amazon prime box

Amazon is stepping up its fight against counterfeit products sold through the website, Bloomberg said on Tuesday. The report comes in the wake of a lawsuit Apple filed against an accessory-maker earlier this year when the Cupertino-based company claimed a large number of Apple-branded products sold on Amazon were indeed fake.

Bloomberg said on Tuesday that it’s a “major goal” to cut back on counterfeiters in 2017. As it should be; the news outlet describes several instances where businesses get the short end of the stick after Amazon begins selling knock-off products. It’s not good for consumers, either, who think they’re buying quality products from one company — like charging accessories from Apple — but are ultimately buying products created by firms that likely have little or no quality assurance. That can be particularly dangerous if products such as chargers and batteries are involved.

Last month, Apple said that it bought 100 “Apple” products on Amazon and discovered that 90 percent of them were fake. At the time, Amazon said it has “zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on the site” and that it “[works] closely with manufacturers and brands, and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”

The increase in counterfeit goods has also affected Amazon’s ability to secure business from potential partners. Bloomberg said the online retailer hit a wall to sell sports merchandise from the NFL and MLB because the leagues felt Amazon wasn’t able to verify legitimate products against fakes.

Amazon plans database to cut down on counterfeiters

Amazon’s plan is to create a database of registered retailers, Bloomberg explained, wherein companies will provide proof to Amazon that they have the rights to sell products direct to consumers through the Amazon marketplace. That should start to eliminate companies, like the one selling faux Apple chargers, from listing their wares on the site. That might not be enough.

The problem, as described by merchants speaking with Bloomberg, is that once the counterfeiters can be relentless in their ability to quickly re-appear after Amazon shuts them down. One expert suggested that consumers are just as guilty of helping them prosper.

Indeed, if we as buyers stop buying the cheaper counterfeit goods, we can help drive them out of business. The problem, as was the case with Apple products, is that it’s not always easy to figure out what’s fake and what isn’t.

Let’s hope Amazon is able to fix that next year.