The terms counterfeit and inauthentic goods are often used interchangeably in our day to day lives.
The truth, however, is that there is a big difference between the two terms. According to Amazon, a counterfeit product is a fake, simply put. An inauthentic product, on the other hand, is one that has been purchased from questionable sources. However, in both cases, Amazon can suspend or ban your seller account.
The question of inauthenticity is answered rather vaguely by Amazon. Goods that are purchased from unauthorized sources are perceived to be from the gray market, and the gray market according to Amazon is truly gray.
The Amazon Policy
If a product I sold on Amazon is labeled as inauthentic, I bear the burden of proving that I got the product in question from an authorized seller. Even though I cannot prove that my supplier has the manufacturer’s approval to sell the goods, then the supplier must at least satisfy Amazon’s unknown standards. To be on the safe side, it is important that I be able to link my supplier with the goods’ manufacturer with ease. If I can’t do so, I will have a hard time convincing Amazon that the goods are authentic, especially if they are on resale or the story behind their purchase is surrounded by uncertainties.
Why do People File Claims?
It is difficult enough to be slapped with an inauthenticity claim against a product you sold, but it is worse if the complaint is misplaced. Sometimes, buyers simply misplace their complaints, and that is where your troubles with Amazon begin. With Amazon, it matters not whether the complaint was misplaced: so long as a complaint is filed against me, I have to account to Amazon. I have to show the paperwork that proves that the product I sold to the buyer was bought from an authorized seller or at least one that satisfies Amazon’s unknown standards.
Without the correct paperwork, it will be impossible to appeal any account suspension.In other instances, a buyer can file a claim simply because the item that was delivered to them is different from what was advertised. Even simple technical errors like packaging issues are enough to make some buyers to label a product as an inauthentic good. Ideally, buyers should file a complaint of “Not as Advertised”, yet this rarely happens. If they claim that a good is inauthentic, I still have to bring solid evidence to the contrary or your Amazon seller account will be suspended indefinitely.
At other times, buyers can question the authenticity of a product if it looks too much like another brand’s. Should this be the case, many buyers will be quick to lodge a complaint with Amazon that the product sold is inauthentic. As usual, I will have to prove that I got the product from an authorized seller, or else the complaint will lead to your account beeing suspended and your selling privileges removed.
Having goods labeled inauthentic can greatly affect a seller on Amazon, which is why it is imperative that I endeavor to sell nothing but authentic goods. However, in case I ever find myself in the unfortunate situation where the authenticity of my products is questioned, it will be of great help to me if I have all the necessary documentation to prove their authenticity.
Keeping all the paperwork intact will certainly help in the long run. And I should also strive to deal only with reputable wholesalers, as this can protect me from getting my Amazon seller account suspended in case I am ever accused of selling inauthentic goods.