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You don't always get what you pay for, especially when you buy a counterfeit.
Amazon and its users are learning this painful lesson, as counterfeiters continue to cheat buyers and sellers out of billions of dollars online. Despite their best efforts, victims are losing money every day.
One manufacturer is so tired of it, the company is suing Amazon to get their money back.
Fuse Chicken LLC, a phone-charger manufacturer, claims Amazon fulfilled its orders with counterfeit products. The plaintiff alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition, copyright infringement, and other torts against the retail giant.
"Any seller purporting to sell Fuse Chicken products, authentic or not, can click ''Sell Yours Here' and be listed as a Fuse Chicken seller under the product page created by Fuse Chicken, which is populated with plaintiff's marks and registered copyrighted materials," the complaint states.
Making "the toughest cable on earth," Fuse Chicken says the counterfeit sales are damaging its brand and causing "consumer dissatisfaction."
The company says it filed the lawsuit because Amazon did not respond to its cease-and-desist letter, demanding the internet retailer shut-down the knock-off sales and remove bad product reviews.
Getting Real About Fakes
Counterfeit sales on Amazon are nothing new. Randy Hetrick first noticed it in 2013, when his company discovered cheap imitations of his exercise equipment on the website.
"We realized this was an epidemic," said Hetrick, who said the counterfeits cost him $100 million a year in sales.
In response to complaints, Amazon has made fighting counterfeits a major goal for 2017. Reportedly, Amazon was motivated in part by potential lost opportunities to sell merchandise for Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
"It is our responsibility to provide our fans with reliable and secure marketplaces to purchase officially licensed merchandise," the MLB said in a statement. "Given the rampant growth of online-only retailers supplying counterfeit merchandise, our policies must hold every distribution partner to that same level of commitment."