When selling private label products on Amazon, sellers may encounter listing hijackers. Listing hijackers on Amazon attempt to piggyback on your product listing with a counterfeit, usually lower-quality version of your product. Many times, this is being done by a company that has stolen your product concept and manufactured a similar product with cheaper materials, resulting in an inferior product. Then they jump on your product listing to try and swipe sales out from under you. Customers may inadvertently purchase this knock-off product and be upset about the lack of quality, leading them to leave negative feedback on your listing.
Listing Hijackers on Amazon: Example
In this screenshot, you can see that this supplement brand has their own store. But someone has jumped on their product listing in an attempt to hijack it from they and draw customers to their listing instead.
How to Reduce Listing Hijackers on Amazon
Amazon has a Brand Registry that allows you as a private label seller to make it easier for you to manage and list your branded products, and protects you from others editing your product listings. The process is pretty quick, but does have some requirements that might take some extra time if you haven’t already taken care of them. For example, one of the requirements is that you have your own website. If you haven’t already created a website for your brand, doing so can be relatively quick, easy and cheap. It will need to include a dedicate URL (i.e. YourCompany.com), photos of your product(s), attributes of the product(s), and contact information (specifically an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org). There are sites out there that can help make this undertaking painless and fast like GoDaddy, WordPress, Shopify, SquareSpace, etc. Although it may seem like a hassle if you don’t already have this up and running, it will be beneficial to register your brand with Amazon in the event someone does alter your listing, so you can have it reversed by Amazon.
Adding branding to your products when you can, as well as the packaging, can help customers identify they’re purchasing and receiving the correct products. By displaying your logo (which you should consider trademarking) prominently as much as possible, it will hinder the ability of others to create counterfeit products as easily as customers will expect to see the branding on the products and packaging.
You can contact the store attempting to hijack your listing directly and ask them to cease and desist. Simply asking them to stop, especially if you have a trademark in place, can be effective in getting them stop trying to hijack your listing. Using the example pictured above from Zhou Nutrition, here is an example of what one might say when contacting the hijacking store:
Hello [Seller Name],
It’s come to my attention that you’re also selling Zhou Nutrition HAIRFLUENCE and wanted to reach out to you directly. I’ve worked very hard to create this brand and product, which has never been resold as wholesale to any resellers. As such, you have not been authorized to sell HAIRFLUENCE on Amazon, nor has anyone else outside of the Zhou Nutrition brand.
On the other hand, if you are selling a counterfeit product you are promoting as the same as our product, you should be aware Amazon takes this very seriously and will shut your account down without warning.
Please remove your product from the Zhou Nutrition HAIRFLUENCE listing immediately, or I will have no choice but to issue a formal Cease and Desist letter with Amazon directly. You have 24 hours to have it removed.
John Smith, Zhou Nutrition
That’s pretty much all there is to it. You have done what you can to warn and advise them of the consequences if they don’t remove their product from your listing. If they do not respond accordingly, you can then file a complaint with Amazon.
You can report infringement with one easy form. Gather the evidence illustrating how the offending seller is infringing on your listing. This does include purchasing the product from the seller to document how it may be counterfeit or deceitful to customers. Then submit it all to Amazon, being as thorough as you can with photos and details, details, details! Compare your product to their hijacker’s, keeping in mind that Amazon’s goal is to uphold the customer experience above all else.
Listing hijackers on Amazon are a serious pain to deal with but can cost you sales if you don’t deal with them properly. The key is to maintain a strong brand presence in your product design, listings, packaging, etc. Dealing with listings hijackers on Amazon in a swift manner will ensure that your brand remains secure and free from customer confusion regarding your level of product quality. To reiterate as stated above, Amazon wants to provide the best experience possible for customers, so they will likely have your back if you can properly outline how the counterfeit product will disrupt that experience.