Amazon says it prevented 4 billion bad listings in 2021

Jun 7, 2022, 9:00 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 12:58 am

Amazon, which has been under increasing pressure to tackle counterfeit products, said in its second-annual report that it prevented 4 billion bad listings from making it onto its site and got rid of more than 3 million phony products last year.

The results, released Wednesday, were mixed compared with 2020, when Amazon blocked 10 billion listings and got rid of 2 million phony products. The Seattle-based e-commerce juggernaut also saw a decrease in complaints of intellectual property infringement in 2021 while growing the number of active brands on its site.

According to the report, Amazon stopped more than 2.5 million attempts to create fake accounts on its third-party marketplace, where sellers can list their products directly to consumers. That number is about a 58% decline from the attempts it said it stopped in 2020, which the company credits to its vetting process and other efforts to deter bad actors.

But Juozas Kaziukenas, the founder of e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse, said it can be hard to independently know what actually caused those declines — whether it’s Amazon’s policies or other factors.

Counterfeit sellers have long plagued Amazon and other e-commerce retailers, including eBay. And Amazon has stepped up efforts to fight it in recent years amid heightened scrutiny from brands and lawmakers pushing for anti-counterfeit legislation.

Amazon backs a House version of an online retail bill, known as the INFORM Act, which would require online marketplaces to collect contact and financial information from high-volume sellers and disclose some of the information to consumers. Amazon had opposed an earlier Senate version of the bill, which would require online retailers to gather information from a larger group of third-party merchants.

Meanwhile, TechNet, a lobbying group that counts Amazon and eBay as some of its members, is pushing back against another bill that would make the e-commerce platforms liable for counterfeit goods sold on their site. An Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement the company recognizes “the intent of the legislation is to stop counterfeits” and looks forward to working with Congress to achieve that goal.

In its report, Amazon said it implemented a program last year that made it harder for bad actors to register for selling accounts by requiring one-on-one conversations with a company team member to verify their identity. It says it’s also verifying the seller’s physical location and payment instruments and leveraging machine learning to detect risks about potential accounts.

Last year, the company said it spent more than $900 million to push back against fraud, and sued — or referred — more than 600 sellers for investigation in the U.S. and other places like China. Amazon did not reveal in the report the source of most counterfeit products, but China has been a sore spot. And the company won’t share data that helps it detect and prevent phony products from showing up on its site, said Mary Beth Westmoreland, Amazon’s vice president of brand protection.

According to Marketplace Pulse, the share of top China-based merchants has steadily been declining on Amazon’s third-party marketplace since late 2020, a trend some experts believe may be caused by pandemic-induced supply chain snafus and the company’s recent efforts to crack down on prohibited activity, including fake reviews. Last year, the company suspended several prominent China-based sellers and reportedly kicked off 50,000 merchants for violating its rules.

Marketplace Pulse’s data shows 55% of the top sellers on Amazon’s U.S. marketplace are domestic businesses, a jump from 48% in November 2020.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Candles are lit on a memorial wall during an anniversary memorial service at the Holy Trinit...

Associated Press

Pain and terror felt by passengers before Boeing Max crashed can be considered, judge rules

Families of passengers who died in the crash of a Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia can seek damages for the pain and terror suffered by victims in the minutes before the plane flew nose-down into the ground, a federal judge has ruled.

20 hours ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI speaks at University College ...

Associated Press

Artificial intelligence threatens extinction, experts say in new warning

Scientists and tech industry leaders issued a new warning Tuesday about the perils that artificial intelligence poses to humankind.

20 hours ago

FILE - Employees walk through a lobby at Amazon's headquarters on Nov. 13, 2018, in Seattle. A grou...

Associated Press

Hundreds of Amazon workers protest company’s climate impact, return-to-office mandate

SEATTLE (AP) — Telling executives to “strive harder,” hundreds of corporate Amazon workers protested what they decried as the company’s lack of progress on climate goals and an inequitable return-to-office mandate during a lunchtime demonstration at its Seattle headquarters Wednesday. The protest came a week after Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting and a month after a […]

2 days ago


Associated Press

Body of avalanche victim in Washington state recovered after being spotted by volunteer

Search crews have recovered the body of a climber who was one of three killed in an avalanche on Washington's Colchuck Peak in February.

2 days ago

Eugene and Linda Lamie, of Homerville, Ga., sit by the grave of their son U.S. Army Sgt. Gene Lamie...

Associated Press

Biden on Memorial Day lauds generations of fallen US troops who ‘dared all and gave all’

President Joe Biden lauded the sacrifice of generations of U.S. troops who died fighting for their country as he marked Memorial Day with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

3 days ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI gestures while speaking at Un...

Associated Press

ChatGPT maker downplays fears they could leave Europe over AI rules

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Friday downplayed worries that the ChatGPT maker could exit the European Union

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Amazon says it prevented 4 billion bad listings in 2021