Amazon admits potential liabilities on counterfeit goods

Published on: 13th February 2019

News comes as retailer is again forced to withdraw a cheap slime product from sale over safety fears. 

A much more comprehensive report than its financial earnings statement, Amazon’s latest 10k, as it’s known to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), now contains an expanded set of liabilities from merchant activities, which for the first time includes the phrase counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods.

As reported by TameBay, the previous Amazon 10K merchant risk statement said: “…We also may be unable to prevent sellers on our sites or through other seller sites from selling unlawful goods, selling goods in an unlawful manner, or violating the proprietary rights of others…”

However, the new Amazon 10K merchant counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods risk statement now reads: “…We also may be unable to prevent sellers in our stores or through other stores from selling unlawful, counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods, selling goods in an unlawful or unethical manner, violating the proprietary rights of others, or otherwise violating our policies…”

This would appear to be an open admission by Amazon that, whilst it does its utmost to prevent the sale of counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods, it is a growing problem and one that they’ve now been obliged to highlight to the SEC.

In public Amazon has a zero tolerance to counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods, but over half of all products sold on the site are now sold by third parties. It’s not a new issue; Tamebay reported instances in the past in which stock sent into FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) was commingled with stock from other sellers, leading to the seller being blamed for knock off products they didn’t supply.

The news comes as Amazon finds itself yet again under fire for selling children’s products deemed unsafe. Yesterday, the retailer withdrew from sale a Crazy Geezer’s Putty World purple slime, which contained a small magnet with a “high magnetic flux”, after the European Commission ruled that it did not comply with EU safety rules.

Amazon is urging parents to stop their kids from using the slime, which is manufactured in China, and to return it for a refund.


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