I wonder if contacting US Government representatives to ask them to have CPB investigate Amazon warehouses as a nexus of counterfeit goods would be useful.
I bet if CPB officials raided an Amazon warehouse and went through and seized all counterfeit goods in the warehouse, Amazon would quickly find a solution to this problem.
The author of this article clearly doesn't know much about selling on Amazon, because what he is asking for is possible. It's called the Amazon Brand Registry. You can contact the infringment team using the details here and initiate the process of getting your brand / ASIN locked so that other people can't sell it without your permission: https://www.amazon.com/report/infringement
Also check this out: https://services.amazon.com/brand-registry.html
If you have a popular product then counterfeiters are unfortunately inevitable, but you do have options to fight back and stop them.
There is also Brand Gating which is a little harder to get. Look up ASIN or Brand Gating for information. Basically you can order the counterfeit product and report it to Amazon. It can cost a couple thousand in legal fees to register your brand and get all the paperwork unless you are capable of doing it all yourself, but it is possible.
This isn't going to work because companies will lie their pants off to prevent distribution. I've personally had false IP complaints from multiple billion dollar companies, which are submitted under penalty of perjury, and I know of other companies that do the same.
What you should do is buy up their entire stock (it's FBA, and seems like not a lot of stock) and file not as described complaints with notice@amazon and also cc seller performance, then return as wrong item.
Now for the part that's not off topic: to remind myself how long ago I bought it, I just clicked on the product link from my order confirmation e-mail from Amazon. I landed at a listing for the product, but "Sold by suiningdonghanjiaju Co Ltd" (not making the name up). That's not right I know for a fact that when I placed the order it was listed properly as "Sold by Elevation Lab". I just clicked around some more and eventually I got to the listing that is "sold by Elevation Lab" but both of those pages have the gray 'you bought this item on...' box at the top. That seems.... off that doesn't pass the sniff test.
But, as I said, from the outside, that report link does seem like a viable "option to fight back"; in reality, it's a customer support black hole.
Have you looked up Brand Gating too? My (admittedly limited) understanding is that Brand Registry is step #1 and Brand Gating is the next level beyond that: https://www.helium10.com/blog/selling-on-amazon/brand-gating...
In general, I think there's frustration for smaller companies and brands that Amazon (understandably) doesn't retain resources to support individually.
Somewhat perversely, someone claimed on the forums (I’ll try to add the link if I find the topic), that one way to get brand gated is to buy up the counterfeit products being sold under your listing/ASIN, and document and/or send them into Amazon. It seems that until you’re being widely counterfeited, there really is nothing you can do proactively.
Amazon has been an overall net positive for our company, but the difficulties of trying to get a knowledgeable person to answer pressing questions usually create headaches for me at least once a month. Even as a large volume seller through Amazon Vendor Central, we’ve been given boilerplate legalese about needing to provide photocopies of the certificate of our trademarks in order to initiate DMCA takedowns of stolen or copied images and text. As great as Amazon is for consumers, the vendor support can often make you feel like you’re howling at the wind.
The issue with the Amazon case management system is if you encounter a customer service rep who has no idea who you're talking about, there's no way to escalate the support case at all. There's no live person to talk to. So, you end up playing roulette, often having to submit the same case multiple times until you get a rep who is able to help.
you can probably get somewhere by messaging email@example.com
Apply to the brand registry with your trademark info and you’ll have access to tools to proactively protect your brand.
Amazon is taking this sort of behavior very seriously and has added systems in place to help prevent this.
In addition to the brand registry you might also want to check out their transparency program.
Just doing simple image machine learning should get 90% of scammers.
He AWS team is great about this. Looking for abnormalities. Looking for posted AWS keys. Proactively. The retail guys need to get some of the cloud guy smarts. Or ethics. Either/or will help stop this.
I don’t sell, but I can barely buy from amazon because of all the scam copies and fake reviews.
