Inauthentic item complaints on Amazon – What they are & how to appeal a suspension.
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.
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.
Kerry McDonald, our most senior paralegal, (the first paralegal that Anthony and CJ hired) has found persuasive arguments that are working for sellers across the United States and also for sellers around the world. If you have an inauthentic suspension or complaint, get in touch with us, tell us what’s going on, we’ll guide you to help yourself or we can handle it for you.
Inauthentic vs. Counterfeit Product Complaints
Inauthentic items aren’t necessarily fake (although it’s possible for an item to be both inauthentic & counterfeit).
“Inauthentic” refers to a product that was not purchased from a good enough distributor.
“Counterfeit” refers to a product that is a fake (a knock off).
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, and also 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 the 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.
Product Looks Similar:
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. 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.
An inauthentic suspension is the #1 reason for an account getting suspended and the #1 reason for a seller to lose a listing (ASIN) or a group of ASINs.
Inauthentic means Amazon wants to see where you’re sourcing your products from. It doesn’t necessarily mean counterfeit. You need to be able to show where you source your products from, show an internet presence of that source, submit invoices that have a whole bunch of things on it. Then you also want to be able to track your source of goods back to the manufacturer, and that could also be done in countless ways. If you receive an inauthentic suspension, whether it’s a listing suspension or an account suspension, there are literally dozens of ways to skin the cat to get your account back and get your listings back.
If you’ve been suspended on Amazon, contact us for a free consultation: 1-877-9-SELLER.
New sellers getting killed with inauthentic suspensions.
We’re seeing a dramatic rise in new sellers who finally got past the verification issues and then boom.. immediately getting hit with an inauthentic. When it comes to inauthentic, there is no intellectual property complaint from a brand. Nobody has accused you of anything. Amazon, on its own volition, is going after sellers for certain brands.
For more posts about inauthentic suspensions on Amazon
Increase of inauthentic complaints about beauty products.
If you are selling beauty products, please make sure that your products are stored in the correct temperature so that your products do not smell differently or have a different texture. Also, it’s very important that you make sure that your invoices show a verifiable supplier. We are seeing a bunch of sellers that have invoices that show a supplier that actually does not have a website. It’s very important if your supplier does not have a website to just obtain an authorization letter that we can submit to Amazon.
Inauthentic suspensions have historically been the number one cause of Amazon sellers getting their listing suspended and Amazon sellers temporarily losing their accounts.
If you get an inauthentic claim, you need to submit an invoice. Don’t redact anything. Don’t put any handwriting on it. Hopefully, the source will answer the phone calls from Amazon and all the information regarding you as the purchaser matches your Amazon account. Good invoices lead to quick reinstatement and even though it doesn’t make much sense, you have to submit a short, concise well-drafted plan of action.