One of the challenges that brand owners constantly face is how to protect their products from counterfeiters and hijackers. With the increase in counterfeit products being sold online, it is not only the brand owners who suffer but also the consumers who purchase cheaper yet lower quality products. To address this issue, Amazon launched the Amazon Transparency Program in 2017 that aims to protect not just brand owners but consumers as well.
What is the Amazon Transparency Program?
The Amazon Transparency Program is a unique labelling system that is used to verify product authenticity before shipping. Brand owners should register for the program so that Amazon can generate unique t-shaped 2D barcodes for each item. These barcodes should be attached to each product’s packaging. Amazon FBA workers will scan each barcode to check if the product is legit or not. The Amazon transparency codes are different from GTINs or UPCs.
The Amazon Transparency Program is currently available to selected countries such as the United States, Germany, Canada, France, India, Australia, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom. If you are a brand owner selling in multiple marketplaces, there is no need to request for separate barcodes per marketplace. The barcodes are unique for each item and are accepted worldwide.
Brand owners can supply their third party resellers with items registered in the Amazon Transparency Program but they have to make sure that all items released to the reseller have the barcodes. Otherwise, the items will be marked as fake even though it came from the same seller.
Amazon prefers a colored barcode but black and white is also accepted provided that it is printed clearly and easily visible.
How Does it Work?
- An Amazon Transparency app can be installed by brand owners and consumers so they can scan the barcode.
2. A green check shows that the product they purchased is legit. They can also see details such as the:
- The Manufacturing Date
- The Manufacturing Location
- The Materials
- The Ingredients
3. A red X shows that the product is counterfeit. The app also allows the consumer to directly report this to Amazon.
How to Enroll in the Amazon Transparency Program
To register for the transparency program, you must be the legitimate brand owner and you must be able to provide proof of documentation. You must be able to provide a GTIN or UPC/EAN barcode for all items that you want to register in the transparency program.
Brand owners that sell high-priced luxury items such as designer handbags, haute couture clothing, gadgets, jewelry, and premier quality watches among others, are recommended to register for the Amazon transparency program.
Brand owners should register on Amazon’s website where they are required to fill in a form and submit specific requirements. When your application is approved, you can now select which products you would like to authenticate with transparency bar codes.
Amazon will generate a unique barcode per item and each barcode is priced at $0.01 to $0.05 depending on the number of transparency-enabled units. If you are an Amazon FBA seller, Amazon can print out the labels for you and the workers will attach them to the packaging. As an FBM seller, you have the option of printing the labels yourself or asking your supplier to print them for you and attach them to the packaging.
Benefits or Enrolling in the Amazon Transparency Program
The main benefit of having your items in the transparency program is having increased seller and consumer confidence because there is reduced competition from other sellers. Other benefits are:
- Increase in profits because counterfeiters and hijackers cannot “steal” your sales.
- Reduces damage caused by counterfeiters because they cannot just relist your items or sell cheap imitations of your products.
- Prevents bad reviews and increases customers’ trust in your brand because they only receive high-quality, premium and legit products.
- Prevents the risk of being shut down to due a counterfeit investigation with a seller selling the same items.
Amazon has been known to be customer-centric that sellers are wondering how they can also be protected. With the launch of Amazon’s Transparency Program, both the brand owners and consumers are protected. This also helps reduce competition in the Amazon marketplace and prevents the spread of counterfeit and cheap items sold by fake sellers who hijack the marketplace.
If you have more questions about selling on Amazon, connect with us and we’d be glad to help you out.
“You may imitate, but never counterfeit.”~ Honore de Balzac