Haven't ever read a single word from Amazon to reassure me (as a buyer) about counterfeits. At least nothing beyond completely cookie cutter PR stuff that my brain just dismisses.
Let's see some stats. Let's see some action plans. Let's get all these sellers' horror stories out of my various feeds. Where's all that?
Not sure if you're aware, but Amazon's doing pretty OK by all publicly available signs. To the extent what's bothering you is even a real issue, it's not bothering anyone else enough to stop them shopping on Amazon. I doubt Amazon feels much pressure to post action plans to satisfy the tiny minority of people who have strong opinions about this issue.
See also other shitty companies that made money.
? I mean it may be true that they will some day go out of business. In fact it's all but certain. But I don't think you could really say it's because of effect that is visible today.
What are people buying and receiving fakes of?
I still buy stuff on amazon because returns are very simple, but I got into habit of immediately returning anything which is not good enough. I feel that most of the stuff one can buy there is garbage.
Books, CD, electronics, baby products, stationary, personal care products including condoms, toys,...
Take a look at this cup. Would you know if Amazon sent you a fake if it's your only Yeti cup? http://www.wideopenspaces.com/fake-yeti-ramblers-on-the-rise...
Many/Most of the time it's going to be difficult to tell unless you have the real version already and do side by side comparison.
To get fancy you could compare against the millions of known frauds and apply that to new products.
The thing that bugs me is that they do nothing. This stupid “it’s all on you to register your brand and yadda yadda” would be cool if they also coupled that with a ton of effort and smarts to stamp out counterfeiters.
I mean they run mechanical Turk, they could just manually review shit.
They should keep a running log of how they think this is important and all the things they try.
There’s no machine learning to do. The only way to find the counterfeit is to inspect each shipment by hand vs a reference sample to determine if it’s legit.
This is basically what the Amazon transparency program is. Is tracks each item from manufacturer all the way through to your door with unique code scanned along the way. You can use the app to see where it came from.
If you’re interviewing sellers, what do you ask them in the interview? “Are you selling counterfeits?” What are your grounds for allowing them to list an item?
If you want to inspect a new listing, what do you want to inspect? Maybe you inspect the first shipment. Fine. People will figure that out and send a small first shipment of real items, then start sending fakes.
My point is that they aren’t doing anything. You point out a couple of edge conditions as a reason not to try. Even reducing fakes by 20% would be great.
If this cost Amazon money they would be trying to stop it.
There are literally multiple teams with lots of software engineers working on these problems.
Currently entry into brand registry is a requirement for these programs. You would be shocked to see the head count and money Amazon is spending in this area, they are investing heavily.
"18650" is a type of lithium battery and capacities above 4000 mah are technically impossible.
Usually the batteries with lower rated capacities are fake, too, but at least this would get rid of the most blatant scams.
There are also many examples of fake power banks, but those have varying form factors, so you'd have to calculate the volume or check the weight to make sure it is technically impossible.
When did this become an acceptable statement?
Counterfeits however, are difficult; somebody has to notice, and care that the thing is a counterfeit, and if this is the first time I'm buying one of these anchors, how am I to know how nice the seams are supposed to be? if it works, I'm happy.
To get around image section though, all you need is a real box of the thing. you can just buy a bunch of it and repackage, and sell the original separately.
(just for reference, the cloud guys are relying on us for a lot of their detection, not the other way around)
Why would any company spend money to decrease their revenue? I have yet to see one company that does not test the boundaries of the legally permissible to maximize profits.
As a buyer I want to know I can trust what I'm buying is what I believe I am buying --and sellers don't want their brands tarneshed. Once bitten twice shy.
It's why their customer service has always been recognized as one of the best.
"We do not enforce ... Detail Page Ownership ... Exclusive or Selective Distribution."
As long as the counterfeit is good enough, don't bother complaining:
"Other sellers can list their items for sale against pages that you have created or added your copyrighted images to. However, we do require sellers to list only against detail pages that exactly match their items. If you believe sellers are listing against detail pages that do not exactly match their items, we ask that you report the violation directly by using the contact us form."
