When Amazon introduced its Brand Registry program a couple of years ago, the issue of unauthorized sellers, counterfeiters, and drop shippers was not as prevalent as it is today. In fact, the first iteration of Brand Registry offered little protection for Amazon Marketplace sellers against unethical third parties who wish to profit from just about any product they can sell. In April 2017, Amazon completely revamped the Brand Registry program to include a new feature called Brand Gating that ostensibly protects against unauthorized sellers.
How to Use Amazon’s Brand Registry
Amazon sellers who had signed up for the original Brand Registry system before April 2017 are required to sign up again. The Registry is open to sellers who have taken the steps to obtain a standard character mark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office or from an official counterpart agency in the following nations:
-European Union countries
Getting Started With Brand Registry
Amazon will need a copy of your USPTO trademark registration as well as copies of your logo and digital images of the products you intend to sell. If your trademark has been reciprocally approved and registered in other countries, you will need to provide those documents.
Your products generally need to have a Global Trade Identification Number such as the Universal Product Code (UPC) to be sold in the marketplace. However, signing up with Brand Registry may grant you an exception in this regard, and your products will still be able to get their own Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN).
Choosing Brand Gating
Brand Registry is most efficient in terms of protecting against intellectual property infringement and counterfeiting, two major blemishes on the Amazon Marketplace. You will still have to monitor the marketplace to identify counterfeiters and copycats, but Amazon will supposedly act faster to stop the rogue sellers when your products are part of the Brand Registry program.
Understanding the Sign-Up Process
When you go through the Brand Registry sign-up process, you may be able to enter your products on the Brand Gating program, which gives you more control over your pricing, inventory, and distribution. Whether your products are eligible for Brand Gating will depend on various factors, including the categories that they fit into; as of October 2017, some of these categories include beauty, personal care, and groceries.
Restrictions for Some Prospective Amazon Sellers
While Brand Registry is open to manufacturers, exclusive distributors and owners of white-label products, Brand Gating may not be available to all sellers. If you are just getting started as an eCommerce entrepreneur, chances are your products will not meet the Brand Gating criteria. Even when Brand Gating is enabled, Amazon may allow third-party sellers to access your product listings after paying a non-refundable application between $1,000 and $5,000.
A Better Solution to Prevent Unauthorized Sellers
Even with Brand Registry and Brand Gating, some Amazon Marketplace sellers have noticed that drop shippers and other unauthorized third parties are still able to access their listings. It is not entirely clear how they are able to get around the system restrictions. However, some of these rogue sellers are pretty skilled at taking advantage of items handled by Fulfillment by Amazon centers to the point that the items delivered appear to be coming from you even though you did not make the sale.
Get Brandlox to Monitor Your Online Brand
With monitoring solutions such as Brandlox an online security system that notifies you when each sale is made in real-time and by whom, your products are protected in a more efficient fashion to supplement Amazon’s Brand Registry and Brand Gating programs. To learn about other features of Brandlox, including cease-and-desist notices as well as test purchases to protect your brand against counterfeiters, contact an eCommerce specialist today.