As a genuine brand seller, I would like to share my ongoing experience on fighting ethical and illegal Amazon sellers hijacking our Tressmatch brand listings to sell his own counterfeit products, without any notice to or permission to us. I sincerely hope all the genuine brand product sellers and all the responsible customers on Amazon can unite together to urge Amazon management and help Amazon improve its rules and policies in this regard.
First of all, I am posting these questions to Amazon management including Mr. Bezos:
- Why is it so easy and simple for any ill-intentional person to hijack a brand product listing with abnormal pricing (by simply copying the ASIN of a brand product to list their counterfeit products within two seconds without any pre-approval from Amazon or contacting the intellectual right owner)?
- why is it so hard and helpless for the genuine seller to defend its law-protected brand when this happens (she has to go through an ironic, unfair, expensive, time-consuming and extremely painful “test-buy” process)?
- To what extent does Amazon tolerate counterfeit products to be abundant on Amazon.com?
- To what extent does Amazon’s policy permit illegal products to insult, damage and destroy those genuine brand products under attack?
- Despite numerous complaints and media reports about this issue, for how many more years would Amazon let these tragedies repeatedly happen over and over and again?
Then please let me share my experience. We, Hair Beauty Supply LLC, are the exclusive manufacturer and seller of TRESSMATCH® Hair Extensions with particular manufacture standards, packing materials and images. We’ve successfully registered it with USPTO in 2012. Our official website is http://www.tressmatch.com, starting selling these products Feb 2012. We started selling on Amazon in May 2012 and registered with Amazon Brand Registry in Nov 2012. Over the past five years, I have witnessed too many Chinese sellers listing their counterfeit products for sale on Amazon, getting tons of reviews overnight, being shutdown by Amazon, and then again showing up with other accounts and product names. As our brand gains popularity on Amazon.com, there often have been unknown sellers who use our brand name to sell their own products without any notice to or our permission from us.
For instance, most recently we’ve found our trademark TRESSMATCH® has appeared on the products of the Seller “tianjun zhuangshi ”, a seller based in China. The seller use the product listing pages of TRESSMATCH® products to sell his counterfeit products without any notice to or permission to us . For this reason, our trademark is used inappropriately and illegally by the seller.
Despite our contacting of the seller regarding the issue with our USPTO trademark certificate, despite our filing reports to Amazon and our test-buying of one of the seller’s products, as of now the seller still has the at least two product listings using the trademark “TRESSMATCH® hair Extensions” on Amazon.
In order to defend our brand, on April 24th 2015 we test ordered all the quantities (157 in total) of the above two listings entered by the seller, costing us $ 7056.03(charged already from our credit card on file). But anyway, by buying out all the fake product quantities, the genuine product listings were able to reappear on the first positions for a while to the customers. Surprisingly, the Seller agreed to ship out his counterfeit products to us but stating the shipping takes more than three weeks to six weeks or even longer. Moreover, hours later the counterfeit seller entered even larger quantities (estimated thousands to ten thousands) on these two listings to continue playing the game. Out of anger and helplessness, I tried to test buy new orders in the quantities of 500, 990, 500, and 900 respectively, costing $ 127,775.10 on our credit card balance. Then I realized we have no way to buy out all of them due to our credit card limits, and due to the seller’s evil intention. That means those counterfeit product listings will take over our listings on Amazon.com for as long as the evil seller wants.
Since we started selling on Amazon in early 2012, this situation has happened many times. And everytime when this happens, as the owner I am sleepless at night with anger, helplessness and despair. Hoping to help Amazon improve this policy as references, I have reviewed the policies of how to protect genuine brand products and intellectual rights from other online marketplaces including Ebay. For example, Ebay has a Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program facilitating for intellectual property rights owners to file claims. Moreover, Ebay explicitly require all sellers to create legally compliant listings by doing the following:
• Create your own listing content instead of copying others
• Make sure the statements in your listing are accurate
• Make sure your item is authentic
• Before listing, contact the intellectual property owner with any questions
• Review the Vero participant pages created by intellectual property rights owner
You may learn more details at its website http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/compliant-listings.html.
Everyone is welcome for discussion.