Project Zero: Amazon's New Tool Has Zero Tolerance for Counterfeits

Mia Kovacevic / 4 min read

Amazon has just announced a new initiative- the launch of Project Zero.

This groundbreaking new initiative empowers sellers to take immediate action against hijacked listings and stop the sale of counterfeit products.

Amazon recognizes that the sale of counterfeit products is a serious and growing problem. It’s damaging for a seller’s reputation and their bottom line.

But it’s equally damaging for the consumer who receives a knock-off, used product, or a damaged item never knowing that they have been cheated by a separate, outside party.

Dubbed Project Zero, the reference to “zero” demonstrates that Amazon has zero tolerance for hijackers selling counterfeit products.

This new tool combines advanced technology and machine learning with the knowledge of each individual brand owner to quickly and efficiently root out hijackers with counterfeit products.

Here’s how it works and how you can get involved.

Related: How to Deal with Hijackers on Amazon

What is Amazon Project Zero?

Project Zero is actually a compilation of three powerful tools:

  1. Automated Protections. Amazon's machine learning technology daily scans all the Amazon stores in search of counterfeits. Brands provide the key data (trademarks, logos, etc.) and  Amazon reportedly proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what they reactively remove.

  2. Self-Service Counterfeit Removal. Brands no longer need to contact Amazon to remove counterfeit listings from its stores. Instead, they have the ability to do so themselves. 

  3. Product Serialization. Sellers apply unique codes provided by Amazon to every unit of their brand registered product(s). With this service, Amazon can detect and stop counterfeiting before the item reaches the customer.

What Sellers Need To Do

1. Submit Key Data to Amazon [logo, trademark, etc.]

Brands will simply provide Amazon with their logo, trademark and additional key data about their brand.

Amazon says its technology scans over 5 billion product listing updates every day, looking for suspected counterfeits. Amazon also reported that they have been testing these automated protections with a number of top brands.

They say that, on average, their new automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to when they reactively removed items based on reports from brands.

This new tool is a big step forward in the fight against hijackers and counterfeit products. In the past, brands filed a report with Amazon and then worked their way through a lengthy removal process. It was a very reactive process, hurting sellers as well as consumers.

Project Zero is a proactive approach. It puts the power in the hands of the seller.

A seller can now control their own listing. They can directly and immediately remove hijackers. There is no longer the need to go through Amazon first.

This overall information then feeds into Amazon’s automated protections, allowing them to better catch potential counterfeit listings proactively in the future.

2. Choose Additional Opt-In Features

Amazon’s Project Zero features an additional opt-in service allowing sellers to provide product serialization.

Amazon will scan and confirm the authenticity of each product purchased using the product’s unique code issued when manufactured.

When a consumer purchases the product, Amazon scans the code to verify the authenticity. If it is not authentic, Amazon will stop the counterfeit item before it gets into the hands of the consumer.

How to Join Amazon's Project Zero

Project Zero launched with invite-only access in the U.S.

Brands can join the waiting list as the service rolls out broadly.

To qualify, brands must have a government-registered trademark and enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry Program to qualify.

There is no cost to enroll in Project Zero. Brands that opt-in to the product serialization service will incur costs based on unit volume. It is expected to range from $0.01 to $0.05 per unit.

While Amazon is placing more trust in their seller community with Project Zero, the system will monitor sellers for accuracy as well. 

Related: Everything you need to know about Amazon Brand Registry

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Mia Kovacevic

As a part of Remote Judo Team, Mia is traveling to a new country every three months, chasing summer and breathtaking sunsets, while sharing insights from different Amazon markets and stories of inspiring entrepreneurs she meets on the way.