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Amazon Brand Protection: How to Protect My Brand on Amazon

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How to protect my brand on Amazon? With more than nine million active sellers on Amazon, it’s no surprise counterfeit products are a persistent problem on the platform.

However, Amazon’s efforts to combat scammers have significantly improved over the years by introducing advanced technologies such as machine learning and automated systems to prevent fraudulent activities.

More than simply copying legitimate brands and offering substandard products, these imposters tarnish business reputations, compromise the integrity of the marketplace, and damage the overall buyer experience.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates 3.3% of world trade is in counterfeit and pirated goods, producing billions of dollars in lost sales.

Amazon isn’t immune to this trend and so has been countering counterfeits: In 2023, the platform blocked more than 700,000 bad actor attempts to create new accounts, identified and seized more than seven million counterfeit products, and used proactive prevention to reduce infringement claims by more than 30%.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, it’s crucial to understand the various threats your brand may face on Amazon and learn how to protect my brand on Amazon.

Solutions like the Amazon Brand Registry program are available to help sellers leverage this proactive prevention in their favor.

Keep reading as we explore the different strategies and tools available to help you protect your products on Amazon and safeguard your reputation.

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Why Amazon brand protection is vital

As one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world, Amazon attracts millions of shoppers every day. While this presents an excellent opportunity for you to reach a massive audience, it also makes you vulnerable to counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers.

Recognizing the severity of this threat, Amazon invested over $1.2 billion in brand protection measures in 2023. They offer robust strategies and tools to protect your intellectual property rights on the marketplace.

Employing these defenses safeguards not only your brand name but also your product designs, images, logos, and other unique features that make your offerings stand out.

You must take strategic steps to defend your brand on the platform to avoid losing sales, damaging your reputation, and even facing legal consequences. How to protect my brand on amazon entails joining Amazon’s Brand Registry as well as adopting other tactics.

Amazon Brand Registry

In 2017, Amazon created a program specifically to help solve the question “How to protect my brand on Amazon?” it is called the Amazon Brand Registry.

It’s a free protection service designed to shield brands from harmful actions such as counterfeiting, intellectual property (IP) infringement, and listing tampering. Even if you don’t sell on Amazon, you can enroll if you have a registered trademarked brand.

Joining gains you access to several tools that help protect your brand and prevent counterfeiters from selling your products.

You can search for and report listings that violate your intellectual property rights, as well as implement various features that make it easier to manage your brand and ensure your listings are accurate and up to date.

The pros and cons of Amazon Brand Registry

Brand Registry’s expansive protective measures and knowledge make it a necessity for any eCommerce seller who’s serious about scaling on Amazon.

The program’s protection tools — like Transparency — cover an estimated 1.6 billion products, proving its comprehensive strength. Although Amazon no longer publishes data for the number of brands enrolled, in 2022, estimates placed the number at 700,000.

Enrolling in the program which helps solves the question “How to protect my brand on Amazon?” unlocks other advantages like:

  • Develop a trustworthy image on Amazon:
    Besides protecting your business, you can build a solid brand with access to A+ Content, Amazon Vine, Sponsored Brand ads, brand analytics, and the ability to create multipage stores to mimic a typical eCommerce store experience.
  • On-hand support for your brand:
    When problems arise, dedicated teams and tech solutions will be on the case. For example, you can track suspected trademark infringements through tools like Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) and counterfeit identification through Transparency and initiatives like Project Zero and Counterfeit Crimes Unit (more on these later). These protective measures allow you to avoid frequent recurrences of issues that affect your inventory turnover and customer experience.

That’s not to say the Brand Registry program is flawless though. Some of its drawbacks include:

  • Complex approval process:
    Amazon requires a registered trademark to join the program, and for some brands, registering a trademark can take six months or more. As a result, it can take a long time to enroll your brand, extending its vulnerability. (However, if you use the IP Accelerator program, you can sign up with a pending trademark). If you already have a trademark, expect your Amazon Brand Registry enrollment to take about two weeks.
  • Continuous monitoring required:
    While Amazon’s tools and projects can catch and prevent harmful actions, it’s not a “set it and forget it” solution for maintaining compliance or protecting your brand. You’ll need to stay vigilant and continually upgrade your security strategy and tools.