Why do the counterfeiters get to use your own picture of your own product? Because Amazon claims the rights from you:
"Additionally, when you add your copyrighted image to a detail page, you grant Amazon and its affiliates a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to exercise all rights of publicity over the material."
And that brand registry? Does it mean your brand is yours? No, it's just 'increased authority' ...
"increased authority over product listings with your brand name"
IANAL, but that sounds very thin. Maybe it would hold up under copyright law, but that seems dubious. What if the party agreeing to that contract doesn't have that right in the first place? But all this ignores trademark law. If that image contains a trademark and the trademark is used improperly, then the cause of action that the trademark owner has seems like it would have nothing to do with "publicity".
A remedy that is impossible to get in practice is no remedy at all.
"Suzi Hixon - Private Label Lawyer - Providing strategic business and legal guidance for the proactive protection and enforcement of your Amazon listings and private label brands."
How bad must be the Amazon problem be that there's an industry dedicated to trying to deal with it?
If you sell on Amazon and also sell elsewhere and someone got their hands on a legitimate item, they can sell using your images.
Once upon a time, I could go to amazon.com and buy things from Amazon. I trusted Amazon to sell legit goods. But now if I go to amazon.com, it's bizarrely difficult to buy from Amazon, and a large fraction of the goods sold seem to be junk. And Amazon presumably made considerably more money selling things that they sourced themselves.
So why doesn't Amazon go back closer to their original model? I wouldn't mind seeing a strong built-in preference for genuine Amazon listings and a very clear indication that I'm about to order from some random-ass seller.
(Also, I'm quite surprised that there hasn't been a giant trademark infringement and/or copyright infringement lawsuit against Amazon? Amazon.com de facto sells all kinds of counterfeit goods. I wouldn't be surprised if a judge wouldn't let them hide behind the "it wasn't us -- it was a third party" defense.)
> The author of this article clearly doesn't know much about selling on Amazon
Or alternatively, maybe they know more than you do? Especially since the core of your advice is "use the Brand Registry" which the post already mentioned and which, according to your own link doesn't even do what you claim?
We gave up and just tell customers anything with our brand on amazon is a fake.
Source: I’m a seller on Amazon and I actually bought one of these counterfeit headphone holders.
I too sell on Amazon, and I registered my brand with Amazon. I also have a design patent for the main object I’m selling.
Direct counterfeits can get blocked, although you have to send an email to each marketplace (I’m in Europe), and then Amazon stops the sales but doesn’t remove the listing.
But listing hijacking is hard/impossible to get rid of. I have a hijacker who sells a different product (different shape, material, color, and quantities) who’s been sitting on my listing for over 2 weeks, and Amazon won’t do anything about it. « Seller performance » wrtites back canned emails saying that they don’t communicate the result of their investigations... one doubts there’s much investigation going on.
Brand registry is absolutely useless.
The main problem is, Amazon thinks about its marketplace as something where multiple sellers compete on price selling the same items. It doesn’t want unique listing for unique products by unique sellers/manufacturers. It doesn’t like the idea, and it will never spend ressources to enforce it.
This is in fact a little unfair (can't edit anymore so I reply to myself). In my experience Amazon employees are very courteous and want to help; the problem is, they usually don't know how the system works and can only read back policies (that are otherwise available to anyone -- we can read!)
Maybe it's just a lack of training (not their fault), or maybe nobody really knows how all the parts of the system work together. Anyway it's incredibly difficult to get a clear answer.
And seller performance is the worst, because they never answer or do any follow-up.
And since Amazon profits from these third party sellers they are complicit.
Wishpower is the brand, yet Chrome logo. Supports Airplay, I thought that was Apple exclusive? 2.3 stars.
Does seem odd to me, unless by some coincidence they licensed the Chrome logo from Google and Airplay from Apple and then also happened to get badly reviewed.
