Amazon is one of the biggest online markets in the eCommerce industry, and it’s no wonder sellers, manufacturers, and independent merchants all over the world are jumping at the chance to list their products and gain the business of Amazon’s millions of customers. However, it’s also an open market with very limited rules where anyone can sell an item that they legitimately own in new condition.
While this is good news for people clearing out their garages and warehouses, it’s bad news for genuine brand owners and manufacturers who want to keep a handle on their products. People will sell your products with bad listings and customer service. They will use your brand name for their own low-quality products simply to trick hopeful, loyal customers and even make fake labels to pretend to be your brand effectively dragging your name through the mud. They might even sell products that you originally produced but have since expired or been badly damaged in storage.
In other words, you need a way to protect both your brand’s good reputation and your loyal customers from these frauds, counterfeiters, and unauthorized sellers, and we’re here to help.
Amazon Will Not Help You
The first thing to understand is that Amazon is not going to help you. They are an open market, independent sellers are allowed, and business moves through their site. Unless you can prove actual misconduct, Amazon is not going to ban the sellers, take down their listings, or any other regulatory acts.
Register Your Brand
What you can do is get listing preference. There will be people trying to undercut your prices or use your brand name for their products, but Amazon does have an avenue for brand owners to get the upper hand. Register your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry. This will mean that your listings, keyword results, and tags will show up first on the list and be preferred in Buy Box stacked option listings.
Create ‘Authenticity Checks’
This Amazon problem has introduced an issue to normal brands that luxury brands have been dealing with for decades: counterfeiting. Luxury brands have always had authenticity checks to help customers prove they’ve found the real deal. Make sure your products include an unmistakable tag, feature, or detail that customers can use as proof and share that on every listing page, your seller page, and through social media so your customers will not be fooled by counterfeiters.
Make Your Brand Part of Your Listings
Then there’s the problem of dealing with sellers who are selling your brand but are not representing your brand with good customer service. Bad seller quality can damage your brand as some customers don’t realize they’re buying from independent sellers and not you, the brand owner. For this reason, make sure your brand is front and center of your listings. Make big helpful graphics for your item details and include the brand in them. State pride in your brand and share your shipping and return policies openly. This will make it clear to anyone checking out multiple listings which one will offer them genuine branded support and which ones are just surplus from someone’s warehouse.
Test-Buy Possible Counterfeit Items
Third party sellers are allowed to sell new products of your brand without your permission. As long as the pictures and description match the product, Amazon has no problems with the listing. However, if you believe someone selling your brand of products is really selling counterfeits, you have one interesting solution. Buy one. This technique is known as a test-buy. It puts one of these questionable products in your hands and registers you as a confirmed buyer so you can leave a review on their page. If the product is not genuine, you can say as much in a review. Be sure to post pictures and include proof or you’ll be seen as a belligerent competitor instead.
File Complaints for Provable Counterfeits
Finally, if you do have proof of counterfeiting or false use of your brand name, this is something Amazon might be willing to take action on. Submit your proof in a report and make a formal complaint about counterfeit products of your brand.
There is one surefire way to protect your brand on Amazon, but a combination of protective measures will be able to save you and most of your internet-savvy customers from being scammed and undercut by opportunistic frauds.