Do you remember the days when Amazon’s biggest concern was its inability to generate profits? For many years, shareholders and investors waited for the company to become profitable, and their patience certainly paid off. These days, Amazon is no longer concerned about profits; its current concerns are related to unpleasant practices such as counterfeiting and ASIN hijacking.
Amazon and the Problem of Counterfeiters
Sales of fake and knockoff products are rampant on the Amazon Marketplace. Retail analysts believe that counterfeit products represent more than 30 percent of Marketplace listings. This is a thorn on Amazon’s side, and the company has been widely accused of not doing enough to keep counterfeiters out; to this effect, it should be noted that Amazon earns a percentage of each Marketplace retail transaction, and this includes counterfeit products.
Amazon’s official policy on counterfeiting is zero tolerance; the company has often stated that it dedicates significant resources to fight counterfeiters, but its efforts are not enough. At any given moment, thousands of counterfeiters can be found peddling their products on the Amazon Marketplace, and sometimes they resort to ASIN hijacking to ply their nefarious trade.
How ASINS Get Hijacked
The Amazon Standard Identification Number system and the Amazon Marketplace share a characteristic that makes them fall prey to misuse: both were developed with a very open architecture in mind, which means that they offer substantial access and flexibility to users.
The open nature of the ASIN system is what enables hijacking to take place. Amazon’s idea of a perfect e-commerce platform consists of giving sellers the ability to sell any product and to change product listings at will. Rogue sellers and counterfeiters take advantage of this open access to hijack an ASIN, which can either mean taking over the listing or using it to list a counterfeit product.
One common hijacking method involves sending products to be stocked at a Fulfillment by Amazon center; the rogue seller may send an initial batch of original products followed by knockoffs or substitute items that they claim to be identical. Once the inventory is registered at the FBA, the hijacker can take control of the Buy Box and the product page.
Has your ASINS been Hijacked?
The following five signs will let you know that your ASIN has been hijacked:
1 – The details and description on your product listing page have suddenly changed.
2 – You are selling a private label item that required you to create a new ASIN, and yet your Seller Central dashboard shows other people selling your listing even though you have not selected distributors.
3 – The sales activity of a single ASIN has suddenly dropped without warning or tapering off.
4 – A string of negative reviews appears after a specific date.
5 – You start getting FBA center updates even though you have been taking care of shipping and handling on your own.
The best way to detect ASIN hijackers is with the assistance of a monitoring service such as Brandlox, which serves as a loss prevention solution for your Amazon Store. With Brandlox, your ASINs are monitored constantly in real-time, and you are immediately notified whenever suspicious activity is detected. Furthermore, Brandlox offers additional features such as cease-and-desist letters plus the ability to make and track test purchases from counterfeiters so that they can get kicked out of Amazon.
If you want to learn more about the ASIN protection provided by Brandlox, call one of their e-commerce specialists today at 866-848-6072.