Sometimes, other sellers decide to pull some really scummy maneuvers to get ahead, harming both you and the customers.
This can include things like:
- Listing Hijacking: Someone has stolen your private listing and is getting your sales from your keywords
- Intellectual Property Violations & trademark infringement: You have unauthorized resellers making a quick buck on your private listing
- and more!
Seller violations, thankfully, aren't that common. However, here is how you nip them in the bud when they arise. The most common one, however, is Listing Hijacking.
What is "Listing Hijacking"
"Hijacking" occurs when you have a private listing on Amazon and a seller swoops in on that listing with a bootleg version of the product when you go out of stock.
That way, they can redirect customers to their storefront and take all of the sales before you have the chance to restock your inventory.
That leaves you with none of the sales and all of the bad reviews when people receive the crappy bootleg.
Think of it this way,
You ran a lemonade stand at some point when you were a kid, right? You had the best lemonade stand, with hand squeezed lemons, shakers, the whole nine yards!
You have people from all over the block coming to buy some of your lemonade that you've spent all summer perfecting.
Now, imagine you just went to the store to buy more lemons and come back to find some other kid stole your stand to sell their own lemonade!
It's a pretty messed up thing to do, right? Well, that is essentially how listing Hijacking works. Think of every product listing as its own little "lemonade stand" on the Amazon marketplace.
When unauthorized sellers hijack your private listing, they swoop in on that buy box that's been primed with positive reviews and loyal customers.
If you want to learn more about Hijacking, read WebFX's article here.
When to Report a Seller
Here are a few of the main reasons why I would Consider reporting another Amazon seller account:
- Your Intellectual Property is being sold by an unauthorized seller
- The Product you received from an amazon seller does not match the detail page's description
- The Product Details page is false or misleading to customers
- Your listing was Hijacked by unauthorized sellers and they are profiting off of your positive reviews and customer feedback with their own products
I believe in initially trying to deal with unauthorized sellers before I contact customer service. Explain your issue and give them a chance to do the right thing before going to Amazon. I recommend emailing them and giving them at least 1-2 business days to respond.
However, if you believe that they are repeat offenders or they have no intention to do the right thing, go to Amazon Seller Support and file a report. Sometimes you have no choice but to contact customer service.
Note: A Cease and Desist letter is a very powerful tool that can also help you ward off unauthorized sellers.
Before you file a report, collect the following evidence:
- Pictures of the product and listing, along with any proof of the counterfeit items
- Any Order ID that proves your case
- The Seller ID of the person doing this (Learn how to do that here).
- Any Messages you have sent or received involving the situation
- And anything else that can help your case
How To Report A Seller
Like most cases, our walkthrough begins at Amazon Seller Central. You can access that online form by clicking the link here.
Here is a step by step process for how you can file a report through Amazon Seller Central.
- Go to Amazon Seller Central's website
- Access the "Get Help" Section
- Select "Selling on Amazon"
- Scroll down and Select "Other Issues"
- Select "Listing Abuse"
- Click "Report a Violation"
- Specify Which Violation You are experiencing and Provide As many Details as possible
When filling out the details for any listing violation, always specify in precise detail that you are the brand owner and you don't want your ASIN taken down. In a hijacking situation, Amazon will take down your ASIN as well as kick the unauthorized seller if you don't specify.
Give Amazon a few days to read and respond to your claim, and that is all there is to it! The unauthorized seller should be gone and you will have your listing back.
How To Avoid Getting Hijacked
There isn't a magical technique to eliminate the threat of getting hijacked by a competitor listing, but there are ways to mitigate that risk.
- Maintaining a constant inventory
- Get a patent on you product, and back your product up with a brand... ( I recommend getting set up with Amazon Brand Registry)
- Regularly monitor your private listings for any policy violation
These are just a few of the ways that you can protect your company brand and private listings.
But how do you deal with listing hijackers? Let me know in the comments!