Let me find the first 10 links matching "Chromecast". 
ONLY the 1st and 3rd links don't have misleading/deliberately confusing or outright stolen trademarks on them (but they aren't chromecasts). Examples include the "G" on 5 and 6 in the font Google uses or the Youtube logo on 7. Examples of outright stolen trademarks include links 2, 4, 8, 9 and 10 all have the Chrome logo.
For completeness, the (only) actual link to Chromecasts on amazon is here .
The first and third links are weird, as in they're an entirely different product category from a Chromecast. Why are they even in there ? They are very much not chromecasts.
I would like to point out that if you are looking for a Chromecast, ALL of those products will be sorely disappointing. 1 and 3 don't even support streaming web content to them in any way, and all the others are chinese wireless display mirroring devices, some are even low-res versions.
None of them have anywhere near the compatibility or functionality that Chromecast provides. If you buy these and expect them to do what a Chromecast does, you'll be sorely disappointed.
If this is what happens to Google, imagine what will happen to you on Amazon to the inventors of fidget spinners, or those cubes. The web is full of articles and forum complaints about fake products on amazon. Link to the trend .
Links when searching "Chromecast"
1. Fire TV stick with Alexa ...
2. Wifi Display Dongle,Wishpower HDMI 1080P Mini Display Receiver TV Miracast DLNA AirMirror Airplay for IOS/Android/Windows/Mac
3. Roku Express | 5X more powerful HD Streaming (2017)
4. WiFi Display Dongle,Wishpower 2018 WiFi Wireless 1080P Mini Display Receiver HDMI TV Miracast DLNA Airplay for IOS/Android/Windows/Mac(New Version)
5. 2018 Cymocho G5 Wireless Wifi Display Dongle, HDMI 1080P TV Receiver Adapter, Support Google Chrome for YouTube Miracast Airplay DLNA TV Stick for Android/ Mac/ iOS / Windows
6. Wecast E68 Wireless Wifi Display Dongle TV Receiver Adapter 1080P Full HD support Google Chromecast for Netflix YouTube miracast airplay DLNA TV Stick for Android/ Mac/ iOS / Windows
7. 1080P HDMI Adapter Wireless Display, PTView Miracast Dongle, 2.4G Streaming Media Share Player, Mirroring Receiver TV Stick, Airplay Dina For iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Samsung, LG, Android, Smart Phones
8. WiFi Wireless Display Dongle Receiver 1080P HDMI TV Stick Miracast Media Streamer for Phone TV Support Miracast & Airplay & DLNA
9. WIFI Display Dongle, WiFi Wireless 1080P Mini Display Receiver HDMI TV Miracast DLNA Airplay for IOS/Android
10. Miracast Wireless Display Adapter,Iphone Dongle 1080P Hdmi,TV Receiver Stick,Toneseas Streaming Media Player,Airplay DLNA for Ipad Macbook Laptop Samsung Android Smart Phones - Business Gift
Curious that Amazon enforce their ban on Chromecasts so much better than their ban on counterfeits.
When I think "counterfeit", I think listings like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008ALAAV0/
Manufacturer: Apple. Title: Apple. Reviews: "arrived broken", "opened it up and it was fake", "Apple said it was a fake", etc.
Sad to see this poor level of attention to a well written customer complaint from Amazon.
This is often false. Counterfeit merchandise "may be destroyed" according to Amazon's help docs, and often is, from my experience.
So, I completely agree with the headline of this article. The whole listing process was catered to listing existing products, and the policies did not make sense for sellers who completely control their product.
> There is something extremely simple Amazon could do about it. If you have a registered brand in the Brand Registry and don't sell the product wholesale - there could be one box to check for that.
if amazon's customer service wasnt so good i would have dropped them already. (I know it's not them making the mistake, but still..)
however I buy stuff there much less frequently now since i have no way to know if I'm getting counterfeits for certain types of goods.
