Salvatore Ferragamo branded bag from Singapore Airline
Several third-party sellers have allegedly promoted and facilitated the sale of counterfeit Salvatore Ferragamo goods on Amazon. This emerges from two joint lawsuits filed by Amazon and the Italian luxury label on Thursday.
The lawsuits filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington accuse four sellers and three companies of selling counterfeit belts with Ferragamo’s branding and design elements with Amazon. Other undisclosed defendants, named “Does 1-10”, are included in both complaints.
The four third-party suppliers named in the lawsuits are Zhao Hao Jun of China; Zhang Lianfa from China; Li Yong; and Wu Pianpian. Zhao and Zhang did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Li and Wu could not be found for comment.
The cases represent Amazon’s recent efforts to prevent counterfeit sales in the sprawling third-party market. The marketplace now accounts for more than half of Amazon’s e-commerce sales and has helped the company generate record revenues. However, it has also been shown to host counterfeit, unsafe, and even expired goods, leading the company to invest hundreds of millions of dollars annually to ensure that the products are safe and compliant.
Amazon has prosecuted counterfeiters in court and has implemented various programs to search for and detect sales of counterfeit goods. Last June, the Fake Crime Division, comprised of former federal prosecutors, investigators and data analysts, was set up to break down the website for fraudulent activity.
Counterfeit products can be especially damaging to credible brands selling on Amazon as they can ruin the business and force companies that are already surviving on low margins to lower their prices further in order to compete. Amazon, which launched its own luxury section of its website last September, has an incentive to protect its relationships with brands to ensure they continue to sell their goods on the platform.
Amazon and Ferragamo filed two separate lawsuits against the alleged counterfeiters, but the activities alleged in the complaints are of a similar nature. In both complaints, Amazon and Ferragamo stated that by purchasing a number of items they confirmed that the items were counterfeit. When the items arrived they showed the Ferragamo trademark. Amazon said it closed the accounts after it found out they were selling fakes.
Amazon and Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo filed two lawsuits against third-party sellers and companies alleging they were selling counterfeit belts.
In many cases, the listing pages for the counterfeit products omitted “any mention of the Ferragamo word mark in product descriptions”, which is likely to escape Amazon’s counterfeit detection tools, a complaint said.
In many cases, the listing pages for the counterfeit products omitted “any mention of the Ferragamo word mark in product descriptions,” according to the lawsuit.
In addition, several of the defendants have taken steps to hide their identities and location by using fake names and contact information and unregistered companies to operate on the platform, claims Amazon.
Many of the seller accounts selling counterfeit items appeared to be linked, both complaints allege. They used similar tactics to ensure their listings weren’t labeled by Amazon, and in some cases, counterfeit Ferragamo items from different sellers arrived in similar packaging, shipped from the same address, or were priced the same.
Amazon and Ferragamo are demanding unspecified damages from the defendants as well as an injunction from the sellers and companies that would prevent them from selling products on Amazon or products with the Ferragamo branding.