How to Deal with Amazon Knockoffs in 2019 0
People spend millions on the internet daily, buying from a pin to an anchor, in their favourite brands. But imagine spending two hundred dollars on the latest pair of Yeezy’s on Amazon and when your package arrives, you are met with a very familiar style and design, but in some parts, the colour is wrong and the sole of the shoes are slightly coming apart.
You quickly realize, these aren’t original and run to your computer full steam ahead to report your order and request a refund. If you’re lucky and Amazon fulfilled your order, chances are you will get a refund. If you aren’t so lucky, your seller may have already cashed out and disappeared into the night with your hard earned cash, leaving you with some fakes and you are now on this blog trying to find out how to deal with knockoffs.
Whether you have been duped or not before, it would benefit us all, knowing the red flags to look out for when buying on Amazon, so we can be better-prepared shoppers.
So how do we deal with Amazon knockoffs in 2019?
You can’t tackle what you can’t identify, therefore the more you educate yourself about counterfeit products, the easier it will be to spot a fake product.
Watch out for too honest sellers
The first way to tell if an item is a fake is if it says it is. That’s right. Many fake or generic brands on Amazon will outrightly let you know they are generic brands in their product descriptions. The item may take on similar functionalities to the official brand but may have side effects or reduced quality. If a brand is generic and displays a message to say such, you may want to stay away from it, as you will have to stand any resulting damage or loss in use, because you were warned.
Be careful of extremely discounted prices
Another way you can tell a knockoff is if the goods being sold are absolutely lower in price than on average. If the price seems too good to be true, it potentially is. What are the odds a $200 shoe goes on sale for $19.99 indefinitely? This is a big red flag of a product you should walk away from.
No purchases & 5-Star reviews? No purchase!
If a product has no purchases, how can it have 5 stars? No one has purchased the product to use or rate it as yet, but it has 5 stars? We can’t seem to figure that out and you shouldn’t try to either. It’s ok to try new products and brands, but please note that this is the fastest way to fall into the clutches of fake product sellers, buying from a seller that has no purchases and 5-star reviews or 1 5-star review or a high number of low reviews mixed with a few good.
Skip products with product photos the same as 5 other brands
Will the real product owner please stand up? Trust that 5 brands did not get up, book the same location, photographer and model to create their product, not even 2. Great minds do not think that much alike. This is a dead giveaway of a seller that is selling knockoffs, spare your pocket the heartache and do not entertain them. Anyone that is willing to just copy product information online in order to resell an idea, not original to them, does not deserve your patronage. Brands work hard and spend a lot of money to build their name and reputation, their success usually attracts copycats who then only do half the work to reap the same benefits.
With all of that said, no one is immune to still falling for fakes, in fact, many people do go out of their way to purchase them on purpose, deciding that they do not want to pay full price for originals. But for those of us that would rather be safe than sorry, there are a few other things to point out in handling potentially counterfeit items on Amazon.
Check who is doing fulfilment
Goods purchased on Amazon are labelled in a few ways:
Sold by Amazon- means the item ships from and is sold by Amazon
Fulfilled by Amazon- means the item ships from an Amazon Fulfillment Centre, but is not sold by Amazon
Third Party - means the item ships from and is sold by the seller
The safest option is Sold by Amazon. If your item is fulfilled by Amazon your risk is also greatly reduced for resulting in a loss at the end of a dispute. This does not mean Third Party purchases are completely unsafe, it just means that extra caution is needed when buying from these sellers.
While Amazon has been making strides in order to reduce the ability of sellers to pawn off knockoffs to unsuspecting customers, through their brand registry and most recently Project Zero, separate from keeping yourself on the lookout for fakes with these tips, you can always rely on the good old faithful Dispute button to keep your knockoff purchases that slip through, in check.
Soon a lot of these checks will be automated with specialized tools that Amazon is working on, we will have less need to self-verify if a product is fake or original. However, demand does create supply. This means that a lot of the counterfeit products that are out there survive because people encourage them, by purchasing from them. Some seek out fakes, usually because of the reduced prices and consumers should understand that they are huge contributors to the market and hence have an important role in creating change in the matter of knockoffs.
Amazon launches Live-Stream Shopping Videos for Sellers 0
In 2016 Amazon launched “Style Code Live”, described as the platform’s first attempt at a ‘QVC-esque’ live shopping experience, focused on fashion and beauty. Though short-lived, it seemed the platform was at the dawn of a new era, and hence, not completely lost on the idea of live streaming and e-commerce. With new categories, and a quite familiar format Amazon has set out to expand Amazon Live.
Having explored live-streaming on occasion in the past, on days like Prime Day and on its Today’s Deals page. The latest instalment of Amazon Live is further reaching. It is a live-streaming shopping experience that features a grid of content streams from various sellers. You can select an individual stream for a specific seller and watch, as they give you product insights, while some of their products are highlighted just below the stream, alongside an “add to cart” button, to go about the usual checkout routine.
Just last January, Amazon submitted for patenting, a live video shopping interface. So it would seem a long term commitment to this emerging dynamic is imminent.
