Inauthentic versus Counterfeit
“Inauthentic” refers to a product that was not purchased from good enough distributor.
“Counterfeit” refers to a product is a fake, a knock off.
“Inauthentic and Counterfeit” refers to items fake purchased from disreputable suppliers.
Inauthentic is a term loosely defined by Amazon that often confuses sellers who receive this type of complaint. What is Amazon’s definition of “inauthentic”? According to seller policies, inauthentic items are not quite “counterfeit”. In the eyes of Amazon, inauthentic items are not completely “fake”, but they are part of a gray market category that can get quite complicated. This gray market can be hit or miss – regardless, when Amazon chooses to flag your item as potentially inauthentic, it means that the product has allegedly been purchased from a source that is not authorized to sell it.
The Difference Between Counterfeit and Inauthentic
How can we differentiate between these two different types of complaints? When it’s broken down into simple terms, the definitions become clearer.
– Counterfeit items are fake. Counterfeit items are knockoffs.
– Inauthentic items are not necessarily fake (though it is certainly possible for an item to be both inauthentic and counterfeit).
In the eyes of Amazon, an inauthentic item is defined by where it is purchased by the seller. Items purchased from any source other than the authorized manufacturer of the product are considered to be inauthentic – even if they are indeed the “real” brand name product.
If an item is in question and a complaint is issued, you will be required to provide proof of purchase to the seller performance team to show that you purchased your items from an authorized seller or at least one that passes Amazon’s unknown standards. It is common knowledge that Amazon often refuses to accept receipts that fail to identify the product, dislikes liquidators and other resellers where it is difficult to identify where your distributor obtained the products.
Why Do Customers File Inauthentic Item Complaints?
Sometimes, complaints are simply misplaced by your buyer. This leaves you as a seller in a frustrating position. Your products are 100% authentic, but the customer has made the complaint regardless. If you cannot discover why someone left the complaint, you will need to demonstrate in your plan of action where you bought your items.
You may be selling authentic products, but perhaps the packaging is inconsistent with Amazon’s customer’s expectations. Some buyers reported inauthentic items due to a perceived difference between the product on Amazon and the one they received. While this should be filed as a “Not As Advertised” complaint, it is now your job to correct your packing mistakes and prove the authenticity of your product: show Amazon where you purchased your products.
Another reason for inauthentic complaints is that your product looks similar to another brand name product, and customers believe you are selling a knock off, or inauthentic item. It is once again your responsibility to correct your product descriptions so that the customers are not easily confused as well as prove the authenticity of your product.
Though inauthentic complaints are truly the gray market of Amazon.com, they are generally reinstated rather quickly as long as sellers can prove that their items came from reputable sources.