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Eligibility and enrollment

To be eligible for Amazon Brand Registry, you must meet certain requirements:

  • You need to have an active or pending registered trademark for your brand OR enroll in the IP Accelerator Program.
  • You must verify your identity and provide evidence of your intellectual property rights.

Then, to enroll in the program:

  • Log in to or create your Brand Registry account on Amazon and click Enroll a Brand from the Manage button in the menu. If you don’t have a pending or registered trademark, you can get started with the IP Accelerator from this portal as well.
  • Provide information about your brand, including your registered trademark, and submit documentation that proves your ownership of said trademark
    • Brand name that exactly matches your trademark
    • Trademark office
    • Registration or serial number of your trademark, along with any local numbers
    • Ownership of the trademark verification or your license agreement
  • Provide seller account information
    • Select your seller account type (i.e., “Seller,” “Vendor,” or neither). You’re not required to have an Amazon account to enroll in Brand Registry, but it does provide advantages such as A+ Content, Amazon brand analytics, store creation, and more.
    • Select the categories you intend to sell in.
    • You have the option to list your ASINs.
    • You can add your brand website and eCommerce stores.
  • Upload product images
    • Images must be product photos of the item you plan to sell. This should be unaltered and not a mock-up.
    • The image must clearly display the brand name matching the trademark on the application.
    • The image must show the brand name matching the trademark on the product and product packaging. Be aware, stickers, tags, or stamps aren’t acceptable proof.
  • Provide manufacturing and distribution information
    • Submit documentation for your manufacturing process so Amazon can trace the origin of your products.
    • Provide distribution information, such as whether your brand sells to distributors.
    • Give licensing information, such as whether your brand licenses out to other sellers.
  • Validate your registry by contacting your trademark correspondent (the public contact listed on the agency website where your trademark is registered) to request the verification code. You have 10 days to submit this by logging in to Brand Registry, visiting the Manage tab, selecting the correct Brand Application, and submitting the code. If you miss the 10-day period, you’ll have to restart your application.

Once Amazon verifies your information, you’ll be enrolled in the program and can take advantage of all the benefits outlined above and more. Typically, this process takes about two weeks from the submission of your verification code. However, if you fail to submit any details, don’t have a brand permanently affixed to your product, or have discrepancies in your application, it may take longer.

For a comprehensive overview of the process and its rules, review Amazon’s Brand Registry application guide here.

Using Brand Registry to protect your brand

One of the most effective ways to prevent attacks on your brands is to monitor it proactively. Regular check-ins allow you to identify counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers quickly and take action to remove them from the marketplace before they cause harm.

Amazon’s Brand dashboard is a robust business monitoring tool for this purpose. It provides real-time data on your product listings, including information on customer reviews, sales, and traffic. Look for irregularities or suspicious behaviors among them to spot potential scammers.

Additionally, many third-party monitoring software options can track your listings across multiple marketplaces, including Amazon, and provide alerts when unauthorized sellers or counterfeit products are detected.

Some popular options in this category are Brandlox, BrandShield, and Red Points.

You can take steps yourself to identify counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers, such as:

  • Regularly search for your brand name on Amazon and other marketplaces.
  • Comb through customer reviews.
  • Monitor mentions of your brand on social media and other online platforms.

Even checking your impact dashboard regularly can help you gain a better impression of what’s going on. The sooner you’re aware your products are at risk, the sooner you can take action or increase investment in anti-counterfeiting strategies.

How to protect my brand on Amazon? Take action against scammers

If you identify counterfeit items or unauthorized sellers on Amazon, act immediately to minimize the damage to your business. Your options here include using Amazon’s infringement reporting system, issuing cease and desist letters, and exploring other legal actions and options.

Amazon’s infringement reporting system

The Brand Registry program enables store owners to take action against potential intellectual property (IP) violations. Simply log in to the Brand Registry portal to report suspected IP violations, submit takedown requests, and monitor your brand on Amazon. The system allows you to remove counterfeit listings quickly and efficiently, as well as provides tools to track and manage potential infringements.