I can't believe there hasn't been a slew of lawsuits over this, especially in the highly litigious culture of the US. Could I just be mistaken in thinking this is such a serious problem? Or has Amazon just been lucky?
Customer service is independent from the primary business transaction being executed.
They are fucking up but compensate through good cust. Service.
Seems like a policy decision, as fighting it costs more than the break fix
if a customer doesn't notice it's a knockoff, then it's not a knockoff?
> Counterfeit goods are estimated to amount to approximately 12.5 % of China’s total exports and over 1.5 % of its GDP. This results in estimations that 72 % of counterfeit goods currently in circulation in three of the world’s largest markets for such products, namely the EU, Japan and the USA,have been exported from China.
Good customer service should start with not selling customers counterfeit crap in the first place. Instead, the phrase "customer service" means something extremely specific, i.e., a good return policy for customers who realize they've lost at Amazon's game of counterfeit roulette.
If the mistake is their normal way of doing business they should be rated as bad.
You go down to a street corner and sell knock-off Prada bags and you will be arrested. You let someone sell counterfeit goods from your store and you are an accessory.
This will only change when Amazon are held accountable.
I'd consider it good customer service if every time I had to return a counterfeit I got a 25% credit of the original price to cover my time and frustration, but that still leaves problems with undetected counterfeits - and of course it'd never happen because Amazon would have to eat the cost because commingled products mean they can't track it back to the supplier anyway. Oh, and yes I mean EVERY time - 25,50,75,100,125,etc. If I get 5 fake items, Amazon pays me 25% of the original cost. That's what it'd take to make it worth the hassle.
At this point I basically won't buy through/from Amazon unless it's something impossible to counterfeit (e.g. ThinkPads) or where I don't really care because I'm not looking for a brand or significant quality anyway.
My favorite thing about Amazon is that they screw up and ship me things that I don’t order a few times year.
It is absolutely Amazon making this mistake. They are responsible for their supply chain, and customers have higher expectations of them then they do of a flea market.
And this is why Jeff Bezos is sitting on (maybe) the biggest pile of money anyone has ever had, and why counterfeiting is not a problem Amazon will ever be interested in solving. It doesn't matter. People either don't notice that they've wound up with a counterfeit, or they don't blame it on Amazon. They just return it or write it off and remain customers.
...this and AWS.
What's amazing to me is that these days I'd consider eBay a safer option for a lot of purchases - at least there I know what seller I'm dealing with.
Only if the seller is Amazon or fulfilled by Amazon, since those are the only ones affected by commingling.
At this point, I trust that if I go to the trouble to ensure it's not "fulfilled by amazon" and I'm buying from the actual seller, I'll probably get a legit product. Otherwise, I have no way of knowing what I'm going to get.
I continue to be mystified why Amazon doesn't view this as a huge issue.
If you know what you want to buy, you are indeed best off buying directly from the product creators site and not get tempted by far cheaper alternatives amazon suggests... Birkenstock is a great example of this where it escalated https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/22/birkenstock-...
This whole being an "everything" store thing is a drain on them, and a drain on our economy. Plus they aren't exactly winning in some of the categories they thought they would be now -- groceries for example -- Walmart has shown they will fight to the absolute death on that, and I don't think they can win in that space (buying Whole Foods was a nice gesture, but Whole Foods reputation was fading from that "cool grocery store that has all this organic stuff" to "just a really expensive grocery store" especially once all the other grocery stores started carrying organics).
Of course the kicker is if they can release their fully autonomous drone fleet. Which may be what, 10...20 years off after sorting through FAA regulations at the minimum?
I started moving my products into the Brand Registry and all of a sudden the counterfeit sellers started disappearing...and now they don't exist anymore. So at one point a few years ago I was on this guys side and was starting to write up cease & desists but I believe Amazon is getting better at it. Haven't seen any counterfeit sellers on my listings that last for more than 30 days in a while.
