How to Resolve Counterfeit Complaints Yourself As An Amazon Seller

How can you as an Amazon seller handle a counterfeit complaint yourself?

I want to update you on how Amazon sellers, how you as business owners, can resolve counterfeit complaints asserted against your Amazon account, either when your account is deactivated, and also, more importantly, before your Amazon account gets deactivated, before it’s an emergency.

So what are counterfeit complaints?

Counterfeit complaints are often one of two things: either the brand is accusing you of selling a counterfeit product. Your product is fake. It’s not genuine. Or the brand simply wants to stop you from selling their product. And they really don’t know or don’t care if your product is genuine or is in fact counterfeit.

Let’s first address the scenario where your products are 100% genuine and the complaint against you is entirely baseless. Let’s call this scenario one.

Scenario number one is where your products are 100% real. You’re not selling counterfeit products. You obtain your products from a great source. You probably obtain your products from a distributor or a wholesaler that gets them directly from the brand and they just simply can’t move enough product.

So what do you do with these? When your product is real and the complaint is baseless, you really want to focus on your invoices. You want to write to whoever made that complaint against you. You want to let them know in no uncertain terms with 100% clarity that your products are real and you have the invoices to show them that you obtain them from a source that is 100% genuine and 100% legitimate.

Now, when you do that, you may or may not want to let that brand know that you know your rights, that you can make a legal claim against them for defamation. They have defamed you by publishing a false statement to Amazon. And number two, that they’ve also interfered with your contract with Amazon by making this false complaint and costing you money, and costing you sales or the denigration of the value of your Amazon-based business because before the complaint, your account was clean and now it has this mark on it, this negative connotation. And if your account is down, you’re actually losing dollars and cents.

So invoices sent to whoever made the complaint with a request that they retract the complaint is the number one way of dealing with a false counterfeit complaint. And I’m not telling you to go to court. I’m telling you to let the brand know that you have the legal right to go to court if they refuse to retract the complaint.

How to resolve counterfeit complaints if your products are actually fake.

Now, from time to time, large brands, small brands, large sellers, and small sellers end up with counterfeit goods in their inventory through no fault of your own. If this is what you’re facing, you still want to approach the brand and try and get that complaint retracted. But then, of course, you’re negotiating from a different position. You’re not negotiating from a position of strength because your products are in fact counterfeit. But either way, you want to let that brand know that you sourced your products from what you thought was a reliable source and that just like every other retailer in the world, you may have ended up with products that you cannot confirm their authenticity.

I don’t want you to ever, ever admit that your products were fake, but you can feel free to let them know that you’re unable to confirm the authenticity and request a retraction.

There are a lot of other pressure points you can use, many major brands will recognize that it might be bad press coverage, and it might be bad for the brand to put you out of business. That’s not something brands are in the business of harming small businesses, or you may offer to stop selling their products altogether since you can’t confirm that the products are in fact genuine, but these are different arguments you can make to accomplish your goal of getting the complaint retracted, have it retracted from the same email address from which it was asserted, get that over to Amazon. That cleans up your account. If your account is down, that should help reinstate the account. If your account is still alive and it hasn’t been deactivated, by getting that complaint off your account, you’re certainly going to increase the health of your account.

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Rosenbaum, Famularo & Segall, PC – Amazon Training Center – Amazon Employee Lawyer