Online sellers are buzzing about a news story that exposes a major problem they face: the problem of fakes and copycats flooding in from overseas.
's story, "Amazon's Chinese counterfeit problem is getting worse," is being shared on social media groups where sellers congregate. "I hope that someone at Amazon is paying attention," wrote one seller on Facebook. "I have lost track of how many designs of mine are being illegally reproduced and sold on Amazon," tweeted another.
According to the article, "In Amazon's quest to be the low-cost provider of everything on the planet, the website has morphed into the world's largest flea market - a chaotic, somewhat lawless, bazaar with unlimited inventory.
"Always a problem, the counterfeiting issue has exploded this year, sellers say, following Amazon's effort to openly court Chinese manufacturers, weaving them intimately into the company's expansive logistics operation."
Sellers have told us how frustrating the process of reporting copycats and counterfeiters can be - Amazon requires sellers to make test purchases to prove their claims. While small sellers may feel unable to fight back, a major brand sued Amazon over the issue in April - see the story here
Counterfeits are a big problem for sellers, but they face other challenges as well. In Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update newsletter, Cynthia Stine discusses some of these problems.
Cynthia works with sellers every day to help them when they run into trouble on Amazon - some have gone bankrupt or had nervous breakdowns while waiting for the company to respond.
She says sellers who are generating millions of dollars in sales a month are being judged by people who have no clue on how to sell on Amazon, alleging its seller performance workers are untrained with high turnover - "We see conflicting answers, bad English, bad decisions and bad behaviors every day," she writes.
But the purpose of her column is constructive - she hopes that by explaining to Amazon management the challenges sellers face and including concrete suggestions for change, it will benefit both sellers and Amazon.
Keep an eye out for Cynthia's column and let us know what you think. And let us know what challenges you face and what improvements Amazon could make.
Here is a link to the article
, which is already getting a ton of attention from Amazon sellers who, we're being told, are forwarding it to Amazon.