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 - Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary-General of OPEC, is shown during a panel discussion at CERAWeek...
Associated Press

OPEC secretary-general is dead, Nigerian officials announce

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has died, Nigerian authorities announced Wednesday. Mohammad Barkindo, 63, died late Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry told The Associated Press. The reason for his death was not immediately known. Mele Kyari, Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

The next frontier for drones: letting them fly out of sight

REMINGTON, Va. (AP) — For years, there’s been a cardinal rule for flying civilian drones: Keep them within your line of sight. Not just because it’s a good idea — it’s also the law. But some drones have recently gotten permission to soar out of their pilots’ sight. They can now inspect high-voltage power lines […]
1 day ago
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pos...
Associated Press

Marcos plays balancing act in meeting with China’s FM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — New Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will meet China’s top diplomat Wednesday to discuss long-simmering disputes in the South China Sea, as he wades into foreign policy dilemmas that include the U.S.-China rivalry in the region. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, wearing a native Filipino formal shirt, met his counterpart for […]
1 day ago
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stands in front of Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam o...
Associated Press

Russian foreign minister stops in Vietnam ahead of G-20

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Vietnam on Wednesday as part of an effort to bolster ties with a country that has not openly condemned its invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov, on his way to the Indonesian island of Bali for a G-20 meeting, sought to strengthen ties with Vietnam, which also […]
1 day ago
People wearing face masks walk past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in ...
Associated Press

Asian benchmarks mostly lower after tepid Wall St session

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday after tepid trading on Wall Street amid worries about a global recession. Major benchmarks fell across Asia. Oil prices recouped some lost ground. Analysts said markets were focusing on a variety of risks, including inflation, oil prices, moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central […]
1 day ago
FILE - Police officers detain demonstrators in St. Petersburg, Russia, Feb. 24, 2022. When Presiden...
Associated Press

Some Russians won’t halt war protests, despite arrest fears

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, Anastasia has started her day by composing an anti-war message and posting it on the wall at the entrance of her apartment block in the industrial city of Perm in the Ural Mountains. “Do not believe the propaganda you see on the TV, read independent media!” reads one. “Violence and […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Amazon says it prevented 4 billion bad listings in 2021