The German footwear company Birkenstock will no longer sell its sandals on Amazon due to the rise of counterfeit products on the e-commerce site, CNBC’s Ari Levy reported Wednesday.
It will also ban any sales of its products by third-party sellers on Amazon, effectively making its products unavailable on the world’s largest online store, the report said.
In an internal memo obtained by CNBC, Birkenstock USA CEO David Kahan blasted Amazon’s deepening counterfeit problem, saying it has become “impossible” to police all the illegal activities that end up harming Birkenstock’s brand value. Kahan wrote:
“The Amazon marketplace, which operates as an ‘open market,’ creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices which we believe jeopardize our brand. This includes postings by sellers proven to have counterfeit Birkenstock products. It also includes a constant stream of unidentifiable unauthorized sellers who show a blatant disregard for our pricing policies. Policing this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible.”
The news comes just a few weeks after CNBC reported that a lot of Amazon sellers are increasingly growing frustrated by the proliferation of counterfeit products on the site. Some of the problem pointed out include price undercuts, fake reviews, and weak policing measures.
At the time of the first CNBC report, Amazon denied the sale of counterfeit products on its site, telling us "occurrences of counterfeit products are very rare.“
On Wednesday, Amazon’s spokesperson sent the same exact statement in response to its alleged counterfeit problem:
“Amazon does not allow the sale of inauthentic items on its marketplace and occurrences of inauthentic products are rare. Every customer who orders on Amazon is covered by our A-Z guarantee and if they do receive inauthentic goods, we will refund or replace that item.”
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