Amazon's Project Zero, announced in a company blog post on Thursday, is a three-pronged approach to eliminate counterfeit items from the site. First, Amazon will give sellers access to a tool that will allow them to delete listings of fake products. Second, the company's automated protection systems will continuously scan the more than 5 billion updates the platform receives on its product listings every day, and remove suspected counterfeits. And third, a new tool called "product serialization" will let brands create a unique code for every individual item they manufacture, so Amazon can verify a product's authenticity when it's scanned at its warehouses.
The Seattle e-commerce giant has been piloting the program with 15 brands for a few months, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"We realize we're not perfect," Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon's vice president of worldwide customer trust and partner support told the Journal. "It really puts the power in the brands' hands." The number of counterfeit products on the site is not known.
Amazon will oversee brands to make sure they are not using these tools to remove legitimate listings, according to the Journal. Sellers will also have the opportunity to dispute removals, although it's not immediately clear how that process would work.
There is a waitlist to enroll in Project Zero, according to the program's website. The counterfeit removal tool is free for brands, while the product serialization service costs between $0.01 and $0.05 per unit, depending on volume.