New seller profiles on amazon.com

Imprints become mandatory on Amazon US

From September onwards, Amazon will enable detailed insights into seller profiles on its US marketplace too, as Marketplace pulse writes. Right now, sellers on amazon.com are able to remain mostly anonymous. Customers as well as brands will benefit from this new rule, as it will be easier for them to assert their rights. 

What can be expected from these new seller profiles?


What will change?

Right now, sellers only have to create a profile name and add a short description - alas, they remain mostly anonymous. Customers, other sellers and brand owners therefore face enormous difficulties when trying to find out who might be behind that profile, for example when trying to contact them in case of problems. 

From September onwards, sellers will be asked to indicate a corporational name, an address as well as contact data. Currently, these data are only known to Amazon. The additional info will be very similar to an imprint, just like it is already the case on marketplaces in Europe, Japan, and Mexico. In these countries, adding imprint data is mandatory, unlike in the US.


Seller profiles on Amazon: UK (left), US (right) (Image source: marketplacepulse.com)


Why is taking amazon.com these measures?

According to Amazon, customers should be able to inform themselves about a seller and their products and therefore be able to improve their buying decisions. 

Furthermore, they are able to contact the seller in case of problems, defect products or if a product damages them. It will also be easier to take legal action if necessary. 

Amazon does not go into detail how brand owners will benefit from these changes. These changes have a lot of potential to make a brand owner’s life easier: it will be much simpler to differentiate between authorised and non-authorised sellers. Additionally, frauds and people selling counterfeit products will be easier to identify and track down. 


What positive effects can these improved seller profiles have?

Whether customers will really inform themselves on the seller before buying from them remains to be seen. It is very likely that the majority will only take a second look at a seller’s profile when facing problems. 

Nevertheless, this new rule should be appreciated. The US constitution does not make imprints mandatory. It seems that amazon.com voluntarily enables a new method to identify and contain frauds and counterfeits.

Due to the reasons stated above, we believe that brands and brand owners above everyone else will benefit from these new insights. 

However, frauds still have the opportunity to simply create a new profile in case their old one gets closed. Sadly, the methods to identify such accounts and connect them to each other are still in their infancy.


Can the new rule be tricked?

Amazon announces that the detailed seller information will be publically accessible from September 1st onwards. Because sellers have to enter these data upon registration, Amazon already has those information at the ready. 

Until the new rule is taking effect, sellers have time to change their data if necessary - for example to avoid a private addressee being made public. Private sellers will still have the opportunity to hide their data. 

Thus, an evasion of these mandatory data should not be possible. 

It is unclear what options Amazon will offer in case one should still find a profile that lacks these information. Unlike in the EU, there is no legal ground for a complaint. However, one should still report profiles like this to Amazon. It remains to be seen whether there will be consequences. 


Conclusion

It seems like Amazon is taking further steps to tackle the problem of frauds and counterfeits on their platform.  Lately, the company has implemented multiple measurements and methods to identify and keep away such frauds. Examples for this are the recently launched video verification as well as the counterfeit crimes unit.  

However, solely relying on Amazon for brand protection is no solution. It is essential for brand and brand owners to have an own, customised strategy for brand protection. As experts in the field of online brand protection, we care for the safety of your brand. Our detailed and renowned strategies, namely online monitoring and sales tracking allow us to keep an eye on sales everywhere - not only Amazon. We combat counterfeits and trademark law issues with test purchases and a legally binding documentation.

Contact us and see what we can do for you and your brand.