Amazon and other big name e-commerce companies, such as eBay, are facing backlash over the recent spike in counterfeit goods. Retail companies who sell their products through these additional channels are concerned over imitation product-mixing that’s taking place within the Amazon warehouse.Jeff Messer, an online retail consultant, told the Wall Street Journal, “[…] customers that buy directly from Amazon are at risk of receiving fake goods. That’s because counterfeiters are sending knock-offs to Amazon’s warehouses where they can be mixed in with real products.”
Amazon is taking initiative to solve the problem, but for some retailers it’s not soon enough. Amazon issued a statement to CBS News about its commitment to resolving this everyday issue; however, additional challenges still remain.
A report by CBS News notes, “Amazon’s website says by mixing different shipments of the same products in its warehouse, it can get items to customers faster and reduce labeling requirements for sellers. Amazon does offer refunds for products that aren’t as advertised.”
Since Amazon currently takes little responsibility for fake products, some retailers are making moves away from the e-commerce site. In particular, Alibaba, an online retail group based in China, plans to take action against counterfeiting and change the perception of Chinese goods overall by shifting the source of its sales.
According to The Guardian, “China and Hong Kong accounted for 93 percent of the value of IP infringing products seized by US officials in 2013, a US government report said. The previous year China accounted for 72 percent. This has deterred some US retailers from opening stores on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, experts said. To go around that problem, Alibaba will launch a separate service with Amazon rival ShopRunner to sell items from more than 100 US retailers to Chinese consumers.”
The move by Alibaba, and other potential companies, sends a strong message to both third-party e-commerce companies and consumers about the need for regulate counterfeit goods in warehouses.