How Amazon counterfeits put this man’s business on brink of collapse – CNBC

“We’re competing with people who are stealing our brand, stealing our pictures and stealing our intellectual property,” Lopreiato said in an interview last week from his 20,000-square foot warehouse in Baldwin Park, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles.

Amazon’s growing dominance in commerce brings with it plenty of collateral damage. The counterfeit problem, in particular, goes largely undiscussed by CEO Jeff Bezos and ignored by investors and analysts.

The stock has climbed 37 percent over the last 12 months making Amazon the world’s fourth-most valuable company, and 89 percent of analysts tracked by FactSet say shareholders should buy more.

Heading into the Seattle-based company’s third-quarter earnings report Thursday, investor focus is on Amazon Web Services, Prime membership growth and additional investments in supply chain and fulfillment. Analysts at Pacific Crest Securities, in their earnings preview, called Amazon “one of the most disruptive forces in retail and technology today.”

Conversations with merchants elicit a very different reaction. Since CNBC.com began reporting on Amazon’s budding counterfeit issue in May, we’ve spoken with dozens of merchants that have narratives similar to Lopreiato’s, but very few are willing to speak on the record out of fear of retribution from Amazon.

Lopreiato, an Army veteran and father of two middle-school daughters, said he felt compelled to tell his story.

“If Jeff Bezos knew exactly what was happening to us, he’d do the right thing,” he said. “It’s not that he’s a bad guy. It’s that there is, in my opinion, a lot of pressure put on folks at Amazon to increase sales, increase sales, increase sales. That’s wonderful. That’s the American way. But do it right.”

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