Product makers have complained for ages of knock-off products ruining their sales, and not to mention their reputation. To some, it's become almost infuriating how lackadaisically Amazon handles the problem; if at all. If you're a regular consumer, the problem might be hard to appreciate, but one company, Elevation Lab, reveals a true taste of how bad the problem has become.
Elevation Labs makes a product called the Anchor, which is a molded piece of silicone that affixes to the bottom of a desk, thereby creating a new place to store your two pairs of headphones. In the grand scheme, a product like this isn't complicated to make, and that of course means that there are copycats lurking in the darkness, just waiting to strike.
That did indeed happen with the Anchor mount. But whereas some sellers will brand the copycat and sell it as an entirely different listing, Elevation Labs discovered that companies can instead pretend to offer the real product, and sell it on the official product listing page.
The crux of the problem is this: this is legitimate counterfeiting. This isn't like buying an obvious knock-off; this is consumers thinking they are buying the genuine product, only to receive a poorly made counterfeit version instead.
In the case of Elevation Labs, the company found that the counterfeit in this case was produced with even cheaper materials. While the genuine Anchor is sturdy, the counterfeit product bends. Even the 3M adhesive on the counterfeit product is also counterfeit.
Picture this: you spend a year designing a product, then worry about mass production. On top of that, you need to figure out your marketing, how you are going to present the product on a site like Amazon, and of course, make sure your customers are well taken care of. Then, out of nowhere, you spot a seller you've never heard of (and can't even pronounce) selling a counterfeit version of your product on your product page for 2 cents less than the genuine thing.
You don't need to be a product designer to realize this is a problem. Amazon is one of the richest companies in the world, so it's embarrassing that an issue like this hasn't been tackled ages ago. As Elevation Lab suggests, the etail giant could easily avoid any hassle like this by allowing sellers to confirm whether or not their product is listed in the Brand Registry, or if it's not sold wholesale. Sometimes, the simplest fixes are the hardest to get implemented, but without fixing the problem, Amazon shows an outright disrespect to the sellers who provide unique products to the marketplace.