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A Quick Guide To Amazon’s Transparency Program

Sat Aug 24, 2019 Amazon Brand Registry

Enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry? If you are, Transparency by Amazon is another service that you can take advantage of to help protect your brand and customers from counterfeits. 

To enroll in Transparency, you must have:

  • The ability to verify yourself as the brand owner of your products
  • A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), such as a UPC or EAN barcode on your products
  • The ability to apply unique Transparency codes on every unit you manufacture

Once enrolled, Amazon generates a series of Data Matrix 2D barcodes (transparency codes) for your brand. You then have the responsibility of applying these transparency codes on each unit that you intend to sell, whether on Amazon or any other channel. When customers receive the product they ordered, they can also scan the transparency code from the Amazon app to verify authenticity, understand when the item was manufactured, and more. 

Each unit gets a unique code and each code is tracked and traced back to a single brand, so Amazon knows which code belongs to which brand. If a shipment of products that are enrolled in Transparency comes to Amazon without the codes, the associated seller will be investigated and the inventory will be rejected or destroyed. Here lies the power of Transparency for counterfeit prevention. Amazon scans and verifies the authenticity of the product before it reaches a customer, so customers are preemptively assured of receiving an authentic product.

But before you jump into the program, here are two important considerations:

Transparency codes are not free

Sellers pay for Transparency codes based on quantity, ranging from one cent to five cents per code. If you’re selling a low price point product, this can certainly eat up more of your profit margin.

Make sure you get the logistics down

Transparency focuses mostly on packaging so you must consider the logistics behind making sure all your product’s units have the required transparency codes. You can choose to sticker your products individually if you don’t mind the additional stickering costs and effort to do so. But alternately, you can also work with your labeling partners or supplier to print codes directly onto your packaging.

It’s important to note that Transparency is not a vendor management program. Using it to cut out resellers on Amazon is a direct violation of the terms of the program, and Amazon has promised stiff penalties for brands that violate the guidelines. Brands are required to put Transparency codes on every unit for every SKU that’s enrolled, whether it’s sold on Amazon or through another channel.

Although the program is far from fool-proof, this is certainly a great step towards removing hijackers and people selling counterfeits on Amazon.

See our “10-Foot Fence Strategy” which will also help you stop and deter Amazon hijackers and unauthorized sellers.