make must have the ability to apply uncommon Transparency codes.
When you\’ve met all of these criteria, go to Amazon\’s Transparency page and press the \”Get Started\” button. After that, you must complete a brief form. When you\’re done, click \”Request more details,\” and Amazon will contact you to discuss your enrollment options.
You can select which items you want to secure with Transparency codes once you\’ve been accepted into the program. Instead of enrolling all of your listings at once, you might want to prioritize at-risk items first.
How much does the Transparency program cost?
Depending on the number of units, brands can expect to pay anywhere from $0.01 to $0.05 per barcode. Assume you have 1000 units of your commodity on hand. For Amazon-backed realism scans, you\’d be liable for a maximum of $50 in this pricing scheme.
When you consider how much time and money you lose to counterfeiters, I believe it is a fair price to pay.
Another cost to consider when introducing Transparency authentication is labeling. You can still use Transparency barcodes on your own. You may also make it easier by having your supplier mark your packaging when it\’s being made.
If you sell counterfeit goods, customers can lose faith in your brand. You may take proactive steps to ensure that each of your customers is satisfied by ensuring that they obtain the goods they want.
If you\’re a brand-registered seller, see if you meet the requirements to join the Transparency program and start protecting your brand right away.