If you buy a lot of SD cards and charging cables on Amazon, you might own some counterfeit items. Amazon’s third-party seller network has long been a safe haven for counterfeiters who pass off fake clothing, appliances, and computers for the real thing. But now, Amazon is fighting back. The company says that it seized and destroyed over 2 million fake products just last year.
Amazon began its crusade against counterfeit listings in 2019 and developed a “Counterfeit Crimes Unit” in 2020. At first, these campaigns seemed to do very little for the marketplace. But in Amazon’s newly released Brand Protection Report, the company claims that it destroyed over 2 million fake products sent to distribution centers, that it blocked 10 billion “suspect” product listings from going online, and that it banned 6 million new suspicious seller accounts.
According to the company’s report, only 0.01% of items sold in 2020 led to a counterfeit report, and only 7,000 people who reported knock-off items spoke with Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit. It’s an impressively low statistic, but it only accounts for customers who reported fake items, and as you can imagine, most people assume that all items on Amazon are authentic.
While destroying counterfeit products is pretty wasteful, Amazon says that it didn’t want the knock-offs to find their way back in the seller’s market. It should also be noted that, while Amazon claims its anti-counterfeit crusade is going well, it doesn’t take much work to find dubious-looking items on the company’s marketplace. Amazon still has a long way to go before it locks down the counterfeit seller market, but it’s making progress.