This brand is quitting Amazon over fakes

Footwear brand Birkenstock will quit selling on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) due to the proliferation of fake and counterfeit products. In addition, the company will no longer allow third-party merchants to sell Birkenstock products on Amazon's marketplace.

Birkenstock USA CEO David Kahan sent a memo to those merchants on July 5, saying that sales of the brand would no longer be permitted on Amazon after January 1, 2017.

The memo was obtained by CNBC and confirmed by Birkenstock.

"The Amazon marketplace, which operates as an 'open market,' creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices which we believe jeopardize our brand," wrote Kahan. "Policing this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible."

Kahan said he has worked tirelessly with Amazon since joining Birkenstock to create workable solutions, but the only way to keep counterfeits off the site would be to offer Amazon the brand's entire collection. This is not a workable solution for Birkenstock but one other brands have given in to, according to CNBC.

After January 1, it will be "buyer beware" as Birkenstock will tell shoppers that the authenticity of products on Amazon can't be trusted.

Amazon's marketplace is also serving to confuse shoppers, with multiple product listings that can be significantly more expensive than at competitive merchants. The issue of fakes has also loomed large for Alibaba, as the Chinese e-commerce site seeks to earn legitimacy with global shoppers by simplifying the removal of suspected counterfeit listings.

It's not unusual for one entity to give notice. It gives the other time to take action, rectify the situation and put some kind of solution in place. Will the brand follow through on its threat? There are still more than five months left until the deadline.

For more:
- see this CNBC story
- see this Forbes story

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