Amazon may also escalate your reports to their Brand Protection teams, which specialize in uncovering and removing counterfeit listings. By collaborating directly with Amazon, you’ll ensure faster resolution and maintain the integrity of your products on the platform.

Cease and desist letters

Cease and desist letters are formal, legally binding correspondence that demands the party in violation to stop using your brand’s intellectual property and remove any counterfeit or infringing products from their listings immediately. The letter should include specific instances of infringement, your legal rights as the brand owner, and the consequences of non-compliance.

If the guilty party fails to comply with the cease and desist communication, you can bring the matter to Amazon or pursue further legal action. Amazon can also offer legal help through their Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU).

Amazon’s other protection programs

In addition to Amazon’s Brand Registry, the company has launched other initiatives to help brands defend their intellectual property and name credibility:

  • Transparency:
    This service uses product serialization codes to identify individual units of enrolled products. Customers can then scan these codes using the Amazon Shopping App or a Transparency-specific app to verify the authenticity of the product they’ve purchased. You are responsible for applying these codes to each product yourself, which is when prep services like MyFBAPrep become a logistical asset.
  • Project Zero:
    This solution uses machine learning to scan listings and remove suspected counterfeits automatically, putting more power into sellers’ hands. The use of AI automatically takes down suspect listings. However, Project Zero also features a self-service tool for brand owners to request the removal of fake listings directly.
  • Amazon report infringement form:
    This is a channel for owners of intellectual property rights and their representatives to alert Amazon about potential violations.
  • Impact dashboard:
    You can log in to the Brand Registry portal at any point to see real-time data on infringements, blocked listings, and even disputes.
  • APEX:
    The Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) helps sellers resolve patent infringement disputes.

Amazon employs 15,000 people in their brand protection initiatives, including the Counterfeit Crimes Unit, which works with governmental bodies, customs, and law enforcement to report and seize counterfeit inventory and then prosecute the offending party. If you need assistance with how to protect my brand on Amazon, you can generally request it directly through the Brand Registry portal.

11 Other ways to protect your brand from counterfeiters

Brand Registry offers a wealth of brand protection services and solutions that can help you prevent counterfeit goods and safeguard your brand against hijacking on Amazon. However, there are other important strategies you can (and should) apply as well.

Below is a list of other practical strategies to help you learn how to protect my brand on Amazon from counterfeits. These are aimed at preventing fakes, preserving your brand’s reputation, and maintaining consumer trust.

1. Implement unique branding elements

A distinct logo, a catchy slogan, a specific font and color scheme combination — these are unique identifiers that set your products apart from others.

Because they’re hard to mimic precisely, unique branding elements on your products and packaging can significantly deter counterfeiters.

You’ll also need branding to enroll for Brand Registry, so this strategy is a must. Consider adopting distinctive markers such as:

  • Holograms and watermarks:
    A hologram or a watermark that’s difficult to replicate is a strong deterrent against scammers. Encourage your customers to look for these when verifying the authenticity of your products.
  • Serial numbers or barcodes:
    As previously discussed, assigning unique serial numbers or barcodes to each product (or having Transparency do it for you) makes counterfeiting challenging. You can also use these codes to track and authenticate items, which adds another layer of protection.
  • Product or packaging design:
    Counterfeiters struggle to mimic intricate product or packaging designs. Opt for one that’s difficult to replicate and is easily recognizable for your customers. For example, maintaining a single unboxing experience across all your products makes your brand much easier to differentiate and much harder to counterfeit.
  • Quality materials:
    Imposters often use low-quality materials to copy products. High-quality manufacturing thus sets a standard that counterfeiters find hard to match.

2. Leverage QR codes

QR codes are a powerful weapon in the fight against counterfeiting. They can store a significant amount of data, are easy to use, and add an extra layer of security for your brand. For example, when a shopper scans a code with their smartphone, it can lead them to your official website or a dedicated page that confirms the product’s legitimacy.

However, the success of QR codes largely depends on educating your customers about their purpose and how to use them. Include instructions on your packaging and website to guide buyers. This not only safeguards your brand against counterfeiters but also provides a better customer experience.

You can include them either on the box in SIPP initiatives or as a box insert.

3. Build close relationships with your customers

Engage and foster connections with your shoppers through email marketing, social media engagement, and communities.

