You’ve found a hot product to sell on Amazon and it’s selling like gangbusters. All’s well until you examine your listing and… Oh no! There are now TWO offers – somebody else is selling what looks like the same product!
It’s easy to become despondent when this happens, but don’t fret, there are things you can do about it.
Having your listing hijacked isn’t fun. Somebody has come along, seen that your product is doing well and that you’ve done a great job at listing it, e.g., top-notch photos and descriptions etc, and decided to copy you.
Although it’s unethical, it’s not against the rules. In fact, Amazon encourages multiple sellers to offer the same products as there’s less chance that the item will be out-of-stock and having more than one person selling it keeps the price competitive. So Amazon’s happy, the customers are happy and you’re the only one who’s lost out!
So, how do you know that your listing has been hijacked?
There a few ways, but the easiest is to check that you still have the Buy Box on your listing.
The Buy Box allows customers to make quick purchases without considering which seller they’re buying from. It’s estimated that 83% of Amazon sales come via the Buy Box – so it’s vital that you don’t lose it and become another over-looked, 3rd party seller.
Although it’s harder to notice, another clue that you’ve been hijacked is when they change your product’s category.
How do you stop your listing being hijacked?
The easiest way to deal with all this is to be enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry.
Being brand registered gives you full control over your listing, so if someone comes along and changes something, as the brand owner, you can simply change it back – this is why it’s always a good idea to keep a backup of your images and your descriptions.
If you’re not yet brand registered, the quickest way is to use Amazon’s IP Accelerator as it allows you to get your brand registry before you’ve been granted your trademark – which normally takes a few months.
What if you’ve already been hijacked?
First of all, don’t panic! There are two steps you can do to get this sorted out.
- Send a cease and desist letter
This works more often than not. Just send a simple, formal letter requesting them to get off your listing and remove their offer with a threat that if they fail to act, you’ll report them to Amazon.
- Buy their product and start building your case
Obviously, their product isn’t going to be the same as yours, so let them send you theirs, make notes and take photos to show that it’s not the same.
Once you have all your evidence, you can file your claim via the Contact Us in seller central or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just remember to stick to facts and keep emotions out of it – e.g., don’t be calling them b*stards (or worse!)
As arse-kicking Amazon sellers, we can’t avoid the risk of being hijacked. But, now you know how you can avoid it, and what to do if it ever happens!
Good luck out there!