Deactivated account from counterfeit detected in shipment

I was advised to post here for Amazon seller help. Ungating was instant approval with no document (I learned today is not the same as letter of authorization). ASINs under review: B002QUZNPO

I bought a 252 units of 3M Scotch scissors from Distributor X (DX) who shipped directly to Amazon FBA in two shipments. DX is a wholesaler, requires reseller permit. I have reached out to 3M and they confirmed DX is an authorized distributor. I will provide their name if needed. These units use manufacturer barcode; no individual labels needed. Amazon detected counterfeit in one of the two shipments.

After many calls, I was told Amazon needed the supply chain docs (supplier’s invoice) and proof of delivery. Only until today, after posting on Amazon seller’s forum, did I realized I needed a Letter of Authorization from 3M for these Scotch scissors.

I have submitted documents 3 times. All rejected. Documents include distributor DX invoice, letter from DX (stating that they will share supply chain documents and proof of delivery directly with Amazon if they reach out to them), packing lists from 3M to DX warehouse, screenshot of ASIN from DX’s website order history, and 3M email confirming DX is an authorized distributor.

I will reach out to 3M to get an LOA. If the LOA attempt fails, do I have any other options beside closing shop? My account shows stranded inventory in different categories will be returned to me next month. I have high ticket units I wanted back. I could email Amazon to get my funds disbursed after 90 days. Any gotcha regarding inventory and funds disbursement? I only sold 1/252 of these units. Is it possible that the buyer claimed it’s counterfeit? Commingle inventory means it also could be another seller’s? I have considered getting legal help but their fees is 30% value of my account. Any feedback is appreciated.

— message from Amazon deactivating my account —

Why is this happening?
We have taken these measures because we believe that your account is offering items that are unsuitable and may have been used to engage in deceptive or illegal activity that harms our customers, other selling partners, and our store.

How do I reactivate my account?
To reactivate your account, send the following documentation issued within the last 365 days:
– Supply chain documentation, such as invoices or receipts, for the inventory that you have listed on your account. This is required to verify the ownership of the products listed on the Amazon store. The documentation must include the following information:
→ Supplier information such as name, phone number, address, or website, and item descriptions
→ Item quantities. Pricing information may be removed, but the rest of the document must be visible.
Note: You may highlight or circle the ASINs under review for easier review. Highlighting ASINs or removing the pricing information is not considered an alteration of the document.
– Import or export documents when applicable, bills of lading, commercial invoices, and packing lists
– Authorization letter from the brand owner or brand letters that authorize you to use a trademark, design, patent, or copyright
– Document supporting that the supplier is authorized by the brand owner
– Licensing agreement
– Order confirmation receipts if the items are purchased online
– Business registration documents
You should only send PDF, JPG, PNG, or GIF files. These documents must be authentic and unaltered.

ASINs under review: B002QUZNPO
Shipment ID under review: FBA17FX9HBJ2

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Unfortunately, you will probably need the letter from 3M, as the distributor is kind of throwing you under the bus by not simply giving you a document of their own, and putting the burden on Amazon to reach out, which Amazon could care less to do.
Counterfeit claims are very hard to protect from, when buying a big name brand without the brand LOA. Other sellers love to snipe each other using consumer side counterfeit claims.

Years ago, we had attempts on our business’ the same way you are dealing with yours. Fortunately for us, our products required a lengthy dealer agreement/contract that, when uploaded removed our problem. That was years ago, and Amazon has likely changed since then and not for the better for sellers.

Be sure to print and scan the documents into PDF as we found that to work best. Don’t do the phone jpg thing.

lawfully is this required? I have been seeing lawsuit cases in which you do not need a letter of authorization to sell a brand if you buy from an authorized distributor.
Now obviously Amazon can do what it wants but it seems weird to me that they state they do not enforce distribution of said brands but also don’t want sellers selling brands without LOA
In most cases for me at least the invoice always worked out, (LOA is possible for me to get as well)

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Lawfully is not the question. You signed a Terms of Service in which you agreed to do XYZ which includes providing documents, and using arbitration.

I think you are conflating the difference between authorized dealers and counterfeit/stolen products. An invoice would probably work if bought from 3M directly as a direct 3M dealer, but the further down the supply chain you go, to murkier it becomes and eventually the bottom of the barrel is the person who stole some from Staples/OfficeMax and bought one with a retail receipt making the same assertion you are. You get the point I think, hence the LOA.


Could it be possible that either:

  • Your supplier shipped the incorrect item to FBA?
  • You tried to sell an item that requires transparency barcodes and your supplier’s units didn’t have them?

FBA receiving workers do not screen items for being counterfeit. That’s impossible. “Unsuitable” doesn’t necessarily mean counterfeit, it could mean that the items are completely different from what’s expected (there was a case on the seller forums about a seller who shipped pieces of concrete instead of the intended item), or there’s something blatantly wrong with the item that can’t be ignored, like if its a bunch of empty bags.

If the ASIN is enrolled in transparency and your units show up without those barcodes, those WILL be flagged as counterfeit/unsuitable.


“I have been seeing lawsuit cases in which you do not need a letter of authorization to sell a brand if you buy from an authorized distributor.”

My bet is those were all BEFORE the ‘greatest and latest’ laws that stripped the websites of most protections against stolen/counterfeit sales protections.

