Selling ‘inauthentic’ products on Amazon can lead to suspension

You sell products on and have just received a letter explaining that the global retailer suspects you of selling ‘inauthentic’ products on its website. What does ‘inauthentic’ mean? An inauthentic product is typically one that was not acquired directly from the manufacturer or from an authorized supplier of a manufacturer.

There’s a lot of confusion over the terms ‘inauthentic’ and counterfeit. Counterfeit products are products that clearly aren’t the real deal — they are fake or knock-offs of an original. “If you sell counterfeit goods, we may immediately suspend or terminate your selling privileges and destroy inventory in our fulfillment centers without reimbursement,” Amazon states in its Anti-Counterfeiting Policy.

‘Inauthentic’ products, on the other hand, are often counterfeit, but not always. Amazon is cracking down on both types of products as a way to instill consumer confidence in its platform. It’s also designed to address complaints by companies such as Birkenstock and Apple, which contend that Amazon doesn’t do enough to protect manufacturers and authorized resellers. As a result, a number of sellers are being asked to prove their inventory came from a manufacturer or an authorized distributor.

It’s important for sellers to keep quality documentation on where they source their products. If you are buying products from a company other than the manufacturer, be 100 percent sure they are authorized to sell the products you are purchasing from them. You also should be prepared at any time to provide Amazon with documentation that demonstrates you are indeed selling authentic products.

Even if you and your business carefully monitor your suppliers, you could still end up with an issue. That’s why there’s Amazon Income Protection, which is designed to protect individuals, families and businesses that depend on to sell their products. Ask us about this important type of coverage.

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