About twenty years ago, Jeff Bezos’ brought a revolution to the book industry. Amazon brought books closer to readers by offering books for sale. The e-commerce platform tapped into the multimillion book market and has since hit it big. Third-party sellers have made a sale of 10 billion dollars in the third quarter of this year. This sale makes up eighteen percent of Amazon’s annual sales. Some sellers have taken advantage of this booming Amazon initiative to sell used books to unsuspecting customers.
How do sellers take unfair advantage of book buyers?
Selling counterfeit products on the platform is a common practice amongst booksellers. These retailers often advertise their books on Amazon as genuine but send used products to customers. This is a violation of Amazon sellers’ rules and regulations. The retail company also sees this act as a way of watering down the Amazon seller advocacy they preach from time to time.
How does Amazon fish out the errant sellers?
Amazon used a method some time ago, and it worked. The retail giant ran a covert operation during the peak of holiday sales to determine which sellers sold counterfeit books. Amazon, through its representatives, conducted a test. The reps ordered books from numerous sellers on Amazon during the covert test buy operation. The sellers were all asked to address the books to a certain Clara Dufour. The retailers sent the books to the same address. Those who delivered fake books were then fished out for Amazon sellers account suspension.
Why Did Amazon Carry Out the Test Buy Covert Operation on Books?
Amazon claimed that it carried out the covert test buy operation because its customers deserve the best quality products. The company reached out to the publishers of all books delivered during the test buy operation to weed out the counterfeits. Sales of counterfeit books are hurting the already struggling book market. The publishing industry makes over 10 billion dollars yearly in the United States only. Sales have been going down lately because publishers have had to contend with book rental and used books sale services. These drive down sales, and they should not have to deal with counterfeit products as well. Consumer protection remains the core of the Amazon product appeal service.
Who is Clara Dufour?
Clara Dufour of 303 S. River Street in the city of Seattle is the hottest trending topic on Amazon sellers forum at the time. All affected Amazon consultants who were affected by the covert test buy all sent the books to Miss Clara. It is, however, unclear who she is. Investigations revealed that the elusive Clara does not work or live in the address above. The address above is a 7000 square meter property belonging to a company called Open square. Open square, through its representative, has denied any knowledge of who Clara Dufour is. Although, Amazon has a property close to Open square. It remains unclear what Amazon’s association with Opensquare is or why that address was chosen for the covert operation. Amazon has since refused to comment on the identity of Clara.
What steps has amazon taken to curtail the sale of used books?
Amazon developed a plan to curtail sales of counterfeit products on its platform. The administrators of the e-commerce platform have displayed zero tolerance to sales of fake products by suspending at least twenty sellers of counterfeit books. This is two-way; a retailer loses its selling right, and an Amazon suspension attorney gets a new client. Before the action, Amazon sent them a generic email to inform the errant sellers of the Amazon seller account suspension. The email was also to remind them that there is zero-tolerance to sales of counterfeit products.
How are publishers reacting to this news?
Publishers are pleased with Amazon’s new policy. They feel that the Amazon suspension would help weed out sellers of fake pieces of literature. Textbook publishers are aggressive in their approach to eliminating counterfeit sellers because their profit is affected by the counterfeit sellers. Educational Publishers Enforcement Group just got a massive 34 million dollar court settlement from an Ohio company for copyright infringement.
How are the booksellers reacting to this?
Booksellers, especially the small startups, believe they were unfairly targeted for this covert operation by Amazon. They are also of the opinion that the Amazon sellers account suspension is unfair treatment. The sellers with account suspension have since filed an Amazon account suspension appeal using the help of Amazon sellers lawyer to get their accounts reinstated. Some sellers have won the petition for their Amazon account reinstatement. Most of them attribute their success to Amazon reinstatement attorneys.
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