Updated: Mar 6, 2021
This is by far one of the biggest challenges of every FBA seller I work with. For me personally, I know from firsthand experience it was a huge struggle and very frustrating! So, let’s cover what a hijacker is before going into how to deal with them. As a private label vendor, you own your listing, you own your buy box, and you own your inventory. This is the real beauty of being a private label seller, you have total control! But, oftentimes, fraudulent retailers will try to crash the party and sell on your listing as an alternate supplier This is frustrating because customers might see a lower price and buy from the impostor instead of you. On top of that, you have no idea if they are marketing high-quality items or if they are selling anything at all. Other times, the hijacker is a drop shipper on sites like eBay. Again,
allowing this to happen only cheapens the look of your inventory and causes you to lose out on sales. At the end of the day, you as the private label merchant can fight usurpers and get Amazon to remove them. Allowing them to vend on your catalog can damage your brand and suck sales away from your account. Not a good thing.
So, what can be done? A lot! Amazon has a plethora of tools to use against these hijackers and we will cover a few here today that are the most powerful. The first is something called Brand Registry. This isn’t my first choice but it works for sellers in various situations. By being brand registered, you get access to a brand registry portal to report infringement claims. These range from copyright claims to inauthentic claims. Inauthentic is where we will focus. By submitting this claim, you are saying to Amazon that the impostor never received authorization from you, the brand owner, to sell on the listing. When submitting this claim, I highly recommend retailers add some verbiage regarding the fact that the
products sold by the usurper may be dangerous to customers. In my experience, this
worked 75% of the time. Amazon takes safety very seriously and whenever you mention safety hazards, they take action, FAST.
The second tool that is extremely effective is called Project Zero. This is a small program that is offered to brand owners on Amazon and one I highly recommend. They experienced extreme pressure in 2016 to start cracking down on impostors on brand owners’ listings. In essence, once you are a participant in the program, you simply submit a case through the Project Zero portal and claim that you never gave permission for the hijacker to market on your catalog. Amazon will typically remove this seller within 24 hours. This is really the best tool to use as it delivers results the fastest. It’s common sense really. If you own the trademarked brand, this means you also control who you allow to sell your product. As a private label seller, you won’t allow anyone to resell your products unless you wholesale.
There should be zero competition for the buy box on your listing. A tool like Sentry Kit is extremely useful to alert you when a raider hops on one of your inventory. In fact, it should be the goal of every seller on this platform to never have any hijackers remain vending on listings. It’s far too easy to remove them so there is really no reason to be just OK with it happening. Your brand is far too valuable to let someone else take sales away from you.