How to stop your Amazon product listing being hijacked
We get a lot of angry sellers contacting us because someone has hijacked their Amazon Private Label product listing. Their sales slow down and the products ranking and reviews suffer. It is a horrible situation to be in as you may have spent months creating the product and spent your hard-earned money promoting it.
The good news is there are simple steps you can take to prevent your listing being hijacked and limit the damage. If you create a few barriers this will deter them from targeting your listing and brand. We will also show you how to report an Amazon seller for a violation.
This is when a competitor starts selling an identical or counterfeit product on your listing, normally undercutting your price. Amazon Private Label sellers normally get a generic white label product made in China and then add their own branding. A competitor can then easily get the same product manufactured. It might be identical and possibly even made in the same factory. It could also be counterfeit and of lesser quality which can cause additional problems.
If another Amazon seller starts selling an identical product on their own new listing this is a slightly different problem to hijacking. It can happen if your product is not patented or protected and starts selling well. The rival Amazon seller is probably just going through the same process you did when you created your private label product. They may have used Jungle Scout to find a viable product and then simply launched their own version. In this case, you just have to make sure your marketing and customer service is better than your competition so it doesn’t harm your sales.
What are the effects of hijackers on your Amazon Private Label listing?
If the hijacker’s price is similar or lower than your price they will start stealing orders from you. If the product is of inferior quality then it could start getting bad reviews which could permanently damage your listing and effectively kill off future sales. There is also the danger that the hijacker reports you to Amazon for infringement claiming they are the original genuine seller and rights holder.
5 steps you can take to stop your Amazon listing being hijacked
If you are serious about your brand then it is important to get your brand registered with Amazon’s ‘Brand Registry Program‘ and then try to get the brand Gated. The time you invest in protecting the listing and brand is well worth the effort. Lost sales could cost you a fortune and you could also lose the product completely if the listing is ruined.
Constantly Monitor Your Amazon Listings
Create A Website For Your Brand
Get Your Brand Registered With Amazon
Customise And Optimize Your Amazon Listing
Get Your Brand Gated By Amazon
STEP 1 – Constantly Monitor Your Amazon Listings
It is worth manually checking your listings every week to see if there are any other sellers. Also, keep a lookout if sales volume for a particular product starts to decrease as it may indicate another seller is taking those orders.
We recommend using Helium 10 to automate this process. Their ‘Hijacker Alert‘ tool will monitor your Amazon ASINS 24/7. You will get an alert if another seller jumps on your listing and you can report them. It is free to use and comes with a suite of other great Amazon selling tools. You should sign up and add your products to their Hijacker Alerts today – Helium 10.
STEP 2 – Create A Website For Your Brand
You need to build a simple website which has your brand name, address and all your company details. The details need to match those on your Amazon seller account. Ideally, the domain name will also match your brand name. If your seller account name is different to your brand name then make sure the site name matches your brand. Then add your seller account address and contact details to the website. So everything is easy for Amazon make sure your brand name is clearly showing on your home page.
You can simply create a one-page site which looks professional. You do not need a full-blown e-commerce site at this point. Creating a website should help you get brand registered with Amazon but also help customers to find out about your products. In future, you could add a shop to your website so customers can buy directly, therefore, diversifying your business.
4 Simple steps to set up a website for your Amazon brand
1. Firstly you need to buy a domain and site hosting. We use Siteground for all our sites as they offer great support and have always resolved any issues quickly. Visit Siteground to get started.
2. Then you need to install WordPress. Luckily on Siteground, this is incredibly simple and also free. You just click a button and fill in some information and its done.
3. WordPress comes with some preinstalled themes which look okay. For a more professional and customisable website, we like to install our own themes and plugins and we use MyThemeShop for these. You can have unlimited access to all their products for a monthly fee or just choose the one you want. For this website, we used the Onepage theme. Visit MyThemeShop now.
4. You now just need to add a contact form, logo and your company details to your WordPress site. You can then put the site live and you are done.
STEP 3 – Get Your Brand Registered With Amazon
This is a fairly straightforward process once you have taken the steps outlined above. Simply fill in the form on Amazon.
Amazon Brand Registry has the added advantage of making your listing more customisable. It is also an important step towards brand gating.
Trademarking your Amazon product
Amazon has recently made changes to the Brand Registry Program. To get brand registered you now need a trademark in place. Filing a Trademark application will also help you get your brand gated in future and deter potential hijackers. For US-based sellers, it can take between 6 and 12 months to get registered and will cost a minimum of $250. For UK sellers it will take about 4 months and costs about £180.
STEP 4 – Customise And Optimize Your Amazon Listing
There are various steps you can take on your actual listing which will help to deter hijackers.
1. Make sure the brand name is in the title and also repeated in the description.
2. You can even include a trademark or copyright symbol in the title next to your brand name.
3. Include a reference to the warranty only being valid if the product is purchased from your company. In theory, sellers are not allowed to list a product as new if they are selling it without a warranty. This gives you another avenue to get Amazon to remove the hijacker from the listing as they will technically be violating Amazon terms.
4. Some sellers will include a free ebook or bonus item and mention this clearly in the listing. Hijackers will not be able to offer this to customers and so are effectively not offering the correct product as described. Again, this gives you grounds to file a complaint.
5. Try to show a close up photo of your branding and logo clearly in the product photos.
These steps will certainly help deter potential hijackers and protect your brand. They are relatively easy to do and have the added benefit of building brand awareness and making your products look more valuable to potential customers.
STEP 5 – Get Your Brand Gated By Amazon
Brand Gating is no longer just for larger established brands. As a Private Label seller, you may be able to get your brand gated. It will be difficult and you must be Brand Registered before you can apply. This will offer the ultimate protection for your listings.
Make sure you have created a distinct brand before applying as outlined in Step Two. If Amazon sees you have taken these steps and your brand looks more official then they are more likely to let you be gated. When contacting Amazon point out the fact you have a pending trademark and also you have had issues with counterfeiters trying to sell your products.
What you should do if your Amazon listing has already been hijacked
Obviously, you need to take the steps above to get Registered and Gated if you have not already done this. If your listing has just been hijacked you need to take action immediately to limit the damage. The first thing you should do is to contact the other seller directly by clicking on their seller name on the listing. Then send them a message like this;
Dear seller, It has come to our attention you are reselling ‘Insert brand name here’ products on the Amazon marketplace. We do not offer our products through wholesalers or distributors and are the only company authorised to sell ‘Insert brand name here’ products. We are the manufacturer and brand owner of ‘Insert brand name here’
Affected products: ‘insert name and asin here’
You have 24 hrs to remove your listing for this product. If you have not removed the listing we will report you to Amazon who will take action on our behalf. Amazon takes these issues seriously and can shut down your selling account permanently.
Please contact us to confirm you have removed your listing.
Sincerely ‘insert name and brand name here’
How to report an Amazon seller for an infringement
Emailing the seller should normally do the trick as they will not want to risk losing their seller account. If for some reason they do not comply then you need to file an infringement complaint with Amazon. You should purchase the product from the infringing seller to use as evidence. It might take days or weeks to arrive if they are a seller based in China.
When it arrives you need to take photos. Then make a note of all the ways in which it is different from your product and the Amazon listing. File a complaint based on the item being “not as described”. Amazon should take action and suspend the hijackers listing. The more detailed evidence you supply the better so it is worth taking your time with this.
NOTE: We have had reports of people filing a complaint based on “counterfeit product” which can, unfortunately, result in Amazon suspending both sellers while they investigate. This is why we recommend using “not as described” when you report the other seller.
We hope you found this information helpful. Please add your suggestions or comments below to help other Amazon sellers.
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