Amazon announced a new initiative today called Project Zero.
Essentially, it provides a self-service to brands and private label sellers to remove counterfeit listings. Previously, you first had to report an issue to the Amazon Seller Support. The team would then start the investiagion process and take action. The Project Zero empowers sellers and eliminates the need to contact Amazon support.
However, it doesn't let you automatically discover counterfeits or hijackers. Meaning, the discovery process of counterfeits and hijackers still remains manual. For PRO sellers and merchants with a lot of products, manual monitoring is a time-consuming task that you could theoretically spend your entire day doing.
Bindwise closes this gap. The Project Zero in combination with Bindwise Alerts takes manual tasks related to the elimination of counterfeits to zero.
Bindwise continuously scans your store's listings and notifies you about hijackers jumping on listings or fake variations of your products. The moment you get an alert from us, you go to Amazon's Project Zero dashboard and remove the counterfeit on your own.
This sounds like a step in the right direction. There is no way Amazon could ever adequately police the marketplace, and deal with all the reported infringement and reported violations. There are just too many scammers out there, and more to take their places when they do get removed.
There is some oversight — Project Zero, for now, is an invite-only experience available in the U.S. mainly focused on bigger brands, like Vera Bradley or ChomChom Roller.
You might think: "it looks just like another “invitation-only” program for giant brands to eliminate the little guys. I’m sure the big guys will start by wrecking the RA guys first." Definitely, this might be a case and soon get weaponized and used to attack competitors. Without further prediction, let's wait what the future brings.
Also, there are the eligibility requirements to enroll in Project Zero. Interested brands must have a government-registered trademark and have enrolled their brand(s) in Amazon Brand Registry.
Amazon will also be requiring that Project Zero users undergo required training, and says that it’ll do ongoing monitoring to prevent misuse of their tools.
Additionally, Amazon is offering an optional product serialization service for companies that would have them. It means putting a unique, Amazon serial code on their products during manufacturing that will allow Amazon to scan and confirm that a given product is authentic before it ever leaves a warehouse.
You can read more about serialization in our previous blog post.
But the main point about item serialization is that Amazon intends to charge for these codes and to charge for each item that bears the code. So Project Zero is a method that Amazon proposes for stopping counterfeiting on its website, but it is also a way for Amazon to earn revenue.
There’s no easy way to sign up for Project Zero yet, interested brands can head to Amazon’s site to join a waitlist.