"For the record, I love Amazon as a customer, I buy way too much stuff with Prime, I'm a long shareholder, and think they are on track to become the biggest company in the world (unless they get broken up for anti-trust reasons)."
If you are actively losing money from this problem and still buy from them, you are actively sabotaging yourself!
I really wanted to drop Prime this year, but the wife uses it for some books and movies she likes and begged me not to. However, I've started ordering my stuff directly from sellers whenever possible. Occasionally, I order from Amazon if I need something quickly, but prefer to order directly even then if the seller has a rush delivery option (attention sellers! always offer an expedited delivery option, even if you think no one will use it!)
Yet they don't seem to be bothered.
So now I look on Amazon, then see if I can buy direct or from a different retailer.
If selling fake solar eclipse glasses didn’t hit them with the clue bat, I’m not sure what will.
Perhaps the worst thing in my mind about the lack of education (for one reason of another) with reference to eclipse glasses is that good pairs can easily be shared around with minimal planning (I always buy extra new pairs as souvenirs more than anything). The partial phases just aren't things that anyone stares at for minutes on end, and totality requires that eclipse glasses be removed.
Hopefully there'll be more experience at hand and education by 2024 to avoid a repeat of 2017 (which in the grand scheme, was mostly isolated cases of poor outcomes - for most people, the biggest risk would have been driving to an eclipse site).
Look at the reviews of the Apple Thunderbolt Cable  -- 40% are 1 star reviews and many mention the cable being fake.
Similar story on the Apple USB Ethernet adapter . I bought one a few years back and it identified itself with Chinese lettering in System Preferences.
Ken Shirriff did an amazing teardown of fake Apple chargers  and found a number of safety hazards relating to high voltage isolation. Teardown of the USB Adapter  found it used a part that doesn't exist (label does not match any known package for that IC).
Not just because of the risk of fake products (I buy from ebay and Wish). But also because of the incomprehensible range of "add on" only items; prime only items; and then variable prices for shipping.
Within weeks of the kickstarter finishing, before the kickstarter had even delivered or even started manufacturing the cases, they were for sale on Aliexpress.
It seems so easy for someone in China to do this. Look for successful product kickstarters and you already have market validation. Something like a selfie stick case would be so easy to set up a production run for.
Chinese companies troll RFPs for bridge and other designs. In this case, my friend saw a unique bridge/overpass that he was associated with in some obscure province that was completed before the original. He knew it was their design because it did not include changes that were made after the contract award.
- doing a Kickstarter to get people to prepay? That way at least your first batch can be paid for before you shell out any money, OR
- just giving away the design so at least your product sees the light of day, even if there's no financial gain for you?
Do you work for free?
I made two suggestions: one of which might provide a path to revenue, and another which, whilst providing no revenue, would also cost nothing, and require virtually no additional effort beyond that already expended.
I bet it's a large contingent.
The market doesn't care about who has the best idea, or who had it first, it only cares about who comes to market with the best deal for the consumer.
By the time the product made it through customs his “partner” had sold thousands.
So I buy the one at the pet store and a water test kit. I test both bottles and the one from amazon did the same to remove the chlorine as just letting water sit out did. While the one from the pet store did what I was expecting.
The stuff is a clear liquid and has no odor.
I'd rather spend a few extra dollars and remove all of this hassle and buy directly, or from a more trustworthy place.
It's always "Day 1" at Amazon.
“Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service, or to any products or services sold or distributed by Amazon or through Amazon.com will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to this agreement.
There is no judge or jury in arbitration, and court review of an arbitration award is limited. However, an arbitrator can award on an individual basis the same damages and relief as a court (including injunctive and declaratory relief or statutory damages), and must follow the terms of these Conditions of Use as a court would.”
> We feel, and this number is speculative (but it's going to be somewhere on that range), that Asmodee North America’s sales are going to be affected somewhere between five and ten million dollars, this year alone. We believe for some games, that more than 70% of all sales in the U.S. market have been counterfeit.