When customers feel a personal connection to your brand, they’re more likely to make repeat purchases from you rather than risk buying counterfeits. They’ll trust your products and appreciate the quality you deliver.

Additionally, engaged customers are more inclined to notify you if they come across unauthorized versions of your items. They might spot these fakes on other platforms or in physical stores and alert you, allowing you to take action.

Part of cultivating these relationships is fostering and engaging with customer reviews. Buyer feedback wields great influence over shoppers’ purchasing decisions, so encourage your followers to leave reviews by providing excellent customer service, following up to gauge their satisfaction with your product, and running automated email campaigns. Use Amazon’s Request a Review button whenever you can.

Regularly monitor and respond to customer reviews to address concerns, show appreciation for positive feedback, and demonstrate your commitment to consumer satisfaction. And if you see complaints that don’t seem to match your product, figure out why and if they’re actually about a counterfeit product.

4. Take advantage of Amazon’s brand protection programs

As previously discussed, Amazon developed a series of anti-counterfeit initiatives, so you should harness their power to your benefit. Be sure to register your brand and take part in the Transparency program for product serialization.

Also, employ Project Zero’s AI-powered tools to monitor and manage potential counterfeit listings. That means ensuring your trademarks are registered, branding your products, and having quality images and descriptions of your products.

5. Keep a vigilant eye on the market

Monitoring your brand name and best-selling products is an essential part of how to protect my brand on Amazon as well as other platforms consistently. Early detection of counterfeits can save your brand reputation and prevent revenue loss.

You can be proactive in several ways:

  • Regularly review your listings:
    Check your Amazon listings regularly for any unauthorized changes; counterfeiters sometimes try to hijack listings to sell their fake goods. If you notice anything suspicious, report it to Amazon immediately.
  • Track your best-selling products:
    Closely watch your best-selling products, as these are often the prime targets for scammers. Look for unexpected changes in sales patterns, such as sudden drops in purchases, which could indicate that counterfeit versions of your product are being sold.
  • Monitor online channels:
    Keep an eye on your other online sales channels, such as marketplaces like eBay, social media, and other eCommerce sites. Counterfeiters often sell their fake products on multiple platforms.
  • Employ monitoring services:
    Consider investing in professional monitoring services. These companies apply advanced algorithms and tools to scour the internet, identify counterfeits, and provide real-time alerts when they detect potential infringements. Of course, Amazon’s monitoring services are already robust, so if your budget is low, stick to their free solutions.

Detect and address counterfeiting activities early to minimize their impact on your brand and your customers.

6. Register intellectual property rights

Register your trademarks, patents, and copyrights when applicable. This asserts your legal ownership over your products and your brand. Should counterfeiting issues arise, having your intellectual property rights in order will provide solid legal footing for you to take action against thieves. Amazon’s IP Accelerator is a great tool to help you get started.

7. Apply for Amazon’s A+ Content

Amazon’s A+ Content (previously Enhanced Brand Content) allows brand owners to craft visually rich and informative product listings. These features enable you to showcase your brand story, highlight product features, and display additional images or videos.

With A+ Content, you can create richer product descriptions using high-quality images, text placements, and a unique brand story. Here’s how to leverage it for maximum protection:

  • Distinct product descriptions:
    Break away from traditional product descriptions with a unique blend of media. You can produce richer, more informative descriptions that are harder for counterfeiters to replicate.
  • Visual elements:
    High-resolution images, 360-degree views, and videos offer a detailed view of your products, which both improves the customer’s shopping experience and serves as another obstacle for counterfeiters to duplicate. Be sure to include branding in the images except for your main product image on Amazon so it’s even more difficult to steal your images.
  • Brand storytelling:
    Share your brand story and build a deeper connection with your customers (which also fosters loyalty). A genuine brand narrative can’t be copied and helps differentiate you from counterfeiters.
  • Detailed product information: Leverage the additional content spaces to display extra product information, usage guides, comparison charts, etc. The more detailed your information, the harder it is for counterfeiters to copy it accurately.

To access this tool though, you must be part of Amazon’s Brand Registry. Once you’re in the program, capitalizing on A+ Content can significantly strengthen your defense against counterfeiters and ensure a superior shopping experience for your customers.

