Amazon’s new way to fight its long-standing ‘counterfeit problem’ is called “Project Zero”. Through this initiative, Amazon aims to provide brands with its self-service counterfeit removal tool to remove fake listings from the site.
Fake products posted on Amazon can have a significant impact on the brands they are trying to counterfeit. This would pressurize the actual owners of the brand to lower prices of their products in order to compete with the cheaper fake versions of the same. Fighting counterfeits have proved complicated for Amazon and it has always struggled to manage this process. But with Project Zero, Amazon hopes to eliminate counterfeits by allowing brands to directly remove and control listings from Amazon’s store without having to seek the retail giant’s approval.
For now, the invites to join the program are being sent to only a few of Amazon’s chosen brands. “[T]he combined strengths of Amazon and brands can drive counterfeits to zero… brands must maintain a high bar for accuracy in order to maintain their Project Zero privileges,” Amazon said.
In addition to granting brands the power to control their listings, Project Zero offers two more components. An enhanced automated protection system allows brands to provide Amazon with their logos, trademarks and other key data about their brand. Amazon will then use this data against its product listings to track down counterfeits.
Another way to remove fake products is for companies to put a unique serial code Amazon provides on their products during manufacturing. This would allow Amazon to scan and confirm the authenticity of a product leaving the warehouse. However, unlike the self-serve option and the automated protection system which are free to Project Zero-registered users, serialization service will be charged. Amazon may charge between $0.01 and $0.05 for each unit, depending upon the volume.