I ordered a power supply once and it had all chinese writing on it, and plus it didn't power up unless I kept turning it and fiddled with the connector. Was concerned, so sent it back. Didn't want it to catch on fire. It had a English brand name on the listing though too.
I was looking at new earpods, and even in the reviews people mentioned they got fakes. https://www.amazon.com/Apple-MD827LL-EarPods-Remote-Mic/dp/B... - I went to a local walmart instead and bought it online. Even Walmart, NewEgg and Sears website's have the same program as Amazon with counterfeits.
I don't trust them as much as I did when shopping online. The NBC nightly news did a story about this last week. https://youtu.be/klbPhwE44hI
"Ships from and sold by Amazon" I guess to look for... I still use Amazon for AWS and Kindle though... But for Physical products I feel like I got to be more careful. Edit: It looks like from "0xcde4c3db" Post, it still can happen even if sold by Amazon. Wow.
One of the things they recommended to do is to buy directly from the brand's website, which is kinda annoying since need a bunch of accounts, and Amazon Prime is a nice benefit too you can't use externally. Which is a great thing for digital nomads who don't want to wait for a package in the same area too long.
Another thing is fake memory too. SD Cards and flash drives. If you search "2TB USB flash drive" on Amazon and scroll down some. There's some 2-2.5 star ones where some of the reviews mention it's fake. One of them even mentioned no company currently makes a 2TB USB Flash drives. However they do make 2TB USB SSD's.
Plus I wouldn't want to try your luck with some of these items, as if you they are fake and you return it. I'm unsure if Amazon counts those returns towards the total returns before they close your account. I wouldn't want to risk it and be proactive. If i'm unsure about a item, it's less of a headache to just buy elsewhere.
I hope they solve this somehow, as Amazon is really convenience and I really want to trust them more. There's really no other online store like them that's a one stop for all. Still like Amazon but got to be more careful with all these stories lately.
Don't get too comfortable. Malicious sellers can open a vendor account with Amazon and sell their counterfeits this way.
Amazon is an obvious (and very literal) example, as are app stores. But, Youtube is another example. People post videos. People watch videos. People place ads on videos. Google is at the centre coordinating this stuff.
Very few markets are cleverly designed or run. Adwords was an example of a clever one. The auction, is the centrepiece and it reached its current state pretty early in adwords’ history. It was designed cleverly, with a ton of attention to incentives and 2nd order effects.
Youtube, as a marketplace, is terribly designed. The “monetisation” systems are almost designed to produce spam, and discourage unique “maker” content. The differentials in earnings of similar content on youtube, vs any other medium are immense.
Why does a podcast, TV show or other medium (lets assume it’s the same content) make so much more than a youtube channel. How is it possible that a million views a week is not enough to pay for a 2-man basement operation?
The big boys need to get some economists on board, good ones.
You'd think politicians might care about this, but they're too busy handing out billions to get them to move to their state.
I don't want 3 attempts and returns to buy a battery, or charger, or any of the dozens of categories this affects. I don't want to be buying co-mingled inventory on lines I know are prone to counterfeiting.
So I think of Amazon as 2nd rate - (because of this). So do many of my friends who have been affected by this as it's become far from rare.
It’s becoming like eBay.
If it is a counterfeit, it is flawless as far as I can tell. It has none of the physical problems listed on that link. They only thing suspicious is the price.
I've only bought ~10 Kindle books over the years because DRM, but had been getting more open to it. Then just recently they started delivering ads to the iPad reader as 'notifications' with a red icon that won't go away until you tap to see. They may think that's a minor new feature which they only use occasionally, and which their average user will appreciate. But to me it looks like the start of "I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further."
Check out your library system. My library has an amazing selection of books, usually available in EPUB and Kindle formats. If you live or work in New York State, you can get library cards in many libraries including NYPL. NYPL also lets you access Brooklyn.
What about the non-technical user who disputes a charge, doesn't even know what DRM stands for, and finds themselves in this situation?
