|Tue Nov 22 2016 20:38:02|
Can Amazon Brand Central Help Protect Small Sellers?
By: Ina Steiner
The problem of knockoffs online isn't new, but lately there have been more stories about how small merchants and brands are struggling with the issue. The focus on Amazon in many of these articles is thanks in great part to the scale of the marketplace and the success many brands can find there.
Now Amazon has a "secret new plan to squash counterfeits," according to Cnet.
Details about the new "Brand Central" remain vague, according to the publication - but people familiar with the project told Cnet it would help smaller sellers protect their trademarks and other intellectual property. (Presumably those people aren't confusing this with "Brand Registry," which is not a new program.)
"Ensuring the source of products is also part of the project," it wrote. Although merchants hate sharing trade secrets with Amazon, which is in fact also their competitor, it is already a fact of life for sellers.
Cnet said an Amazon spokesperson on Monday declined to confirm the existence of Brand Central but said in a statement the company "has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeit items on our site" and said it's working aggressively to remove fakes.
In August, Amazon introduced a new fee
sellers would have to pay in order to get approval to sell certain branded items on the marketplace - it's not clear if Brand Central has anything to do with that new practice (i.e., opening it up to smaller brands).
Here's the article Cnet published today
, let us know if you've heard rumblings about the program and whether you think it will help - or harm - small sellers.