by Rachel Greer, Cascadia Seller Solutions
Your listings are humming along happily on Amazon, you have your enhanced marketing content working for you, PO's are coming in nicely, and you have limited chargebacks. Then you start seeing negative reviews come in on the listing about a serious customer complaint regarding safety. Upon researching the matter, you see that there are multiple sellers on the listing, claiming to sell your product, yet you are not distributing.
One of the more frustrating aspects of being a vendor on Amazon is the seemingly endless proliferation of seller listings, some of them legitimate, some of them dealing in gray market, and some of them appear to be outright fakes.
For those sellers who are selling due to access to your legitimate product through unauthorized channels, there aren't many good ways to kick those sellers off the listing. They are selling legitimate product and Amazon doesn't get too persnickety about distribution channel as long as the product is legitimate because they don't have a clean nose on this themselves.
For those sellers who are actually selling fakes on your listing, those are called "hijackers." To report on this kind of illegitimate behavior:
1) Send a polite but firm e-mail asking sellers – with no threats, strong language, etc. – to stop listing against the product, explaining that you do not distribute the item. Example text:
"Hello Seller XYZ, I see you are listing on my ASIN XXXXX. As I do not distribute, and am the owner of the trademark (insert relevant trademark #, etc. here), I ask that you cease listing against my items since your offer does not match. I appreciate your help with this."
2) If they persist in listing, do the test buy and report it to Amazon. The link to report infringement violations is as follows:
Note: any other violations you find, such as inaccurate images, listing content, etc., should go here:
If you are struggling with illegitimate private label versions of your product, illegitimate uses of your images and written copy, and other inappropriate uses of your intellectual property, Amazon has this test buy procedure in place to support brands in their efforts to provide good quality, legitimate product to customers.
What is a test buy? This is a purchase of the product sent to the location of your choice. The images must be taken, documented, and put into a report in the format required. Do not return the items, do not give feedback to the seller, and do not leave a negative product review as this is counterproductive to your cause.
At the end of the day, Amazon will always take care of their customers. If you can prove that a hijacking seller or competitor would do harm to Amazon customers, Amazon will always support you.
Rachel Greer has over seven years of Amazon experience, most recently in the Product Compliance team at Amazon, managing audits, product testing, and inspections for the global retail and private label compliance programs. Rachel is also experienced with product recalls, product safety/Andon Cords, and restricted/prohibited products at Amazon. She is focused on simplifying complex global regulations to help small and medium vendors expand their selection or go global with minimal recall/port seizure risks or product defects. Rachel holds an MA from the University of Oregon in Early Modern European History and an MBA from Seattle University with a focus in operations and international business.
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