I’m going to go a few steps further than what almost everyone here (and on the NSFE) wants to hear BUT I’m pretty sure that these ‘greatest and latest’ laws will result in Amazon eventually requiring an LOA and GATING of ALL categories.

That seems to be the only way I can see to protect themselves OTHER than getting access to the entire purchase and sales history (on every site) of every seller.

Since they have gone brain dead stupid with their ‘generic is a brand’ nonsense all the ‘offshore’ (dare I say Chinese sellers here?) sellers will be protected by issuing the LOA for their own ‘generic’ crap. (And the light bulb suddenly came on as to why they did this! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:)

Only USA based sellers will be ‘inconvenienced’ as a result.

Makes me want to reconsider the bunch of restock orders I am sending in today!

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Only in my dreams will this happen fast enough. This wild west, any amateur can sell anything to the public clown show, cannot go on. (not a reference to anyone here, as I am referring to RA/OA/Stolen) Either more people will sue for the garbage being allowed to be sold, or people will die from it resulting in overhanded reactionary change.

As others have noted there might be a sliver of hope BUT there was at least one long drawn out thread some time back with a seller that got an LOA AFTER the fact and it was NOT accepted. They were given the ‘death sentence’ language eventually.

As I recall that was over a year ago and I would have to do the impossible to find the thread.

The biggest hurdle is that Amazon seems to have become even MORE restrictive since then. I’m getting carpal tunnel from doing copy and pastes of my ‘post the suspension’ response.

Interestingly enough most of the people never respond…

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I have seen brands getting sued for reporting counterfeit on certain items when the sellers bought from legit authorized distributors, seems like when you agree to sell your items to distributors and don’t let them know they can’t be sold on Amazon there isn’t much you could do legally, again I agree amazon can do as they like.

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This would be the part where you link a case, where people can read it to become more informed and make better safer business decisions. Details matter with IP stuff like this, were vague assertions can lead to a bad outcome.

The Otterbox v. Tripplenet case is a good example of how people cannot just source from where ever, and do what they want with stuff.


interesting case, I have seen 2 cases where the seller sued the brands for this but idk the results, all I know is that one of the brands he still sells and the other he does not so not sure what happened

maybe if the warranty is not on the item the results would be different idk a grey area I guess

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Sorry in advance for the terseness of this, but what’s the point of brining it up then?

Only the IP rights owner can make that determination, not the seller. Amazon is enabling people to steal IP IMO.

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my guess is one of the cases was settled, probably the seller got paid as he is still selling the brand
I am just trying to shine a light on this issue and give OP options, obviously, a lawyer needs to look case by case but just providing info that could be helpful as I am guessing most brands do not want to get involved in lawsuits
the best route(which sometimes does not work) is always to tell distributors to not sell their brand to Amazon sellers

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The issue is most of the RA/other unauthorized sellers are marking things as “New” on Amazon. If an item is lacking the warranty it should be marked as some type of Used.

First sale doctrine gives you the right to resell an item, it doesn’t give you the right to resell it as “new” is the issue.

right but it is not a counterfeit item, should be reported the violation “selling used item as new”
but obviously, it never works, report a violation on Amazon is a joke
btw I agree that brand owners should have the right to tell who can sell on amazon and who cannot.

Yes there “should” be a separate category for that type of report for rights owners, but there isn’t so a lot of them just misuse counterfeit complaints. And the way their appeals system works also doesn’t logically make sense (which is par the course).

An invoice/receipt should be sufficient to prove authenticity.
An LOA is only needed to prove that it’s appropriately being sold as “new”

The way they “one size fits alled” this system is wrong in almost every situation since the “size” they chose doesn’t actually fit any one situation.

But back to the OP’s case, I think there’s some likelihood his supplier sent the wrong item, because I’ve never heard of a problem being caused on FBA inbound (and referencing a specific shipment being investigated) unless there’s something blatantly wrong with what was shipped in.

3M is also a huge brand and Amazon sells a lot of their stuff as a 1P. Generally a brand you want to avoid on Amazon.


It also does not automatically give you the right to sell in on Amazon, regardless of what condition you state.

I disagree. If you offer it as “New”, but it is not due to things like warranty that make it materially different, then it is NOT the item that you are advertising. So “counterfeit” fits.


I agree but idk if Amazon or the law agrees lol

Right, but that’s because of Amazon’s policies. They can choose to prohibit allowing you to sell a product even if you are authorized just because they feel like it. The right to resell is just in general, any specific platform can regulate themselves how they want.

That’s not the definition of counterfeit though. Lawsuits related to missing warranties don’t use that word either. They claim it’s trademark infringement because they’re using their trademark in the process of misrepresenting the goods. Counterfeit specifically means that it’s an unauthorized reproduction of something. Amazon has a lot of power, but even they can’t just redefine words that have a clearly defined meaning already.

Another example of this is if you make plates with a certain brand name on them, and I make bowls and stick your name on those, they’re not counterfeit products because they’re not meant to replicate one of yours, it’s trademark infringement since that mark being put on that class of products is protected. (Amazon DOES have a category for this type of infringement)

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I think that would depend on packaging as well, if the packaging is almost the same even if it does not contain your trademark, it would be counterfeit

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