How to Use Amazon Transparency

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Amazon Transparency is the retail giant’s answer to counterfeit products. The program was launched in March 2017 to protect Amazon’s products and labels in the marketplace.

Since then, Transparency by Amazon has helped mitigate the severe threat of counterfeiters to legitimate sellers.

Below, we review the benefits of Amazon transparency. You’ll learn how merchants can use this tool in the battle against counterfeit products.


What is Amazon Transparency?


Seller Logic states Amazon destroyed around 2 million counterfeit goods in 2020. Plus, another 10 billion items got blocked or removed from the marketplaces.

But counterfeiting is still a big issue for all brands on Amazon. Not only because they cut on profit margins. Counterfeits also hurt a seller’s reputation, and it also damages consumer trust.

Hence the need for a tool like the Transparency program. This is part of Amazon’s brand protection services. Its goal is to protect seller items across the supply chain. 

Image source: Amazon

The program provides sellers unique barcodes, which they can use to label their products. Once the code is in place, users may scan it to verify the item’s authenticity.

Amazon Transparency keeps track of around 750 million products. No surprise here, since it’s best to have customers enjoy a positive shopping experience.

When users receive a cheap knock-off, they don’t care if it was their own fault for not thoroughly checking the product before buying. In their view, such due diligence is Amazon’s responsibility.

By extending Transparency to all sellers, Amazon can protect third-party brands, and also ensure that users buy only genuine items.


How Do I Join the Amazon Transparency Program?


Transparency by Amazon is available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Australia, and the UK.

Here’s what you’ll need to enroll in the program:

  1. Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry.
  2. Submit a government-registered trademark that verifies you are the brand owner of your products.
  3. A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for the items you’ll register. For example: ISBN, UPC or EAN.
  4. Include unique Amazon Transparency Codes on every product, even if it’s not sold.


How Does Amazon Transparency Work?


As we said, the Transparency system issues Data Matrix 2D barcodes to each product sold by registered brands. These codes work like any UPC or serial number. When scanned, items can be traced back to their point of origin.

Here’s what you can review when scanning Amazon Transparency labels: 

  • Where the product comes from
  • When an where it was manufactured
  • The materials it’s made of
  • Expiration date (if applicable)
Image source: Amazon

Note that the program is also fully automated, and works in pair with other Amazon services, like Project Zero.

There’s also an initiative that scans new seller registration data. By doing so, Amazon can prevent new counterfeiters from entering the marketplace.

Sellers must also provide Amazon with every product they send to the warehouse. This is a key step, because the marketplace investigates all units for enrolled sellers.

Each code is unique for a single product unit, making it harder to duplicate it. Thus, counterfeits can be detected and stopped before they hit the marketplace.

Note: Transparency is not a way to cut our resellers. Amazon will sanction any brand that uses the tool for unethical selling tactics.


How Do I Add Transparency Codes on Amazon


Sellers can register their products via the Seller Central. From here, you can request codes for all the items that you enroll in the program.

Amazon hasn’t disclosed an exact figure, but brands could pay $0.01-$0.05 for each barcode.

Once you have the data, you must learn how to print Amazon Transparency codes. There are two ways o do so:

  • Request the labels from an Amazon-approved supplier like Fineline Tech. In such cases, pricing will vary depending on the amount of labels that you request.
  • Print Amazon Transparency Labels by yourself. Check this guide to learn more about the Amazon label requirements.

Each product unit must feature its own barcode. This can be an annoying extra step, but it will protect your brand across the supply chain.

Codes allow Amazon to know which products belong to which brands. It’s also a plus for suppliers or retailers. They can use the Amazon Transparency Scanner to verify the codes.

Image source: Webretailer

Customers can also scan the label. This way, they’ll make sure they bought an authentic product. So, it’s important to always label your packages before shipping them to the warehouse.

Items without a code, or that use an invalid label, will get removed and destroyed. Plus, Amazon will also block the sellers listing to prevent more sales. All these tactics help ensure that customers buy %100 genuine products.


Why Use Amazon Transparency?


We’ve stated the inner workings of Transparency by Amazon. Now, let’s take a deeper look at the benefits you’ll get from the program.


Protect Your Revenue


The program may not remove all counterfeiters, but it will protect youth products against hijacking.

When another seller tries to sell your items, Amazon will detect it. This is because the counterfeiter won’t provide a unique Transparency code. So, the fake product will never reach customers.

In short, the program will help protect your brand, and ensure that customers only buy from you, the real seller.


Customer Protection


Besides stealing products, counterfeit goods also eat profit margins. In the worst-case scenario, users will prefer the fake option, just for the pricing.

But users will soon learn they bought a low-quality item. This can only hurt your reputation, and also hurt the customers’ finances.

Transparency can offer your brand an authenticity badge. Both Amazon and your users will be protected against low-quality items, which will help you earn their trust.


Encourage positive reviews


Poor shopping experiences lead to negative customer reviews. By removing the threat of counterfeit items, you can ensure that users always get a positive experience on Amazon.

Plus, you’ll offer products that can help them improve their lives. And in return, they’ll come back and share their delight with other customers.

Related content: How to Protect Your Brand on Amazon


Final Thoughts


Amazon Transparency is a huge leap forward against counterfeits. It’s both proactive and preemptive, as well as actionable against existing fraudsters.

Over 23,000 brands use Amazon Transparency, as of 2022. Let’s hope more sellers join the program in the near future.

With your help, it’ll be easier to educate users about counterfeiters. And in doing so, you’ll help eliminate the problem from Amazon.

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Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez

Julia is a professional teacher and long-time lover of the art of words on paper and the stage. She has an entrepreneurial heart and spends most of her time doing marketing and management, freelance content writing, volunteer work, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.

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