Online marketplaces like Amazon are plagued with counterfeit goods sold at cheaper prices than the original, but with an inferior quality. Faced with this situation, the e-commerce giant has launched a program against counterfeit goods that is now taking to several territories.

Under the name Transparency, the program allows sellers to apply unique codes to their products so that customers, brands, Amazon, and other participants in the supply chain are able to authenticate every unit of a product, better protecting brands and customers from counterfeits at scale.

Much in the same way, consumers can also check the codes to verify the authenticity of the products they are purchasing.

The program was initially launched in the United States, but now Amazon is offering it in countries like Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, India and Canada.

“Counterfeiting is an industry-wide concern – both online and offline,” explained on a press release Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, Amazon Customer Trust and Partner Support.

“We created Transparency to provide brands with a simple, scalable solution that empowers brands and Amazon to authenticate products within the supply chain, stopping counterfeit before it reaches a customer,” he adds.

According to Amazon, more than 4,000 brands are enrolled in Transparency in the United States, allowing Amazon to proactively stop over 250,000 counterfeits of Transparency-enabled products from reaching customers.

In 2019, for products fully on-boarded into the Transparency service, there have been zero reports of counterfeit from brands or customers who purchased these products on Amazon.

More Online Retailers Join the Fight

Meanwhile, other online retailers have also taken their own steps to protect the brands featured on their sites and the consumers who use their platforms.

Chinese company Alibaba revealed that it’s “Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance”, launched in 2017, has resulted in the arrests of 1277 suspects, the shutdown of 524 manufacturing and distribution locations, and product seizures for US$536.2 million.

On its end, eBay also launched “eBay Authenticate”, which allows sellers to have items – such as luxury goods – examined by a third-party to ensure the consumers can be confident they’re getting the real thing.

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Sofia Vanoli