In an attempt to try and stop “brand gating” practices on its marketplace, Amazon has devised a policy of charging third-party merchants a one-time fee of $1,500, with an eye toward deterring counterfeiters and less-reputable merchants from its marketplace.
“We want customers to be able to shop with confidence on Amazon,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “For certain products and categories, Amazon requires additional performance checks, other qualification requirements and fees.”
The move will likely reduce the effectiveness of third-party merchants to acquire a lot of off-price merchandise from brands like Nike or Under Armour and then turn around and sell it on Amazon, as they will now face more stringent requirements.
Although third-party merchants often sell the stock they acquired from brands at discounts, they have also been known to jack up the price of popular items on Amazon and eBay.
Amazon also appears to be trying to deter the sale of counterfeit or knockoff goods on its site. Although nowhere near as big an issue as on Alibaba, more merchants do seem aware of the issue on Amazon Marketplace. Birkenstock announced recently that it would discontinue sales of its products on Amazon Marketplace in Jan. 2017 for fears of that very reason, according to Retail Dive.
Amazon Marketplace currently accounts for about 40 percent of Amazon’s total sales.