Looking for more ways to upgrade your product listings? Check out MyFBAPrep’s strategies for show-stopping product listings.

8. Regularly test buy

Test buying is a practice where a brand owner or representative purchases their products from other sellers who also list those items. The aim is to verify the authenticity of the products being sold under the brand’s name. (This strategy is only necessary if other sellers list your brand’s products though.)

When the item arrives, you examine it and its packaging to determine whether it’s genuine or a fake. This helps identify unauthorized sellers or counterfeiters selling false products under your brand’s name.

If you discover a counterfeit item through a test buy, you can use that evidence to report the issue to Amazon and take legal action against the counterfeit seller, if necessary. It’s an important tool in maintaining brand integrity and customer trust.

Besides protecting your brand from counterfeits, test buying is also a great way to ensure your unboxing experience, product fulfillment, and other logistics-related elements meet the standards set by your brand. So, you achieve multiple goals with one strategy.

9. Litigation

Consider taking legal action against counterfeiters when you find them. This is an aggressive approach, but it may be necessary to defend your brand. Almost always start by sending a cease-and-desist letter to the bad actor and submitting a takedown request to Amazon.

If both tactics fail to resolve the issue, you need to consider legal pursuits. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property rights to explore your options.

Infringement of intellectual property rights, such as trademark and copyright violations, can lead to civil litigation, monetary damages, and, in some cases, criminal penalties for counterfeiters.

Legal action tends to be time-consuming and costly, but it may be necessary to protect your brand’s reputation and value. Consult legal counsel to determine the most appropriate course of action based on the specific circumstances and the severity of the infringement.

The INFORM Consumers Act

This U.S. law designed to protect consumers and small businesses went into effect in June 2023. The Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act mandates online retailers to collect, verify, and disclose information about high-volume third-party sellers.

Amazon supported this bill before its approval, advocating for a nationally consistent standard to prevent small businesses from grappling with a hodgepodge of state-level regulations.

MyFBAPrep’s co-founder, Tom Wicky, sees the legislation as a positive step forward: “I do find the legislation to be a step in a positive direction, as it will hold sellers accountable for the quality of their product — which ultimately benefits the consumer. It also will help listing quality and benefit brand owners.”

10. Educate your customers

Regularly remind your customers about how to identify genuine products. Encourage them to purchase only from your official Amazon store or authorized resellers. To help them determine the real ones from fakes, craft product descriptions that clearly delineate your item and what makes it distinct.

Focus on communicating your products’ unique selling points and preemptively addressing common concerns or questions. Use clear, concise language and avoid jargon or overly technical terms.

It might be beneficial to show the difference between a counterfeit item and a genuine product if you can obtain a false one safely.

Highlighting the discrepancies in quality, design, or performance can be a powerful deterrent against fake goods.

If you include standards to allow customers to verify the authenticity of a product, like Transparency barcodes, let the customer know in the description. Format the text properly as well by using bullet points and short paragraphs to make your listings easy to read and understand.

While images are vital to attract customers and showcase your products’ features and benefits, they can also help shoppers spot the differences between genuine and counterfeit goods. So, ensure your photos have high resolution and are well lit and professionally shot.

Include multiple angles and close-ups to highlight key product features. Meanwhile, lifestyle images and infographics show buyers you’re the original brand.

Educated customers can play a significant role in identifying and reporting counterfeit products, so invest in and leverage your consumer base for greater policing.

11. Partner with reliable fulfillment providers

The delivery leg of the shopping experience is a subtle, yet powerful method of shielding your brand. Working with professional fulfillment partners like MyFBAPrep guarantees your customers a consistent and memorable unboxing experience that’s distinctly yours (and difficult to fake).

