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Amazon Will Display Seller Names and Addresses. Is This Helpful for Fighting Online Counterfeits?

By Shuyu Wang

Amazon announced that beginning September 1, 2020, it will display third-party seller names and addresses on its U.S. online marketplace. This rule will apply to both business and individual sellers. Amazon has conducted a similar system in Europe, Japan, and Mexico under local law requirements. It says that the change in its U.S. policy is for a consistent baseline of seller information to help customers make informed shopping decisions.[1]

The change in this policy is a further step that Amazon takes to tackle online counterfeiting. It is reported that sales by third-party sellers account for over half the retailer’s sales on Amazon,[2] and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in 2018 that almost 40% of items purchased from third-party sellers were counterfeits.[3] In recent years, Amazon has taken more measures to address this long-existing problem. It has joined

[1] Advance notice: Business name and address to be displayed on the seller profile page starting September 1, 2020, Amazon.com (July 8, 2020), https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/t/advance-notice-business-name-and-address-to-be-displayed-on-the-seller-profile-page-starting-september-1-2020/658140/1.

[2] See Percentage of Paid Units Sold by Third-Party Sellers on Amazon Platform as of 1st Quarter 2020, Statista (Apr. 2020), https://www.statista.com/statistics/259782/third-party-seller-share-of-amazon-platform/; see also Amazon marketplace sales in the United States from 2016 to 2019, Statista (July 16, 2020). https://www.statista.com/statistics/882919/amazon-marketplace-sales-usa/.

[3] U.S. Gov’t Accountability Off., GAO-18-216, Intellectual Property:

Agencies Can Improve Efforts to Address Risks Posed by Changing Counterfeits Market (2018).