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Amazon Aims to Quell the Sale of Counterfeit Footwear

Amazon’s plight to extinguish counterfeiting sellers on their website may be putting the brunt of the punishment on real sellers, CNBC reported last week.

Online retailers looking to sell specific big name brands like Nike, Adidas and Asics now have to pay a one-time nonrefundable fee up to $1,500 per brand, according to CNBC’s interviews with sellers. The fee comes after Amazon’s request that sellers also provide invoices from manufacturers or distributors that show proof of purchase of 30 items within the last 90 days.

These new rules and charges which Amazon selectively implemented starting two weeks ago, are being coined “brand gating,” which will come out to a big price for sellers in an attempt to stop counterfeiters from selling on the online marketplace.

“We want customers to be able to shop with confidence on Amazon,” Erik Fairleigh, an Amazon spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to CNBC. “For certain products and categories, Amazon requires additional performance checks, other qualification requirements, and fees.”

Birkenstock took the counterfeit threat seriously, informing third-party sellers that starting Jan. 1 2017, the company will no longer sell on Amazon or allow its partners to do business on the website.

According to an e-mailed statement from a Nike spokesperson, the company “does not sell on and our policies do not allow our authorized wholesale accounts to sell on” Nike didn’t say how long those policies have been in place.

Amazon has yet to release a list of specific brands or products affected by this new rule, but sellers confirm being notified about the $1,500 charge.

The big concern for merchants remains that Amazon is slowly getting rid of the practice of businesses buying reduced products and selling them for higher prices on the retail marketplace. With the new implementation of providing evidence of purchase from only authorized retailers, Amazon now forces sellers to think twice about where they get their products.