Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) worked with Salvatore Ferragamo to report a counterfeiter of Ferragamo’s iconic Gancini belt to the Market Supervision and Administration (MSA) authorities located in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, China.
Following an investigation by the MSA and Amazon’s CCU, officials raided the criminal’s warehouse, seizing hundreds of counterfeit belts and buckle accessories that may otherwise have been sold through retail channels around the world. Amazon and Ferragamo will continue to assist law enforcement in investigating counterfeiters and preventing their products from entering the global supply chain, to help stop this illicit trade at the source.
Amazon is grateful for the collaboration from Ferragamo and the MSA in protecting customers from these counterfeit products. This should serve as a reminder that bad actors will be held accountable, as Amazon collaborates with both brands and law enforcement agencies around the world to stop inauthentic products from being sold across the retail industry.– Kebharu Smith, head, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit
This is especially notable as Amazon served notice on the Chinese by banning hundreds of sellers with over with $1 billion revenue in 2021. At the time, China acknowledged that the sellers had fallen foul of differences in laws, cultures and business practices. China working with Amazon to shut down a counterfeiter shows that China is serious about working with the West and ensuring ecommerce norms are respected.
The case originates from a worldwide investigative effort against certain bad actors, which Amazon and Ferragamo identified as trying to sell in Amazon’s store. In February 2021, Amazon and Ferragamo jointly filed two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and allege the defendants conspired to use Ferragamo’s registered trademarks, without authorization, to deceive customers about the authenticity and origin of the products and the affiliation with Ferragamo.
Over the years, Salvatore Ferragamo has implemented a series of offline and online anti-counterfeiting measures to protect its customers and its brand. Thanks to these actions, in 2021, more than 22,000 infringing products and pieces of illicit content were removed from social media platforms and more than 130,000 listings related to counterfeit products were identified and removed from marketplace service providers. In 2021, Salvatore Ferragamo also carried out regular controls on physical stores launching several in-and out-of-court administrative and criminal proceedings, with a specific focus on China. Thanks to the increasing cooperation from local authorities, almost 450,000 counterfeit products were seized worldwide.
Amazon strictly prohibits infringing and counterfeit products in its store and, in 2020, Amazon invested more than $700 million and employed more than 10,000 people to proactively protect its store from fraud, counterfeit, and abuse. Amazon uses industry-leading tools to verify potential sellers’ identities and ensure product listings are authentic, and Amazon’s proprietary systems analyze hundreds of unique data points to verify information provided by potential sellers. In 2020, only 6% of attempted new seller account registrations passed Amazon’s robust verification processes and listed products for sale. In addition, fewer than 0.01% of all products sold on Amazon received a counterfeit complaint from customers.
Amazon launched the CCU in 2020 to help hold counterfeiters accountable through the courts and law enforcement. This global team—which is made up of former federal prosecutors, former law enforcement agents, experienced investigators and data analysts—pursues targets around the globe. Amazon’s CCU supports law enforcement efforts to bring justice to those attempting to sell counterfeits to protect customers, brands, Amazon’s stores, and the retail industry.