We all know how counterfeiting affects everyone in the value chain: the manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.
Only one person is smiling at the bank when counterfeited products are used to defraud the unsuspecting victim- the counterfeiter.
You may wonder why it was so easy to buy counterfeits on Amazon. To be fair to the retail giant, many goods purchased on the platform are sold by third-party sellers and not Amazon directly.
As part of the initial policy, there were no actual plans to authenticate products sold by third-party sellers, although customers were allowed to post reviews about products.
Like every other marketplace, Amazon has an Anti-Counterfeiting Policy that strictly prohibits sales of counterfeits on the platform.
But this did not prevent many buyers from still falling victim because there was no proactive approach to stop it.
Called the nightmare of counterfeiters, the transparency program proactively prevents counterfeits.
It helps build trust with your customers, offers greater transparency, and gives buyers the ability to know they are buying an authentic product.
Hence, the Transparency program’s introduction takes the battle against counterfeits more seriously.
We’ll look at what the program is in detail, how it works, what it means for you as a Seller or buyer, what it costs, and how to apply.
What is the Amazon Transparency Program?
Introduced in 2017, Amazon Transparency Program is a product serialization service designed to help identify individual units of products and authenticate them so that counterfeits can’t reach unsuspecting customers.
The program allows Amazon to authenticate each item before it is sold.
Since counterfeits are designed to mimic genuine products and may be difficult to distinguish from afar, Amazon Transparency Program proactively allows customers to authenticate products that are so-enabled before purchase, regardless of where it was purchased.
Once customers scan the codes on the product via the app designed for the purpose, they will get an update on whether the product is authentic or not.
We’ll look at how it works in more detail later below, but unless a product is enrolled in the Transparency Program, it cannot be scanned by customers.
You can do a no better thing for your brand on Amazon than ensuring that your products are protected from counterfeiters.
Customers feel more safe purchasing products from brands that have a means of authentication and further allow customers to verify products.
Products from brands or third-party sellers that are so protected can’t proceed to the delivery stage of Amazon fulfillment unless they pass the transparency check.
This prevents frauds from hijacking a listing as substandard and counterfeit products will be easily identified, and such products won’t be delivered.
The massive wave of substandard and counterfeit products that third-party sellers and producers have passed under Amazon’s radar is mind-boggling.
But this program is set to end all that and ensure that the buyer receives only the specified version of what is ordered and not a counterfeit.
The benefits are apparent. First, your best-selling products are protected. Once a counterfeit product reaches the consumer, the prospect of the product begins to drop.
Transparency also prevents frauds from hijacking your listing, as only products that have transparency codes will be shipped.
The transparency program allows brands to provide additional information to customers, including manufacturing date, manufacturing place, and enhanced product information.
This provides more transparency and builds solid trust with buyers.
So many sellers may also run into litigation trouble by selling counterfeits that cause losses or injuries to the consumer.
Moreover, counterfeiters could also severely hit your business if Amazon wields the big stick and suspends your listing.
You also risk losing your brand’s reputation, primarily if you’ve worked hard to build one. If just one customer has a bad experience with a counterfeit product from you, it may damage your business irreparably.
Protecting your brand and your customers via the Amazon Transparency Program is a no-brainer. Here’s how it works.
How Does it Work?
Amazon’s Transparency Program prevents counterfeiting by providing T-shaped 2D barcodes to companies that manufacture products sold on Amazon.
Each product unit is fitted with these codes that consumers can use to authenticate its originality.
Each product unit has its specific code provided by Amazon, and customers can scan it. Amazon will also scan the barcode of a product to confirm its originality before shipping it to customers.
Amazon will look for this code before even allowing them into the warehouses. If a product unit doesn’t have the barcode, it is treated immediately as a counterfeit.
Since each Transparency-enabled product must be scanned before being admitted into the fulfillment center, it is appropriate that the code is placed on the exterior layer of the product packaging.
Before customers purchase the product, they can also verify by themselves using the Transparency mobile app.
They have to use the app to scan the barcode, and a green check will indicate that it is authentic.
A red “X” sign shows that the product cannot be authenticated and is probably counterfeit. Customers can use this method online and in-store.
So the code can be scanned by Amazon, by retailers, if you’re a manufacturer, and by customers.
What Does it Mean For You?
When you enroll in the Transparency Program by Amazon, your brand is offered the strong protection that many customers are looking for.
Once a buyer is sure that only authenticated goods are available in your store, you have gained a loyal client.
Although Amazon Transparency Program is not free, the amount you pay is negligible compared to what you stand to gain. Brands that have implemented the program are known to make more profits than those that haven’t.
You can also end the plague of bad reviews with this program. Customers who can authenticate products before purchase are likely to leave excellent reviews, which boosts your brand.
Without authentication, you stand to fall to the antics of several fraudulent products that quickly destroy brands.
With the transparency code, only authenticated goods certainly make it to the hands of consumers.
Electronics are some of the most frequently bought items on Amazon, and they are perhaps the most counterfeited products ever.
The danger of substandard electronics is real, as it may cause untold harm or even death.
You don’t want to be the seller that exchanged life-threatening products for money, all because you didn’t invest in product authentication.
Cost of Amazon Transparency Program
The cost of the transparency program is determined per barcode. Depending on how many units of the products you have, your price could vary from $0.01 to $0.05 per barcode.
Although many sellers see the additional cost as a significant downside to the program, It is still a relatively cheap amount to pay to eliminate counterfeits from your store.
You should note that the higher the volume of your goods, the more affordable the cost per barcode.
However, another cost you should factor in is the labeling. As every unit has to carry the label, you need to add the labeling cost to the entire value.
How To Apply
Do you now see how vital the Transparency program is to your business? You should join now. Joining the transparency program is not difficult, but there are some prerequisites.
- You must have a brand on Amazon.
- You must have enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry
- Your products must include a UPC or EAN code.
- All your products must carry the transparency code.
You’ll be required to fill out a form on the Amazon Transparency Program page.
The information you’ll be asked to supply includes your User name, valid Email, First name, Last name, and Brand name. Remember, your brand should be already enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry.
One will need to supply the phone number and the location of your company, and Amazon will get back to you.
If your application is successful, you will select the products you want to authenticate with the Transparency codes.
It’s that simple!
Counterfeiters have long frustrated many online sellers, and buyers too. They may undo years of hard work.
Investing in product authentication through Amazon Transparency Program is one significant step toward ending this menace. It’s always a wise step to protect your brand.
Customers will be happy, your brand will be protected, and you’ll make more profit. The procedure is straightforward enough so that you can get started today!