Small Businesses Beware, Amazon Counterfeiters on the Hunt

Small businesses are thinking twice about selling their products on popular merchant sites. According to NBC News, sellers that use sites like Society6 and Zazzle are struggling with Amazon counterfeiters. Counterfeiters are stealing pictures from merchant sites and putting them up on Amazon as their own to offer counterfeit products.

Kristi Spencer, an owner of her own small business, says she has had many run-ins with counterfeiters. She has sent many e-mails to get the images taken down. A Facebook group called “Who Stole My Images?” which features a forum of small businesses and artists, come together to post about their problems with stolen images.

While Amazon did not have a comment for NBC News about the recent rise in counterfeit products being sold on their site, they did say they have strict rules against counterfeiting and that they do have actions that are taken.

This not only has an effect on Amazon merchants, but on Amazon customers as well. Unfortunately for merchants, Amazon is off the hook. As a result of a legal case last year, a judge in Washington agreed that Amazon is not liable for copyright infringement when a person tries to sell fake products on its site. Amazon suggests that merchants send out “take-down notices.” Kristi Spencer told NBC News that she has spent hours a day documenting her stolen photos on Amazon. She confronts the counterfeiters and they take them down, but they are back up a few days later.

James Hart, a lawyer in North Carolina, says that if Amazon does not change its ways, there will be problems in the long run.

Zazzle has created a watermark for their merchants to use. The watermarks are for high resolution images. Although, the low resolution images are up for the taking for the counterfeiters.

Does your business sell products on a website? If so, you may want to make sure all your images are copyrighted. Does your business need extra security to stay on top of potential counterfeiters? We can help. We offer funding solutions to small businesses regardless of size or industry. Give us a call or fill out a form to the funding you need to always feel stable.