“After months of Williams’s playing cops and robbers with his counterfeiters, and working every lever he could find within Amazon, Brush Hero finished 2018 with $4 million in sales, up from a year earlier, albeit substantially below the projections Williams cited on Shark Tank. He now no longer allows Brush Hero’s inventory to be commingled. “That’s something I tell every young Amazonian: Don’t ever do that,” he says.
But it still grinds his gears to think about how little Amazon is willing to do to help companies like his. Brush Hero works with an IP enforcement agency called Pointer to process the trademark and copyright claims it uses to nail counterfeiters. A recent Pointer report noted that Amazon is among the least responsive of all e-commerce platforms to takedown notices, removing only 25 percent of infringing listings. “We’ve reported some of these sellers as many as five times,” Williams says, wearily. (Amazon’s response: “We permanently block bad actors from our store and work with sellers and law enforcement to hold them accountable by withholding funds and pursuing civil and criminal penalties.”)”