I was recently shopping for a toddler drum set for my son when I spotted what seemed to be a great bargain: a brand new set for just under $2.00! It was my lucky day.
Of course I say that in jest, as I immediately noticed the $13 shipping fee attached to the drum kit among other “red flags” making obvious that the product was indeed a counterfeit or scam. Here’s the video I recorded of my search:
Buying and selling on Amazon has become part of daily life for most of us. Especially during the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon was one of the only ways that consumers were able to shop for the products they needed when the local stores were closed.
Being able to recognize when something you want to buy is a counterfeit is important not only for your wallet but also for your own security (you don’t want to be giving credit card information to scammers if you can help it).
Business owners and entrepreneurs must be aware of how counterfeiters operate on Amazon, too. There may come a day when someone is imitating your product or service or trying to confuse your potential customers. Having an “Amazon surveillance plan” to spot such counterfeiters should be regular practice for anyone who sells products online.
With that said, here are some tips that can help you identify when a product or merchant on Amazon may be fake:
- Read the substance of the reviews posted. Before you click “buy now” on a five-star product that appears to be well-rated by other buyers, take the time to actually read the reviews posted. If you see a bunch of five-star rankings submitted in a short period of time with little to no text (or maybe even similar text that appears copy and pasted), it’s possible that the reviews are fake and the product is not legitimate.
- Who is shipping the product? Taking a quick look at who will be delivering the actual product or service can help uncover counterfeits. You can find the name of the party shipping the product under the “buy now” button on the right side of the page. Products that ship from Amazon or from the company that makes or sells the brand themselves are generally the safest bet.
- Check the other types of products the seller sells. If a product is being shipped from a third party that doesn’t appear to have much relation to the brand or if they sell completely unrelated prodcuts, it may be a good idea to keep shopping.
- Long ship times are also an indication that something might be fishy.
- What does the product actually look like and what does the description say? If the seller is using blurry or poor-quality photos and descriptions seem clumsy or don’t make much sense in relation to what’s being sold, this should be a huge red flag that the product may not be legitimate. Another related flag is if the images appear to be digital renditions rather than actual
If you discover a counterfeit product, you can file a report with Amazon to notify them of the activity. If you have discovered someone selling a counterfeit product under your brand name, you may need to take legal action to stop the merchant and ultimately hold the counterfeiter accountable. If you need guidance on how to best proceed, please feel free to contact us at 888-666-0062 to schedule an appointment.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.