Counterfeit products are something private label sellers struggle to combat constantly. Luckily, Amazon has recognized that this is a growing problem, so they created Amazon Transparency Codes to help brand owners diminish the number of counterfeit products. Amazon Transparency Codes also give customers the ability to verify that the products they are purchasing are authentic.
While this program has been around since 2017, Amazon has been slowly enrolling new brands to ensure the program runs smoothly. In late 2018, Amazon began accelerating adoption by sending out more invitations to brands. We all know that Amazon’s main goal is provide a stellar customer experience, and Amazon Transparency Codes are another way they aim to do so.
How Do Amazon Transparency Codes Work?
By enrolling in the program, brands selling in the US marketplace are issued a series of codes called Data Matrix 2D barcodes. Then the brands have those codes applied to the labels of their products, whether they are sold on Amazon or elsewhere, with each product having its own unique code. Each of these codes can be tracked by customers and Amazon in order to trace it back to the original brand.
Some sellers get confused about the difference between Amazon Transparency Codes and the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), like a UPC for example. Transparency Codes offer more detailed product information including:
- Manufacturing date
- Manufacturing place
- Expiration date
- Ingredients/materials used
These codes can be applied to products by using stickers separate from the product label or by having the code incorporated into the product label design. Brand owners can work with their labeling partners to have the code added to their product label and avoid the extra cost and hassle of adding the codes as stickers.
In order to acquire Amazon Transparency Codes, sellers pay based on how many codes they need, ranging from one cent to five cents per unit.
In the event a shipment is received containing products belonging to brands enrolled in the Amazon Transparency Codes program but the products do not have codes on their labels, the seller who sent the shipment will be investigated by Amazon and the inventory will either be rejected or destroyed.
It’s important to note that Amazon Transparency Codes is not to be considered a vendor management program used by brands to push out resellers. Using the program in this way is actually a direct violation of the program terms. Brands who violate these guidelines will face hefty penalties, according to Amazon.
What Amazon Transparency Codes Mean for Customers
Amazon aims to provide the best possible shopping experience for customers, and this program is another layer to help ensure customers are not purchasing counterfeit products. Customers can check the authenticity of a product by simply scanning the Transparency Code in the Amazon app or in the Transparency app.
Amazon takes steps to validate the authenticity of a product before it ever reaches a customer, which basically eliminates the possibility of a customer receiving a counterfeit product. But if a customer wishes to check it out for themselves, all they need to do is scan the code in one of the apps. The app will show a green check mark if the scanned code is valid or a red ‘x’ if it is not. This is also where customers can see additional product information if a brand chooses to share it.
Clearly, Amazon is taking steps to help sellers and brand owners fight back against the big problem that is counterfeit products. Currently, Amazon is working hard to bring more brands into the Amazon Transparency Codes program to help promote customers’ confidence in buying products and also lessen the burden of brands fighting counterfeit sellers on their own.