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What Is Brand Gating on Amazon?
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Earlier this year, Amazon announced that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) generate more than half of the units sold in Amazon’s online stores. It is clear that Amazon not only values the segment for the revenue that it generates, but because these SMB stakeholders create new products, providing a stronger, more diversified selection to customers.
In an effort to step in and make the experience on Amazon successful for shoppers, brands, and authorized resellers on the third-party marketplace, Amazon implemented brand gating to minimize — and eventually eradicate — the existence of counterfeit goods on Amazon. When counterfeit products exist and consumers purchase them, those consumers are unknowingly aiding in brand erosion, driving down the brand’s hard-earned equity.
At its core, the goal of brand gating is to block unauthorized retailers from listing brands that have officially been gated. It allows both brand manufacturers and private label sellers to control the list of resellers for their ASINs, preventing illegitimate third-party sellers from jumping in on listings and potentially driving down seller ratings. To prove their legitimacy, Amazon is requiring authorized resellers to provide invoices from manufacturers showing purchase of items within the last 90 days, written permission from the brand to sell their products, and a payment of up to $1,500 per brand.
Though Amazon will require these steps to be taken, they will likely take a backseat role in enforcing manufacturer and reseller agreements. The main priority for the company is ensuring that the products are not counterfeit, both now and in the future. Below are the steps you can take to request brand gating.
How to Enroll in Brand Gating
1. Join Amazon’s Brand Registry.
By becoming a member of Amazon’s Brand Registry, you are proactively taking measures to optimize your brand representation on Amazon, equipping the company with the proper information to find and report counterfeit violations. Amazon will not consider you for brand gating if you are not enrolled with the Brand Registry. To become brand-registered, you need an active registered trademark in each country you wish to enroll, and filing with the USPTO will demonstrate that you are serious about compliance.
2. Provide Amazon With the ASINs to be Gated.
In a prioritized order, compile a list of the ASINs you would like to submit for brand gating. Reach out to your current support contacts at Amazon with your list, focusing on the ones that are the most valuable, profitable, or that have historically had counterfeit activity detected.
3. Demonstrate How You Have Mitigated Counterfeit Risk.
Have a detailed summary of the steps you have proactively taken to stave off rogue sellers, as Amazon may give priority to those who are actively dealing with counterfeiters. Provide them with your seller ID and any other relevant information, while remaining clear and concise.
If you are selling on Amazon’s third-party marketplace, you may be notified that you lack authorization from the brand and need to obtain approval before moving forward. After you go through the approval process for each brand that requires gating, Amazon may take up to seven days to share their conclusion. After that, it may take four to five weeks for the brand gating to be implemented. You can tell if your ASIN has been gated if you click on the “Sell on Amazon” button below the Buy Box and it states “You need approval to list in this brand.”
Brand gating regulations are yet another example of measures Amazon has taken to instill consumer confidence and demonstrate that counterfeit activity on the marketplace will not be tolerated. Failure to abide by Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting policy may result in the loss of your selling privileges, funds being withheld, and destruction of inventory in their possession. It is your responsibility to source, sell, and fulfill only authentic products.