Birkenstock will pull its shoes from Amazon over

More concerns for counterfeit products.

Birkenstock will pull its shoes from Amazon over counterfeit sellers
Birkenstock has a message for customers shopping on Amazon: “BUYER BEWARE.”

Fed up with counterfeit products and unauthorized sellers, the iconic sandal retailer is planning to remove its merchandise from the e-commerce giant beginning January 1, 2017.

Birkenstock USA CEO David Kahan announced the decision — with that all-caps warning — in a July 5 memo to retail partners, as reported by CNBC. A spokesman for Birkenstock USA confirmed that report.

“The Amazon marketplace, which operates as an ‘open market,’ creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices which we believe jeopardize our brand,” Kahan wrote. “Policing this activity internally and in partnership with has proven impossible.”

The retailer won’t authorize third-party sellers or sell to Amazon via a third party, either.

Birkenstock will tell customers that they should “only purchase Birkenstock products from authorized retailers,” Kahan wrote in his letter.

“If they see any Birkenstock product on, we cannot in any way confirm its validity or verify its quality. It may be counterfeit. It may be stolen. It may be manufactured under questionable labor and environmental conditions,” Kahan wrote.

Birkenstock is one of several companies that have been plagued by Chinese knock-offs online. Many Amazon listings of the brand’s sandals are priced $20 below the traditional retail price.

Other companies have sparred with Amazon over third-party sellers. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling some of its products through the site over a similar complaint. Smaller companies, too, like the German chef knife maker Wüsthof have protested Amazon’s reluctance to intervene over discounted third-party products.

Birkenstocks will still be available online from the brand’s official website, even if they’re not eligible for Amazon Prime.…


Assuming that goods sold by Amazon itself (rather than third party sellers) are genuine, I wonder why it wasn’t possible to get Amazon to agree not to allow other sellers on its website to sell Birkenstocks.

As a third party seller, I’m occasionally prevented from selling certain items.

Is it possible to break out Amazon’t retail figures into 4 categories - its own sales to non-Prime buyers and for Prime buyers, sales from other sellers who use FBA (where Amazon holds their inventory and ships), and sales from other sellers who ship for themselves?

FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) means that a seller sends its inventory to Amazon, which charges for storage and shipping. I’m way too small a seller to consider using it, but a lot of sellers use it. People who buy from FBA sellers get Amazon’s usual shipping deals - free Prime shipping, and non-Prime free shipping for larger orders.