Also, Anchors are a great idea. I'm a VR developer and my desk is pretty crowded with headsets, so I just ordered a few to try them out. Hopefully the real ones arrive!
That is a serious burn. It really drives home the point of how serious this issue is.
But consumers can also be more aware of the sellers on Amazon.
Amazon, I’d be back in a heartbeat if you fixed this. Sellers and buyers deserve better, and this kind of thing, along with bullshit reviews are a cancer in your business. If you wait for the first frank signs of disease to register, you’ll already be in terminal decline.
1. All of these counterfeit items are coming from China.
2. The legit seller is ElevationLab, which "suiningdonghanjiaju Co Ltd" is not.
3. "suiningdonghanjiaju Co Ltd" is a Chinese name.
4. "suiningdonghanjiaju Co Ltd" is a very customer-unfriendly name -- not something you'd see from a big foreign-facing Chinese company.
So all in all, it doesn't seem racist at all to point out that this company name seems illegitimate.
If the author had MADE UP a "Chinese-sounding name" like "nihaobaobaomao," then yeah, I could follow an argument pointing out that statement as being reasonably construed as racist. But in the context of talking about Chinese companies producing cheap knock-offs, I don't see a problem with naming the company and pointing out that the name itself does not sound like a legit company at all.
1. So many legit items come from China that as a consumer you can't dismiss something out of hand just because it came from China.
3. Huawei is a Chinese name, Xiaomi is a Chinese name. See #1.
4. This is a legitimate point. The company did not optimize their name for a non-Chinese audience.
I think the main thrust of why that comment has racist tones is because it feels like the main complaint is that it's a foreign (non-Western) sounding name, hard to pronounce and funny looking, therefore it cannot be legitimate.
(Actually, I don't know if you did it on purpose, but nihaobaobaomao is a great name... It's very cute and sounds like "Hello bundle kitty"...)
> 1. So many legit items come from China that as a consumer you can't dismiss something out of hand just because it came from China.
This is true, but I don't think it's a counterpoint. Regardless of how many legitimate products come out of China, the fact remains that the huge, huge majority of counterfeit products are from China. So if you're looking at a counterfeit product, the odds are that it will be from China, regardless of how many other legitimate products out there are from China.
> 3. Huawei is a Chinese name, Xiaomi is a Chinese name
Those were ones I was thinking of, which is why I added the "not something you'd see from a big foreign-facing Chinese company" bit.
It's a foreigner-unfriendly name, terrible for marketing, searches, and sales. I can't imagine a legit company trying to use it overseas. Something like Huawei or Xiaomi (or in other cases, Samsung, Hitachi, BMW, Volvo, etc.) are short and sweet, simpler to digest and remember.
> I think the main thrust of why that comment has racist tones is because it feels like the main complaint is that it's a foreign (non-Western) sounding name, hard to pronounce and funny looking, therefore it cannot be legitimate.
I do completely agree with that, but in my opinion, with the evidence in this case, the complaint itself couldn't reasonably be construed as racist. In hindsight, my argument about "shorter, more professional names" is basically this quote ("hard to pronounce and funny looking") boiled into more reasonable terms...
> Actually, I don't know if you did it on purpose, but nihaobaobaomao is a great name... It's very cute and sounds like "Hello bundle kitty"...
You caught me. :P
I couldn't bring myself to type something really stereotypically racist.
Hello cat buns!? Of course that's racist; accusing people of eating cats....
(Yeah, that's how I read bao at first...)
More seriously, consider Fenix or Anker; they have "short professional" names, but are not particularly western (esp. the spelling). Both are newer companies, based in China, sell fairly heavily on Amazon, and are frankly some of the best providers of their product niches.
And although it shouldn't really matter, I say the above as a person of Chinese heritage, who does not speak for others of Chinese heritage. But if you aren't even of Chinese heritage, and are attempting to be outraged on our behalf, I would take a long, hard look at what misguided ideology brought you to post that comment.