Earlier this month, the FBI revealed that two Amazon drivers were reportedly involved in a $10 million theft ring moving stolen goods from the website. Now another worrying trend with the online retailer has been spotted, the Recording Industry of America's (RIAA) findings indicated that 25 percent of CDs "Fulfilled by Amazon" are counterfeit.
"Alarmingly, 25% of the purchased CDs that were ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ were counterfeit," the RIAA, which represents the three major labels (Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music) in the record industry, has revealed. Amazon allows third-party retailers to sell its goods through the website through its "Fulfilled by Amazon" program, with these retailers using Amazon's fulfillment centers for orders. The RIAA made the claim after placing orders on Amazon, eBay, and other online marketplaces, deducing that Amazon's "Fulfilled by Amazon" program is the worst culprit for it.
Meanwhile, 16 percent of CDs bought through eBay were counterfeit, while 11 percent were via Amazon itself. As pointed out by Digital Music News, this suggests that more than 1 out of 10 CDs Amazon itself ships aren't the real deal. Record labels have lost a substantial amount of possible income thanks to these sales, especially when it comes to CD box sets, as 100 percent of the ones purchased via eBay and AliExpress were determined to be fake.
While the majority of listeners have since switched to streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify, the RIAA insists this is still a major concern for the music industry. In 2017, CD sales brought in $1.5 billion in revenue, suggesting that the format is far from dead just yet. Either way, there's an issue with Amazon's vetting process if such a high percentage of counterfeit CDs were sold through its marketplace, let alone via Amazon itself.
Back in 2016, independent music trade organization A2IM made a similar claim that illicit China-produced copies of albums were being sold through Amazon. It would appear that not much has changed since then.