While many third-party sellers enjoy the thrill of monitoring their metrics and competing for the Amazon Buy Box, many private label sellers create their own brands and products specifically to avoid this competition. Private label sellers have seen an increase in listing hijacking, where someone sells a counterfeit or similar version of their private label product.
If unnoticed, listing hijacking can have a detrimental effect on your private label products. An unsuspecting customer may purchase your private label product, but instead of buying from you, they purchase from the hijacker and receive a counterfeit product. Cue domino effect. With this, the customer will most likely realize that what they receive isn’t the legitimate product and may leave a negative review on your listing despite the fake product coming from the hijacker and not your own inventory. With Amazon’s atmosphere being as customer-centric as it is, unhappy customers and negative reviews are never a good combination.
Below are a few precautions you can take and recommendations that we have to keep the hijackers off of your product pages:
1. Register your brand with Amazon
In order to gain brand control, you must prove ownership of the brand on the brand registry. If you don’t already have one, you will need to create a company website or landing page. Once you have registered your brand, it is less likely that someone will change your product listing without your consent.
2. Clearly brand your products
Prominently display your logo and trademark on the physical product as well as on its packaging. Make sure you distinguish your own private label product from retailers that might be selling very similar products and make sure that the branding is clear and noticeable. This will make it harder for hijackers to mimic and easier for customers to notice a difference between your product and any knockoffs.
3. Monitor your listings closely
In addition to checking in on your Seller Central dashboard, we recommend scoping out your product listings from the customer point of view, ensuring that you’re the only seller with your private label product that appears in a search. It’ll be important to do this frequently, especially if you notice any unexpected dips in sales so that you have an indication of any potential issues.
4. Contact the seller directly with a Cease and Desist letter
Sometimes, the only way to remedy listing hijackers is to confront the issue head-on: contact the seller directly via a Cease and Desist letter and ask them to remove the post. You can contact them through the link on their Seller Profile. We suggest that you’re short, sweet, and to the point – if they don’t respond in a timely manner and act accordingly, then you can contact Amazon directly.
5. File a Complaint with Amazon
You can submit a hijacker claim on Amazon with one form. You will need screenshots and evidence that the product is in fact counterfeit. You should purchase from the scammer and be able to show photos of the fake product that you received.
On Amazon, it is clear that maintaining a strong brand reputation is very important for third-party sellers, as brand security has the ability to impact customer service and performance metrics. It is important for sellers to take action to reclaim their listings from the piggybackers in a timely manner and work to monitor their listings regularly to avoid any future hijacking.