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25% of CDs ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ are counterfeit, study finds

That’s a whole lotta fakes… 

A quarter of CDs sold through Amazon’s ‘Fulfilled’ program are counterfeit. 

That’s according to a discovery by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which represents major labels Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music.  

Amazon’s ‘Fulfilled’ program connects shoppers to third-party sellers, with Amazon handling the shipping duties. “With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and we pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products,” the Amazon site explains. “FBA can help you scale your business and reach more customers.”

Though buying directly from Amazon doesn’t mean you’ll get an authentic CD either, since 11 percent were found to be knock-offs. On eBay, 16 percent of CDs bought were found to be counterfeit. 

Perhaps most shockingly, every single one of the 40 CD box sets bought by the RIAA on eBay were found to be counterfeit. Same with all 32 purchased from AliExpress. These more expensive items are generating huge profits for counterfeiters, while labels and artists lose out.   

RIAA is hoping that Amazon and eBay will cooperate with a series of measures meant to eliminate counterfeit CD sales, but they’re unlikely to do so unless under serious legal threat, since removing counterfeit sellers might result in a large loss of profits.  CDs accounted for $1.5 billion in revenue in 2017. 

Amazon recently launched a free streaming service through Alexa for Prime members, even as the online retail giant fights against an increase in music royalties for songwriters and publishers.