When you partner with a trustworthy fulfillment provider, your company gains access to:

  • Uniform branding:
    An experienced logistics service maintains consistent branding across all your products. Elements such as custom packaging materials and even how the items are packed produce a unique, yet uniform unboxing experience that counterfeiters can’t replicate easily.
  • Quality control:
    Reputable fulfillment providers have stringent quality control processes in place. They guarantee your products are stored, handled, and packaged correctly, which reduces the chances of damage or mix-ups that could tarnish your brand image.
  • Inventory management:
    A reliable fulfillment provider keeps track of your inventory in detail, which prevents unauthorized sellers from introducing counterfeit items into your inventory (a practice known as commingling).
  • Smoother customer experience:
    Fast, reliable shipping and handling builds consumer trust in your brand. In turn, they’re more likely to buy through you or your authorized sellers again rather than fall for (or seek out) counterfeit offerings.
  • Reports on suspicious activities:
    Fulfillment providers possess a keen eye for noticing and reporting if something’s amiss, such as sudden spikes in product demand or returns that could signal counterfeit activity. Their vigilance provides an extra layer of defense for your brand.
  • Labeling:
    QR codes, Transparency barcodes, and other distinct labels are important for ensuring customers can validate the legitimacy of their products. At the same time, you need hands-on labeling to achieve it. That often requires working with a fulfillment partner like MyFBAPrep that has the infrastructure to handle per-unit labeling.

Over the last few years, Amazon has invested heavily in expanding and improving their brand protection tools and initiatives to upgrade the coverage they provide their sellers and customers. We’ve broken down the latest and most significant developments below.

1. Amazon brand protection tools gather pace

Combining machine learning, automation, and data pooled from Brand Registry, Amazon has crafted a number of innovative solutions:

  • Report a Violation tool:
    The Report a Violation tool helps sellers find support quickly when infringements occur. As a brand owner, you can look for and spot offending actions, as well as submit a ticket and track its progress in a designated dashboard. This tool continues to make positive contributions to the fight against infringements, with Amazon seeing a 30% drop in breaches from 2020 to 2023.
  • Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) service:
    Tackling the complex world of utility patents, APEX focuses on helping brands protect themselves by submitting requests to Amazon to review potential violations. The platform then enlists the help of an objective, third-party patent lawyer to assess disputes. This approach facilitates accurate case deliberation, protects brands, and preserves market competition. It’s also faster, averaging just 30 days for case decisions compared to two years without the service.
  • Transparency:
    This solution enables brands to play an active role in blocking fake goods from infiltrating their supply chain. Through Transparency, Amazon is able to verify the authenticity of each product sent to their warehouses by scanning the Transparency-enabled code. In 2023 alone, there were over 1.6 billion products enrolled in the program.

It also empowers brands to expand their goods authentication strategy, increase convenience, and gain customers’ trust through this innovative solution’s dedicated mobile app. Equipping customers to validate products increases your protection without multiplying your team’s workload.

  • Project Zero:
    Project Zero has unlocked new levels of security coverage for Brand Registry participants. The initiative combines Amazon’s high-tech brand protection tools, self-service counterfeit listing removal capabilities, automated protections, and expansive knowledge of IP and counterfeit detection for a well-rounded defense.

For example, a brand can remove harmful listings and set automated protections that guard their interests around the clock. This multipronged approach to brand protection has been ground-breaking, with Amazon stating that automated protections have booted more than 1,000 suspected violations for every one that a brand removes in Project Zero. Further, Amazon estimates they take down 99% of suspected infringing listings before brands have to report them.

  • IP Accelerator:
    Amazon noticed how the lengthy approval process for obtaining trademarks prevented brands from adequately protecting themselves. In response, they launched their IP Accelerator, which shortens the timeline for brands to gain IP rights and brand protection on and off the Amazon marketplace.

This program gives enrollees access to an extensive network of reputable IP companies at fair rates. The IP Accelerator continues to gain ground and is now available in places like the U.S., the EU, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, and Australia. As of the end of 2023, more than 15,000 brands had used the program across 38 countries.

2. Collaborative brand protection projects take center stage

In the past, Amazon focused their security-boosting measures on removing improper listings and deterring sellers from breaking the rules with stiff penalties. But the Brand Protection report revealed Amazon’s ambition to take a more holistic approach to security on their platform. Some notable changes include:

Enhanced seller verification for quality control

Verification on Amazon used to consist of an online application document submission, which Amazon Support would later approve or reject. However, the lack of in-person vetting made the process susceptible to manipulation.

In response, the platform scaled up in-person verifications. Prospective sellers speak with an Amazon team member in a one-to-one online setting and confirm details such as their proof of identity, physical location, and payment method.

