We get a lot of complaints about hijacking sellers – sellers who take over a listing and sell generic or in some way inauthentic merchandise on a private label seller’s branded listing.
However, there is a lot of misinformation out there about what it means to be a branded product. Contrary to what we see from clients, buying an item, buying a new UPC and putting a new sticker on it does not make it a private label product, and Amazon will not protect your claim to sell the product exclusively. Also, threatening other sellers with a cease and desist letter because you have a different UPC than they do on a generic listing is pointless – they can just ignore you, and Amazon will do nothing.
So, what does Amazon consider to be a branded product?
First, it must be branded on the item itself, not just the packaging. Think of the last branded item you bought from the store and note how it was branded.
Second, it must have real packaging. This means FFP (Frustration Free Packaging) with a real box or polybag with an insert or other sticker decal that was designed for your brand, not just a UPC/ASIN sticker.
Third, you must have high quality, high resolution pictures showing your product, the brand on that product, and the packaging with the branding on the packaging.
Fourth, you must have your own website, with your own trademarked logo on it. Filing a trademark is relatively simple, and without it, Amazon isn’t going to pay attention to any claims of infringement.
AmazonBasics, Amazon’s most ubiquitous private label brand, is a poster child for the right way to do private label on Amazon. Choose a product, do it better, for a lower cost, with clear branding on the product and detail page, with a package designed specifically for e-commerce. If you have a product like one of these, Amazon will kick the bootleggers off your listing with very little effort.
But, if a seller were to buy 20 AmazonBasics backpacks, then sell them as a seller on the website, Amazon won’t stop them – that is the design of the website. And Amazon won’t stop another seller from selling your product online; but with a properly branded product, they will stop the hijackers from selling generic garbage on your listing.