Lobbying group launched to fight online counterfeits
By Kristopher Fraser
Aug 14, 2020
A group of retailers has come together to form a lobbying coalition to get Amazon and other e-commerce players to take stricter measures on stolen and counterfeit goods being sold on their platform. The retail organizations and companies have founded the Buy Safe America Coalition to support legislation that would require digital marketplaces to verify information about third-party merchants. The news was reported by Bloomberg.
Companies, including Amazon and eBay Inc., have come under scrutiny because of counterfeit sales on their websites of brand name products and merchandise. Legislators in Washington D.C. and Donald Trump have all been looking at ways to curb the sale of counterfeit goods.
The surge in people buying online has caused this issue to come back into the spotlight. Many top organizations have come onboard to the Buy Safe America Coalition including RILA, the Toy Association, American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Fashion Jewellry and Accessories Trade Association.
The organizations are backing a bill called the INFORM Consumers Act. The bill would require digital marketplaces to collect information about some third-party sellers including their government ID, tax ID and bank account details.In addition the bill would define high volume sellers as as companies that make more than 200 sales or more in amounts exceeding 5000 dollars. High-volume sellers would be required to disclose their high-volume sellers' names, phone numbers, business addresses and e-mails.
In the past, Amazon has acknowledged they do have a counterfeiting problem on their website, but that they are taking measures to ensure that counterfeit sellers are reeled in. Beginning September 1, Amazon will be listing sellers business names and addresses on their profile information. However, the company has been critiqued by those that say the policies don't go far enough because the contact information isn't verified.
The United States Department of Homeland Security is even getting involved and has recommended the White House take action against counterfeit sellers. The Department has also called for more aggressive vendor screening.
FashionUnited has reached out to Amazon and eBay for comment.