If your brand is thriving on Amazon but suddenly notice a drop in sales, you could be the victim of a shady seller who’s trying to take advantage of your business. As an experienced Amazon PPC management service agency, we know nefarious sellers love to piggyback off the success of high-powered brands like yours.
Why do they do it? Simply because it’s easier than building an Amazon business the legit way. Thankfully, Amazon takes such violations seriously. Here’s how to protect your brand on Amazon so you can safeguard your good name and stop unscrupulous sellers from stealing your customers.
Why Protect Your Brand on Amazon?
Why should you worry about protecting your brand’s good name on Amazon? The number-one reason is that violations can cost your business lots of money.
It’s very easy for other sellers to ride the coattails of brand owners’ success. They can copy your logos, photos, and your product’s UPC. They might even steal your work and try to pass it off as their own. This is a common problem for book sellers, especially self-published authors, on Amazon.
Needless to say, all of these things can be devastating to any online retailer. You could be losing thousands per month to other sellers without ever knowing why.
Another reason to protect your brand is that bad sellers can do serious damage to your reputation. By passing off their junk as yours, your products could end up with bad reviews. A hit like that can be hard, if not impossible, to overcome.
5 Tips for Protecting Your Brand on Amazon
Luckily, you’re not totally at the mercy of shady sellers. Here’s how to protect your brand on Amazon.
1. Report Unauthorized Sellers
Unauthorized sellers often use your product’s Amazon Style Identification Number (ASIN) to list their own items on Amazon. Others sell the exact same products you do, but under a different ASIN.
If you’re using a branded (not generic) ASIN, you can report this violation to Amazon. However, you don’t want to ask Amazon to remove the ASIN, because that will take down your product listings too.
Instead, it’s better to ask Amazon to remove the bad sellers entirely. Amazon will gladly do this if the seller is violating your intellectual property (IP) rights.
2. Notify Sellers Who Violate Your MAP Policy
If you’ve made a deal to allow resellers to sell your Amazon product, you probably also included a Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) clause in that arrangement. If you have a MAP in place, it means that your resellers have agreed to sell your items for a certain price.
Not all resellers may comply with your MAP. They might list your items for a lower price to win the coveted Amazon Buy Box. Since there is only one product listing per ASIN, this means customers will see the lower price when they visit the listing page and probably buy from that seller and not from you.
Amazon itself doesn’t do anything to enforce your MAP agreements. So if you notice a seller violating your MAP, it’s on you to fix it.
If a seller is violating your MAP, the best thing to do is simply notify the seller of the violation and politely ask them to change their pricing right away.
3. Sign Up for Amazon Protection Programs
By enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry, your brand becomes eligible for programs that protect you from infringements. Once you’ve signed up, Amazon automatically scans listings for IP violations and removes them. You can also report violations yourself if Amazon misses any.
Amazon Transparency is a program aimed at stopping counterfeit products from reaching buyers. It works by assigning items Transparency codes. Without a code, sellers can’t sell the item on Amazon. Customers can also scan a Transparency code to verify the authenticity of their purchase.
Project Zero is another Amazon program that offers counterfeit protection. It’s ideal for businesses that already have some experience using Amazon protection tools. With Project Zero, you provide Amazon with key data points, and it scans and removes counterfeit items from the platform.
4. Monitor and Report Fake Reviews
Whether positive or negative, fake reviews can do major damage to your brand. Some bad sellers bombard your listings with one-star reviews to dissuade customers from buying. By doing this, they hope to convince those customers to buy from them instead.
Other sellers list counterfeit versions of your products, then try to bolster their reputation with dozens of fake five-star reviews. If you’re struggling to get reviews the legit way, a customer might choose the shady seller’s product instead. That’s because customers trust products with lots of reviews, whether they’re true or not.
Tracking down fake reviews takes time that many brands don’t have. On top of that, it’s tough to know whether reviews are really fake or not. Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- The reviewer has a brand-new account but has already posted lots of reviews.
- The reviews contain poor grammar or spelling.
- The listing has dozens of one-star reviews, plus lots of five-star reviews at the top. This could mean that the seller is trying to bury the bad reviews with fake positive ones.
- The review doesn’t give many details about the product. It might simply say things like, “I loved it,” or “this is great.”
Amazon takes fake reviews very seriously. If you suspect a seller of using fake reviews, report them to Amazon.
5. Use Amazon IP Accelerator
Signing up for Amazon IP Accelerator is a smart way to safeguard your intellectual property. It gives you access to a network of trusted IP law firms to help you avoid trademark registration pitfalls. You’ll enjoy protection even while your trademark is pending.
Safeguard Your Amazon Brand with Click Fluency
Want to know more about how to protect your brand on Amazon? Curious about Amazon A+ content for sellers? Contact Click Fluency today! We’re an experienced marketing agency that can help you shield your brand from predatory sellers on Amazon with our account management services.