Protecting Your Brand on Amazon

Your listings are humming along happily on Amazon, you have your enhanced marketing content working for you, POs are coming in nicely, and you have limited chargebacks. Then you start seeing negative reviews come in, you have a question come in on the listing about a serious customer complaint regarding safety.

Upon review, you see that there are multiple sellers on the listing, claiming to sell your product, which you are not distributing.

One of the more frustrating aspects of being a vendor on Amazon is the seemingly endless proliferation of seller listings, some of them legitimate, some of them dealing in gray market, and some of them appear to be outright fakes.

For those sellers who are selling due to access to your legitimate product through unauthorized channels, there aren’t many good ways to kick those sellers off the listing. They are selling legitimate product, and Amazon doesn’t get too persnickety about distribution channel as long as the product is legitimate, because they don’t have a clean nose on this themselves.

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For those sellers who are actually selling fakes on your listing, those are called “hijackers.” To report on this kind of illegitimate behavior:

  • Send a polite but firm email asking sellers to stop listing against the product, explaining that you do not distribute the item, with no threats, strong language, etc. Example text:

“Hello Seller XYZ, I see you are listing on my ASIN XXXXX. As I do not distribute, and am the owner of the trademark (insert relevant trademark # etc here), I ask that you cease listing against my items since your offer does not match. I appreciate your help with this.”

  • If they persist in listing, do the test buy and report it to Amazon. The form has changed multiple times in recent years, so go to Seller Help for the latest version of the report form.

Note: If you have Brand Registry 2.0, you should file your reports within the interface.

In addition to this approach to remove hijackers, if you are struggling with illegitimate private label versions of your product, illegitimate uses of your images and written copy, and other inappropriate uses of your intellectual property, Amazon has this test buy procedure in place to support brands in their efforts to provide good quality, legitimate product to customers.

What is a test buy? This is a purchase of the product sent to the location of your choice. The images must be taken, documented, and put into a report in the format required. Do not return the items, do not give back feedback to the seller, and do not leave a negative product review.

At the end of the day, Amazon will always take care of their customers. If you can prove that a hijacking seller or competitor would do harm to Amazon customers, Amazon will always support you.

I need help managing hijackers!
About the Author
Rachel Johnson Greer is a global business strategist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs increase their internet product sales, curate their brand image online and avoid catastrophic legal threats. After getting her MBA in international business at Seattle University, she spent nearly a decade at Amazon working in product development. Since then, Rachel has founded companies that reached both multi-six figure and multi-seven figure growth in under three years.

As a business coach, she supports clients in everything from international product expansion to 4x-ing their sales through online retailers. Rachel is frequently sought out by the media and has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. When she’s not working with clients, she’s scaring friends at parties with stories about the most problematic online products she’s found in their homes. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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