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Amazon third-party sellers face the ever-present risk of having their brand image ruined by counterfeiters. 

These bad actors are constantly on the lookout for up-and-coming brands. Once they find their target, they start producing cheap replicas for quick money (some might even alter your product listing content or shift it to a different category!).

Most of them are aware of the risks, but by the time they get banned from the platform, the damage is already done.

Is there a way to save yourself from ending up in a similar situation? Yes.

Amazon’s Transparency program allows honest sellers to safeguard their stores and do business without worrying about counterfeiters.

In this post, you’re going to learn all there is to know about Amazon Transparency, including:

  • Amazon Transparency costs
  • The eligibility criteria and how to enroll in the program
  • The Amazon Transparency App
  • The Benefits of Amazon Transparency
  • Amazon Transparency and FBM

What is the Amazon Transparency Program?

Amazon Transparency ensures your buyers receive your products, not cheap replicas made and shipped by counterfeiters. It’s a product serialization service that tracks and verifies inventory at an item level, allowing you to maintain product authenticity, improve customer engagement, and protect your brand image.

Image caption: The effectiveness of Amazon Transparency as shown in numbers.

Sellers in the program apply Amazon 2D Transparency codes to their product packaging. These codes are T-shaped, 2D logos (similar to QR codes) and are unique to each item

After applying Amazon’s transparent logos and shipping your inventory to a fulfillment center, each product is scanned and undergoes a Transparency authentication check. Items that fail the test are withheld and classified as suspected counterfeits and undergo further inspection. 

Only products that clear the inspection stage are clear for shipping. 

Amazon’s Stance on Counterfeit Products

As more and more cheap replicas land in customers’ hands, some have begun to wonder: Is Amazon selling counterfeit products? 

Let’s take a look at Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting policy, which it sums up in the following sentence:

“Products offered for sale on Amazon must be authentic. The sale of counterfeit products is strictly prohibited. Failure to abide by this policy may result in loss of selling privileges, funds being withheld, and disposal of inventory in our possession.”

From a seller’s point of view, you should avail every resource to protect your store from hijackers. Options other than Transparency include:

  • Project Zero
  • Amazon Brand Registry

Amazon Project Zero vs Transparency

Amazon Project Zero leverages Machine Learning and data gathered from sellers to identify and remove counterfeit products. Project Zero differs from Transparency as sellers can self-remove fake listings without Amazon’s approval. Here are the program’s benefits:

Automated protection 

Program members provide Amazon with key data points, including trademark and brand logo details. Then, the Amazon Machine Learning software gets to work, scanning billions of data points daily and removing suspected bad listings. Moreover, the program learns to identify counterfeits better, improving its effectiveness over time.

Faster removals 

Brand registered owners can report suspected infringement and wait for Amazon to take action. However, with Project Zero, users can self-remove fake listings immediately. But be careful – users must boast a high removal accuracy or risk having their Project Zero membership revoked (a measure Amazon implements to prevent abuses of power).

Product Serialization 

Project Zero and Transparency are product serialization services that empower sellers by applying unique product labels. This process filters out counterfeits once they reach a fulfillment center, ensuring your customers receive authentic products.

So, should sellers go for Project Zero or Amazon Transparency? You should apply for Transparency first and see how things progress. Then, if you feel you need extra protection, enroll in Project Zero as a last resort. 

Amazon Brand Registry

Amazon Brand Registry is a platform-specific program that equips users with powerful seller tools. Some of the benefits of this program include trademark protection, access to A+ content, and the ability to run Sponsored Brand Ads. For an in-depth look at Amazon Brand Registry, check out this blog!

Benefits of Amazon Transparency

Avail the following benefits by enrolling in the Amazon Transparency Program:

Safeguard Your Listings

The Amazon marketplace features millions of sellers vying for customer attention. In a race to the top of search engine ranking pages, the last thing you need is counterfeiters dragging you down. Transparency prevents bad actors from ruining the effort you put into creating a sustainable Amazon store.

Protect and Enhance Your Brand Image

Brand and product differentiation are good, even if it’s something as small as a Transparency code that appears on your product packaging. It reassures buyers that the goods they purchase are genuine products. It also reduces the probability of negative reviews appearing on your product listings (owing to low-quality replicas).

Maintain Stable Revenues

Sellers who fall prey to counterfeiters usually experience reduced revenues. That’s because these cheap knockoffs become direct competitors to the original product. In addition, because of the inevitable negative feedback that follows, sellers may have their listings temporarily suspended due to investigations carried out by Amazon.

The longer a suspension remains, the more money honest sellers end up losing.

What Does an Amazon Transparency Code Look Like?

The Amazon Transparency logo is a unique 2D code in an alphanumeric format found on your product packaging. It also has a call to action. Buyers can use the Amazon Transparency app or the Amazon shopping mobile app to scan the Transparency label to know whether the product they received is genuine. Here’s what it looks like:

Note: Some people try to search for an Amazon transparency code generator to use for their products. The right to print and issue Transparency logos belongs only to Amazon.

What Does the Transparency App do?

Amazon customers can use the Amazon Transparency scanner (within the app) to verify whether the product they purchased is genuine. If the seller chooses, they can also convey additional information to buyers who scan their products, such as product information, videos, images, and promotions. 

How Do I Join the Amazon Transparency Program?

To enroll in the Amazon Transparency program, you must first:

  • Enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry program and have a government-registered trademark.
  • Purchase GTINs (or Global Trade Item Numbers) such as EAN, UPC, ISBN, etc.
  • Paste these Transparency codes to each unit, irrespective of where they’re sold. 

Meet the eligibility criteria? Then visit the Amazon Transparency page to get started. Provide the necessary information and wait for Amazon’s response. Once your application gets accepted, you can start pasting these codes to your products (or ask your supplier or manufacturer to do it for you).

Note: For more details, log into your Amazon seller central account and search for Amazon Transparency.

Does Amazon Transparency Cost Money?

Yes. Expect to pay anywhere from 1 to 5 cents per Amazon Transparent logo. If you do the math, that adds up to $50 for 1,000 codes. Sellers whose online businesses rely on luxury or high-priced products should consider investing in Transparency, given the high likelihood of negative feedback from customers who receive counterfeits.

Amazon Transparency Program and FBM

FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) sellers or sellers who fulfill customer orders can also enroll in the Transparency program. The only difference is that after applying Transparency logos, FBA sellers ship products to a fulfillment center, and that’s it – Amazon takes care of things from there.

With FBM, sellers must apply Transparency logos and then forward the details to Amazon each time a code is applied to an individual unit and shipped out to customers.

Conclusion – Amazon’s Transparency Program 

Make life easier by enrolling in Amazon Transparency and prevent hijackers and counterfeiters from damaging your online business.

But you know what else makes selling on Amazon easier? A robust set of seller tools that automate your FBA store.

ZonGuru offers 16 powerful tools to elevate your FBA business from an average side hustle to a money-making machine. With more than 100 5-star reviews on Trustpilot, it’s the ultimate Amazon business assistant in 2024.

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