The Amazon Marketplace is developing into a massive online bazaar where sellers have an opportunity to extend their reach by offering products to millions of prospective buyers. When eCommerce entrepreneurs consider moving into the Amazon Marketplace, they probably think that this respected tech giant will have everything in place to protect their brand and their merchandise. Unfortunately, this is something that Amazon has found to be difficult.
Why the Amazon Marketplace is Like the Wild West
Along with dropshippers and counterfeiters, unauthorized sellers are part of a growing problem in the Amazon Marketplace. The problem is related to the wide-open nature of this eCommerce platform. Amazon believes that enabling just about any seller to do business in the marketplace will bring about major growth that will ultimately benefit Amazon customers. The base idea is to attract as many sellers as possible for the purpose of increasing product selection, which inevitably brings about price competition. This is a tenet of economics that has worked wonders for Amazon, and thus can be safely assumed that it will continue.
Amazon sellers who are conscious about protecting the value of their brands should ask themselves the following questions as they add their products to the Marketplace:
- How will the brand be represented on the Amazon Marketplace?
- How much control will the company have over certain aspects of their brand such as marketing, pricing and customer service?
How Will Your Brand Be Represented on Amazon’s Marketplace?
Branding is somewhat limited to the product description for most sellers who are new to the Amazon Marketplace, although this may change in the near future as Amazon improves the format of its third-party stores. The answer to the second question is the Wild West reality of the Amazon Marketplace. Sellers don’t have too much control in terms of pricing or vetting third-party sellers or dropshippers.
So How Can You Stop Unauthorized Third-Party Sellers?
Without certain protections in place, there is nothing to stop unauthorized third-party sellers from noticing the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) of your products and offering them on their own Amazon stores, particularly if you use one or more of the company’s efficient order fulfillment centers. Who knows what motives these third-party sellers may have towards your ASINs; they could undercut your prices and dilute your brand to put you out of business, or they may even sell your products by marketing them as being less favorable than their own products. Amazon is not going to stop these third-party practices, and thus its Marketplace is becoming more and more like the Wild West of e-commerce.
Securing Your Amazon Sales Potential
With a monitoring solution such as Brandlox, you can enact protection for up to 2,000 of your products listed on Amazon. This is the best protection you can have against unauthorized sellers who lurk in the shadows of the Marketplace. With Brandlox, you get real-time notification about the retail activity of your Amazon products; furthermore, some Brandlox subscription levels include the ability to generate cease-and-desist letters to the unauthorized sellers. Test purchases are also available in some subscription levels.
Without tools such as Brandlox, there is not much that e-commerce entrepreneurs can do to stop unauthorized sellers on the Amazon Marketplace. Once again, it is important for Amazon sellers to remember that they are on their own in the Marketplace, the Wild West of e-commerce. You should not expect Amazon to change its nonchalant attitude towards unauthorized sellers because it is not in their best economic interest to do so. To learn more about ASIN protection, contact Brandlox today.