Currently in Apple’s app store, for iOS devices only, Amazon Live Creator is the official app that sellers can use to live stream directly to Amazon.com and its mobile app, in places such as product detail pages, your store, and of course on Amazon.com/live. As a seller, you are also provided with the option to pay to promote your live stream. Depending on your spend, this should inversely affect the goals as advertised by Amazon, to drive sales, interact with viewers and be discovered, but does this also mean less visibility for lower budget spenders? Only time will tell.
So you may be wondering what it takes to become a part of this emerging trend. Well, If you're a US Professional Seller registered in the Amazon Brand Registry, you’ve already passed the first hurdle.
Creating a live stream is easy. After downloading the Amazon Live Creator iOS mobile app, you can stream your video content at the push of a button directly from your phone camera or through an encoder using a professional camera. Now Amazon.com on desktop, mobile, and Amazon's mobile app’s over 310 million users are at your fingertips, unfortunately, not so much if you are located in China or Hong Kong where live streaming is not supported at this time. For sellers everywhere else however, this is big news.
A wealth of new marketing opportunities open up for sellers. The ability to engage consumers on a more direct level, removing doubt or lessening uncertainty of product function or legitimacy is a major feat. Being discovered by people who typically would not have found their products without the streaming service, is also a huge plus. The influencer marketing strategy also has much to gain, as collaborators with large followings on other platforms can share a live feed, or bring users to a seller’s live stream, giving that seller access even outside the bounds of Amazon’s viewership.
The move is one embraces the removal of location and cultural barriers globally in e-commerce. It opens perhaps the biggest opportunity yet for sellers to maximise their reach. And although not an entirely new concept if you consider how e-commerce operates in China. Live-streaming is a new wave in e-commerce that Amazon has set its targets on conquering and this means, sellers and buyers have adapting expectations in the market.
How To Master Amazon: “Understand what makes your product different” With Tara Darnley & Eldad Shashua 0…So, the first thing I tell my clients is knowing your unique selling proposition is key in becoming successful on Amazon first and foremost. What makes the product you are selling different? How will it simplify or change the customer’s life after purchase? Knowing your competition is also important in upselling the beneficial features of […]
Are You Using Linkedin Effectively: How I Got Amazon to Feature My Brand on their Blog and Additional Press 1
Are you familiar with Linkedin? Did you create your page and forgot about it? Seems like another platform to master and you are just over it?
I get it! I was right where you are two years ago. Last year I decided to start investing some time into polishing up my Linkedin account. LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect. LinkedIn is ideal for building connections for freelance work, a customer base, potential partners, or simply to keep your job prospects open. For me, LinkedIn is Facebook for professional friends or potential clients etc to connect and network.
I've not fully mastered it, but after doing my interview with Bianca this year on Episode 21: Bianca Jackson on Leveraging LinkedIn to Market Your Business & Win More Clients I was all in. I was certainly missing out on major opportunities and coinage! This year was all about no coins left behind, so optimizing my page I did.
So I took Bianca's advise, added my professional profile picture (new upgraded one) and added my Biography and companies. I automated my weekly Podcast to be posted there as well, gained new listeners with this method. This year I also focused on growing my personal brand, particularly as a Public Speaker. So I leveraged the platform heavily this year for this. I also realized that whenever I pitched anyone to speak or before I was pitched for an opportunity, they almost always viewed my LinkedIn before. It's your first virtual business card. My clients often have said they've found our services based on Blogs we've posted on the platform or viewed my LinkedIn page before they invested in our services.
Found the email address on LinkedIn of the person in charge of Amazon Stories where they featured small businesses that have had success on the platform. So let me note that it's important when pitching that you are providing their audience value and content that actually ties into what they are doing. Otherwise, this won't work! We've been selling on Amazon for 4 years and have had Success. So I emailed a cold email and no response.
But here's the thing with cold emails. It could be potentially 100 reasons that person didn't respond. What I've learned is to never take it PERSONAL! They may have very well seen your email, loved your pitch and had it in mind to respond at a later time. But we are all busy and it could easily be forgotten with tons of more important emails with deadlines coming in every second. So I would wait about a week or two (depending on how time sensitive) to email again with a follow-up email. I normally do 3-4 follow-up emails. About 2-3 weeks later, I received an email from her assistant wanting to feature us for the blog and wanted to interview us.
Oh yay!! So what was amazing about this Press Feature was it was a few days before Black Friday and our Amazon was LIT! On top of this amazing opportunity, Amazon's team booked us to be featured on our Local News Channel on Cyber Monday! Plus our local channel wants to feature us for segments next year!
So yes, LinkedIn is BAEEEE. If used correctly.
I've been working on a few new techniques and will definitely update this blog post with more tips and tricks and techniques that have actually worked for me. Until then, please comment below if this was valuable and also share with us what has worked for you. Share this post with your network if this was helpful and join our Facebook Group for more dope actionable and practical steps you can take today to grow your business.
Add me on LinkedIn
I'd love to network with you :)