Selling Products on Amazon, What You Need to Know

May 30, 2017

What is Amazon Brand Registry?

3 Things You Should Do Before You Sell on AmazonThe Amazon Brand Registry can help you protect your registered trademarks on Amazon. It allows you to submit a registered trademark to Amazon so that Amazon can verify that your trademark is valid.  This will help you in the future when you need to make trademark claims against an infringing seller.   This is a good first step in positioning your brand against infringers.  Having your brand registered carries the additional benefit of giving you increased authority over product listings bearing your brand’s name.

What is Amazon Gating or Brand Gating?

To combat losing the trust of buyers, Amazon has “brand gated” many routinely counterfeited brands.  Having your brand “gated” on Amazon means that a seller must provide invoices and/or letters of authorization to sell a particular brand.  It is unclear why Amazon chooses to “gate” some brands and not others.  Brand gating is controlled by the copyright and trademark team at Amazon, and it is difficult to be placed on a waiting list for brand gating.  From our experience, most gated brands are sold by Amazon, not by 3rd-party sellers.

What is Amazon Brand Registry Beta?

What's the Best Amazon Brand Protection and Monitoring ToolBrand Registry Beta, like brand gating, is one step beyond the typical Amazon brand registry.  Brand Registry Beta is by invite only and will likely roll out at the same speed and discretion as Amazon Gating, if not slower. We have been granted access to the Amazon Brand Registry Beta and here are our takeaways:

  1. It is of great use if a seller is stealing your copyrighted images.
  2. It provides you with a little insight into who is selling your brand on a per ASIN level. It’s a pretty manual and will not be effective if you have a large number of ASINs.
  3. If you complete a test-buy or test purchase from a suspecting buyer, then you’ll be able to report them.

Other than that, there is not much too it.

Why Use a Cease and Desist Demand Letter?

Using a Cease and Desist demand letter is the most effective way to communicate to an Amazon Seller that they are infringing on your trademark/copyright, or if they are selling goods different from those described by the ASIN. We suggest sending Cease and Desist demand letters directly through Amazon messaging. We realize that traditional Cease and Desist demand letters are typically sent via registered mail but the problem here is time. You need the seller off the listing ASAP.  In many cases, a 3rd-party seller that receives a Cease and Desist demand letter remove themselves from the listing within 24 hours.

Why Is a Cease and Desist Demand Letter Effective?

  1. The reseller is scared of getting a policy warning from Amazon or getting kicked off (who isn’t?).
  2. The reseller is knowingly infringing on your IP and is just waiting to see how long they can get away with it.
  3. The reseller knows very little about correctly matching ASINs on Amazon and has mismatched their look-a-like product to yours. Upon receiving the message, they are scared off.
  4. Anytime Intellectual Property Rights or legal notices are received, most sellers do not want to deal with the possible legal hassles and simply go away.
  5. There is a significant chance that the message is forwarded to the ultimate decision maker and they react quickly.

Does Brandlox Help with Unauthorized Sellers on Amazon?   

Brandlox can help with unauthorized sellers. Although an unauthorized business selling legitimate products may not actually infringe your trademark, Brandlox can help you scout your listings and identify all sellers on your ASINs (including un-authorized sellers).  You can use our Brandlox Cease and Desist demand letters to establish contact with unauthorized sellers and demand that they refrain from selling.

How Can I Proactively Product My Brand On Amazon? 

Being proactive is what brand protection is all about.  We recommend having a strong reseller agreement and program that is designed to protect your Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) and dictate whether the reseller is approved or unapproved to sell on Amazon.  You should also monitor your brands product ASIN’s on Amazon, even if you only have 1 or 2 resellers. Things can change overnight and you do not want to be left in the dark when your brand gets compromised on Amazon.

Contact a Brandlox representative to see what you can do about protecting your products on Amazon today. Call 866-882-8484 or leave a comment online.

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