Amazon Slammed for Being ‘Complicit’ in Sales of Counterfeit Products

March 3, 2018, 5:33 PM UTC

Elevation Lab, makers of a popular headphone storage hook called the Anchor, says Amazon let the maker of a counterfeit knockoff steal “all the sales” from it for five days. Moreover, Elevation Lab’s founder, Casey Hopkins, wrote in an impassioned blog post that Amazon’s policies promote such practices.

Hopkins on Thursday shared screenshots showing the Anchor headphone hook being sold, not by Elevation Lab, but by a seller under the name suiningdonghanjiaju Co Ltd. He wrote that whoever the seller is, they “literally reverse engineered” his company’s product, but with much lower quality material and packaging that “is literally photocopied then reprinted.” Naturally, the seller has been undercutting Elevation Lab’s usual price for the item.

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Hopkins says this isn’t the first time this has happened to Elevation Lab, and that it’s common across Amazon. He says the retailer should take some simple steps to prevent this sort of abuse, including the ability for sellers to easily tell Amazon that they don’t wholesale their product to third parties, and moving faster to remove reported counterfeiters. He also suggests setting “the bar a little higher for Chinese sellers trying to sell existing products. Because 9/10 times I’d bet they are ripping off an established brand.”

Amazon responded with a lengthy statement to Cnet defending of its efforts to fight counterfeiting. Those efforts include “thoroughly” investigating any concerns about counterfeits, lawsuits against sellers of fraudulent products, and a brand registry that protects sellers’ logo and other branding.

But those reassurances don’t seem to have improved Hopkins’ mood on the matter. Though Amazon has now removed the counterfeiter, Hopkins in a followup note observed that “Amazon doesn’t let 3rd party sellers sell AmazonBasics products. That’s convenient to play by a different set of rules.”

Elevation Lab has put a happy spin on their headache, though, offering a discount to customers who buy directly from their website.


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