Sellers Guide to the Amazon Transparency Program: Stop Counterfeiters Stealing Your Sales

Seller Strategy

Did you know that counterfeit sales account for nearly 3.3% of world trade? That’s over $500 billion a year lost to counterfeiters. 

Is your brand at risk?

Amazon’s Transparency program is one of the steps they’re taking to protect sellers and customers from this global issue.

What is The Amazon Transparency Program?

The Amazon Transparency Program is a product serialization service launched by Amazon back in 2017 to identify and prevent the sale of counterfeit products using transparency tags that enrolled brands add to their products. 

These tags are scanned prior to shipment and can be scanned by the customers themselves to check the authenticity of their purchase.

Available in Amazon marketplaces across the globe, the program is designed to protect brands and their customers from counterfeits and allowed Amazon to seize seven million counterfeit products in 2023 alone.

How the Transparency Program Works

Anyone who wants to sell products from your brand must provide valid transparency codes to sell on your listing or create one of their own, protecting your customers from receiving counterfeit products.

Codes also have to be verified before the product is shipped – whether it’s fulfilled by Amazon or by a third-party seller. If the code does not match the ones registered by the brand, the product is flagged as counterfeit. 

Customers can also scan the Transparency tags themselves to check the authenticity of their purchase on the Amazon and Transparency apps.

As of October 2023, if your brand already has a serialization system, this can be integrated with Amazon’s Transparency solution. This was great news for new brands looking to enter the program as it means you won’t have to change your manufacturing or packaging processes – making it easier, faster, and cheaper to join the program.

But How Does the Transparency Program Work for FBM Sellers?

If you’re a Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) seller, then the process works exactly the same way. Whether you’re selling via FBM or FBA, you’re responsible as the seller for applying the serialization codes to your products.

The only difference is that the codes won’t be scanned prior to shipment, because you’re shipping the goods yourself. But customers will still be able to verify the authenticity of their purchase in the same way.

Amazon seller application on mobile device

The Benefits of Transparency for Serious Brands 

If you’re serious about your brand and maintaining its integrity, then joining programs like Transparency or Project Zero can have a hugely positive impact. 

It not only protects your brand but also increases consumer trust and brand loyalty.

Peace of Mind for Both Brands and Customers

The Amazon Transparency program provides peace of mind for both brands and customers. Customers can verify the authenticity of the product they’re purchasing, while brands can be sure that third-party sellers are deterred from selling counterfeits that would impact both their reputation. 

This transparency provides a clear, traceable path from manufacturing through to arriving on the customer’s doorstep – whether the product has been sold on Amazon or not

Reduce the Financial Damage Caused by Counterfeiters

Counterfeit sales account for around $500 billion a year in sales globally – and every dollar made by counterfeiters is a dollar that the authentic brand misses out on. But the issue doesn’t stop there. Counterfeits are often sold at a cheaper price than the real deal, so brands are essentially competing on price with counterfeits of their own products. 

The Transparency program reduces this damage by eliminating fake listings, stopping counterfeit shipments out of Amazon warehouses and empowering customers to verify for themselves that the product they’ve received is legitimate. 

Prevent Bad Reviews

Negative reviews can significantly impact your brand’s image and customer satisfaction ratings. As counterfeits are often a much lower quality than the authentic product, they pose a very real risk to your ratings. 

Fewer counterfeits means – in theory – less risk of bad reviews.

Safeguards Your Reputation

Maintaining your brand reputation is crucial for the success of your business. The Amazon Transparency program helps achieve this by ensuring that only genuine products are sold under your brand name and reducing the risk of negative publicity caused by faulty counterfeit products.

Stay Covered: Product Liability Protection for Savvy Amazon Sellers

No obligation quote.
Policies can be canceled at any time, with 30 days’ notice.

Is Amazon Transparency Right for Your Brand?

Determining whether Transparency is right for your brand depends on several factors. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • Risk of Counterfeiting: If your brand is at high risk of counterfeiting or if you’re selling high-value items, Transparency can provide an extra layer of protection for your sales on and off Amazon.
  • International Sales: The program is particularly beneficial for brands sold internationally as it ensures global protection against counterfeits, maintaining the same authenticity standards across various countries.
  • Past Counterfeit Issues: If your brand has experienced counterfeit issues in the past or is vulnerable to such issues, it’s wise to take steps to mitigate the risk of further issues.
  • Customer Trust: If you’re looking to enhance customer trust and satisfaction by verifying product authenticity, the program can be a valuable tool, particularly if your reputation has taken a hit in the past.
monitor inventory

Enrolling in the Amazon Transparency Program

To enroll in the Transparency program, there are a few eligibility criteria your brand must meet.

Requirements for Sellers to Participate in the Program

To participate in the Amazon Transparency Program, you must: 

  • Have a Brand Registry account
  • Be the legitimate brand owner with a registered trademark
  • Have a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) such as a UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN
  • Commit to applying unique Transparency codes to every manufactured unit, regardless of where the units are sold

Read our full guide on Amazon brand registry.

How to Apply

Applying is simple. Head to the Transparency website and fill out a short form. If you’re accepted by Amazon then you can begin selecting the products you want to authenticate using transparency codes.

Does Amazon Assist Sellers in Applying Transparency Codes to Products?

Amazon will generate the codes for the SKUs you choose to enroll in the program, but it’s up to the sellers to apply them. 

They do provide guidelines and support about how to correctly apply them, as well as resources for troubleshooting and questions about code application.

Transparency vs. Project Zero: Do You Have to Choose?

The answer is no. Sellers can enroll in both the Transparency and Project Zero programs as long as they need the eligibility criteria. They’re two layers of protection that work in unison to protect your brand against counterfeiters.

Want to know more about Project Zero? Read our article for everything you need to know before you enroll.

Stay Covered: Product Liability Protection for Savvy Amazon Sellers

No obligation quote.
Policies can be canceled at any time, with 30 days’ notice.

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