The enhanced security checks support Amazon’s machine learning vehicles. These analyze large data sets at scale, highlight threats, and prevent people from securing seller accounts illegitimately. The new technology is so sophisticated that it can even identify connections to past bad actors.

Accountability as a security strategy

Gone are the days when a selling ban was the biggest retribution for shady sellers. Amazon has started to make good use of the law to hold fraudulent sellers accountable. This includes setting up the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) in 2020 and suing 21,000 scammers and counterfeiters in 2023.

Cross-industry partnerships strengthen counterfeit prevention

To combat fake goods, Amazon has joined forces with industry associations around the globe like the Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP), Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC), and International Anticounterfeiting Coalition (IACC). Together they created a memorandum of understanding to form best practices, trial new counterfeit prevention measures, and spot trends.

Similarly, Amazon’s CCU leans on knowledge from individuals with backgrounds in data analysis, federal prosecution, the FBI, and law enforcement. Amazon’s CCU understands the importance of keeping up with industry trends to develop innovative ways to find and stop scammers.

Consequently, they’ve brought suppliers, logistical companies’ clients, fake invoice issuers, and even social media influencers to justice through counterfeit goods seizures and civil lawsuits.

Customer guarantees and support help Amazon preserve the buyer experience after a counterfeit breach

As the battle continues against counterfeits, some customers will inevitably encounter bogus products in the marketplace. So, Amazon has leveraged their generous customer refunds policy to stop the spread of fake products and convince shoppers to return even if they encounter phony products on the platform.

For example, if Amazon discovers a false product, they’ll contact the customer to alert them of the issue and offer a full refund without the buyer needing to act. This approach protects both the customer experience and the seller’s brand reputation.

Greater customer awareness to combat the spread of fakes

Leaning into the famous adage “knowledge is power,” Amazon is spending capital to boost customer understanding and awareness of counterfeiting. Key activities include:

  • Supporting the U.S. government’s STOPfakes project
  • Launching a blueprint on how public and private sector partnerships can help stop counterfeits
  • Discussions about the blueprint between Amazon and policymakers on data sharing on criminal counterfeiting networks, government assistance, and attempted imports of counterfeit goods
  • A partnership with the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Unreal Campaign and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles to educate Gen Z shoppers about trademarks, intellectual property, and brand protection.

Quick tips to reinforce your Amazon brand protection measures

Along with the above tactics on how to protect my brand on Amazon, here are a few other recommendations to complement your efforts:

  • Use tools like Helium 10, SellerSprite, and AMZAlert to track IP violations, hijacking attempts, and poor reviews. Or, use the Amazon Impact Dashboard.
  • Monitor correct spellings and misspellings of your brand name with an IP monitoring tool to lead you to potential IP violators.
  • Track and keep updated records on authorized sellers of your products.
  • Update listings regularly to avoid missing issues and mistakenly flagging other sellers.
  • Be proactive about brand protection. Share your protective measures in your marketing and encourage shoppers to get involved.
  • Phase out products without the Transparency code. Work with manufacturers or fulfillment prep service to print or attach them to packaging.
  • Take note of items in your portfolio that are continually flagged for counterfeits and find ways to deter scammers from selecting them. Use the Amazon Impact Dashboard to see which products are impacted and then consider how you can improve, such as by refining product listings, increasing visible branding on packaging, including QR codes, etc.

Wrapping up — Leverage Amazon brand protection to guard your business

It’s imperative to safeguard your brand when selling on a platform as massive as Amazon. Taking effective measures like enrolling in one of Amazon’s protective programs and distinguishing your brand through engaging product listings can significantly contribute to your store’s success and reputation.

It’s also your responsibility though to keep an eye on your brand’s presence and act quickly against counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers.

Amazon continues to make huge strides towards building a safe, fair marketplace. However, security on the marketplace depends on everyone’s participation, so be proactive.

Encourage shoppers to be part of your protective measures as well and lean on technology to find potential violations and suspicious activity.

Solidify your brand protection strategy and your selling experience on Amazon right to promote smoother, more profitable operations.

Published: May 11, 2023
Updated: June 3, 2024