How to Protect Your Amazon Listings From Hijackers

 

Are you sure that your listing is secure and protected from other sellers on Amazon?

Amazon is a great marketplace for moving products. But the competition is so harsh that some sellers prefer to be ruthless in order to achieve their goals and beat the competitors.

Of course, there are no 100% sure way to protect your listings, however, you're not helpless and there are special measures to take for securing your business. I want to tell you about that ways of protection and also what to do, if this problem has happened already.

Here are 5 steps of preventing and 4 step of fighting hijackers!

 

Who are 'hijackers'?

This term means that some dishonest person sells a similar or even counterfeit product of your brand. Everyone can also make changes to your listing, if your brand and products are not registered with Amazon. So, you will compete for the Buy box with people who have stolen or copied your idea!

The Buy box is a CTA (call to action) that makes people buy products from your product page directly. Amazon gives the buy box to the product that they assume to be official (original) or the best fit for the search query.

The buy box owner gets a sale after a client clicks the 'Add to cart' button. He may also choose some other seller without the buy box, but it happens rarely enough. As you see, the buy bow is a great factor for generating sales and boosting your product among the audience.

Let's pretend that you sell flower pots under the 'Jenny's Pots' brand. You have the Buy box, as you are an owner of a private label product and a personal brand. Such listing will surely generate nice sales.

Some time passes, and you suddenly notice that the Buy box call to action has gone! You search for it and find out that someone called 'Jenn's Pots' is selling your branded products! It's called Amazon hijack and yes, it's really frustrating.


Here is another real example how it can look like:

The MOCREO brand sells selfie sticks with bluetooth under their own brand. Here we can see that 3 other sellers work with the same products.

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After looking at review-count we can see that MOCREO is the official seller. And G&Zhou is not the original one, moreover, they sell sticks for nearly $2 less!

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The listings are almost identical except the seller.

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And now let's learn how to protect your listings from such unpleasant situations with Amazon hijackers.

 

Steps for protecting your listing from hijackers

As I've already said before, there is no magic spell that will protect you from hijackers, but there are ways to prevent such frustrating situations. Keep an eye on your listing and watch carefully if someone does something wrong.

And here are the 5 points I talked about at the beginning of my article:


1. Document all you do

Good defense is the best offense. Take screenshots of your listing pages on Amazon. Picture every product listing. You'll have proofs that your listing is an original one. Save the browser node either. You get it after uploading your file ti Amazon. It is a special ID that consists of numbers and is used by Amazon to organize product for sale. Each node tells us about items collection for sale, for example, 'selfie sticks' (I mean not the products themselves). Here are some examples of nodes of books: Medicine: (13996), Literature and Fiction (17), Mystery and Thrillers (18).

If you don't know where to find it, visit http://www.findbrowsenodes.com. Insert an ASIN, Amazon URL or a category to find the browser node you need.

This node can also ease the restoring process of your listing, if it's needed.


2. Create a website for your brand

It's never early to have a brand website, especially if you've already decided that you need to build your own brand. The site will help Amazon find out that you but not someone else is a real owner of this brand. It also helps in the Amazon brand registry procedure.

Moreover, you'll have a place for storing the products list with all unique SKUs. You can copy and paste your listing from Amazon to the site. It will be one more proof that the listing is yours.

Creating a website is not so difficult as it may seem at the start. You may use one of widely-known platforms as Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, etc.

There are services like Fiverr for those who doesn't want to take some time for creating a site by himself. You can order it for under $100.


3. Trademark your products

It's highly recommended to trademark your Amazon brand. It isn't obligatory, but it helps to pass brand registry quicker and easier.

Here are the main steps of the trademarking process:

  1. Visit knowem.com to find out if your name is not already taken.
  2. If it's available, use US Trademark and Patent Office search tool to make sure it's really available, and there are no the same or similar trademarks.
  3. Look for the name on Amazon to check whether someone uses it already.
  4. Register the brand under the desired name.


4. Brand registering

This is available for all Amazon private sellers and helps in managing your products. It doesn't give us full protection from other unauthorized sellers, still, it protects your listing from being edited by others. I think it's worth doing. You need to provide the next things to apply for brand registry:

  • A photo of the product packaging. Your brand name has to be visible on it.
  • An image of the item itself with your brand on it.
  • Link to the website that contains all that items. Add a picture of the page of brand registry.

You need to have a site for applying, so even if you don't have a homepage of your brand, create it with WordPress in a couple of hours. It is worth all the time.


5. Differ from your competitors

Hijackers don't like stealing unique branded products that are highly customized. So, the way of preventing stealing your ideas is making detailed pictures of the product. Ensure that your brand logo is visible on them.

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You can also bundle your product with some other item. Two things from 2 various factories will act like a barrier from hijackers as it will be more difficult to copy.

You may also use packaging for this purpose, display it in the listing.

 

What should you do if you've been hijacked already?

I'm so sorry that you've faced this situation, but there are some tactics you should try:


1. Lower the price

At least it will help you to get back the Buy box. But be careful, as your competitor can do the same until your product becomes not profitable. Lower your price, but don't lose much pofit by doing this!


2. Contact that seller

Write a hijacker! Click on his profile and click the 'Ask a question' button.

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Write something like this:

'Dear (hijacker name),

I'm the (Your brand) owner, and I've noticed that you're selling products under the same brand. I want you to remove your listing now.

(Your brand) was created by me personally and I don't work with resellers. I want to warn you that selling counterfeit products is the violation of the Amazon ToS.

If you don't remove your listing within 2 days, I'll contact Amazon for legal actions.

Sincerely,

(Your name)'


3. Buy hijacker's product

Make a test purchase to know whom you are competing with. Ask your friend to buy it for hiding your personal name.

It's needed for verifying if the item is really counterfeit. Document everything (size, color, packaging, and so on) about this item once you get it. And return it to the seller, if you don't need it.


4. Contact Amazon

The last resort is contacting Amazon. Do it, if the letter hasn't worked, however, they are quite effective. I hope that you've documented your listing, as it helps to get the results more effectively.

Here's what to do, if you've made a test purchase:

  • Wait for receiving the item.
  • Report a problem on Amazon about a fake item from your friend's account who had purchased the item.
  • Wait for a day, and then send a request against a hijacker.
  • Use the terms 'counterfeit', 'not authentic', 'fake' in your complaint.
  • If everything is done correctly, Amazon will ban their listing soon.

Provide full information:

  • How does hijacker's item differ from yours (size, weight, color, etc.).
  • Complaints from buyers about fake products.
  • Communications with the fake seller.
  • Evidence of your brand registration and trademark.
  • Photos of fake and original products with some info on how the counterfeit can harm customers.

If you prove that fakes disappoint Amazon buyers, they will ban them immediately.

 

Conclusions

​As far as Amazon aims for making customers ​happy and pleased, make them sure that your product is the best one and can cope with this task. Ensure them that you are the only authorized seller. It's not a big deal, as hijacking is a common risk on Amazon, and they are used to working with it quite often.

So, take the precautions I've listed in this article and start building your brand. I wish you success and profits on Amazon!

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