With Amazon now making it easier than ever for Chinese companies to sell directly to the American market, many American sellers are beginning to complain about having to compete with cheap knockoffs.
CNBC reports that products from clamps for bed sheets to Michael Kors handbags have seen cheap counterfeit versions pop up on Amazon. The owner of the bedding business BedBand said that its business plummeted in 2015 mostly as a result of Chinese knockoffs, some of which have obtained fake reviews according to Fakespot.com.
Sellers claim that this issue became very serious after Amazon encouraged more Chinese manufacturers to enter the market and sell directly to the US. Recently, the Fulfillment by Amazon program made it significantly cheaper for Chinese sellers to ship small and light packages to US shoppers. In this program, Amazon also gets a higher commission from shoppers than if Chinese sellers use other shipping services. Meanwhile, Americans shoppers might be less suspicious of fake products when they are labeled as part of the Fulfillment by Amazon program.
Amazon has not yet presented a solution to this counterfeit problem. Though its anti-counterfeiting program does shut down fraudulent shops, sellers often quickly open a new one under a different name.
Amazon responded to the CNBC report with the following statement:
Amazon does not allow the sale of counterfeit items on its Marketplace and occurrences of counterfeit products are very rare. Every customer who orders on Amazon is covered by our A-Z guarantee and if they do receive counterfeit goods from a marketplace seller, we will refund or replace that item.