How to Remove Unauthorized Amazon Sellers
The internet has made it easy for anyone to sell anything, even if they don't have the right to. If you're an Amazon seller, you probably know that unauthorized third-party resellers are hurting your sales and stealing your brand's credibility.
Amazon is a massive marketplace with over 350 million products. Being one of the most popular online shopping platforms in the world, it is used by millions of people each day to buy products from different sellers. However, it is a fact that Amazon doesn't always help authorized sellers combat unauthorized ones, mainly if they sell the same product.
An unauthorized seller is someone who sells products without having obtained permission from the brand. These unauthorized sellers may sell counterfeit goods, stolen merchandise, or items that violate Amazon policies at the expense of your brand reputation.
Unauthorized sellers are creating problems for genuine sellers. And we're discussing ways to put an end to this. The goal is to reward authorized resellers on the amazon marketplace and punish unauthorized reseller who ruins your reputation
How are unauthorized sellers hurting your business?
One of the biggest challenges facing brands today is the threat of unauthorized sellers. These sellers, who are not authorized by you, are using your brand name to attract customers and make a profit at your expense.
They will often copy your brand's product listing and tweak it to lure customers away to their counterfeit listings. In some cases, rogue sellers copy an authorized seller's product listing and change it to suit their requirements. This causes the legitimate seller to lose autonomy over their product listing. They can manipulate Amazon's algorithm to gain an unfair advantage over legitimate sellers and conduct unauthorized sales.
Another way unauthorized sellers can damage your reputation is by misrepresenting your product listing. For example, they could add exaggerated product specifications to their product listings, use misleading photos on their listings to lure customers, and give customers a false impression about your product by employing a range of tricks.
Unauthorized Amazon sellers hurt your brand's business and steal sales from legitimate sellers in many ways.
Every sale the unauthorized seller makes is a loss of potential revenue for you.
The unauthorized sellers on amazon are using your brand name to attract customers. Once the customer receives a fake product thinking it's from your brand - that is a stain on the brand's reputation. They're not going even to consider your brand anymore.
Shady resellers may undercut your MAP, meaning they can get your Buy Box, so more people will buy from them than you will.
Unauthorized sellers don't care about customer service, meaning they can deliver subpar products and services with damaged goods, and you'll receive bad reviews.
Unauthorized sellers ruin your relationship with authorized sellers, and brands that care about your product.
Once you identify an unauthorized seller, you need to act quickly. Let's find out what you should do.
How do the unauthorized amazon sellers get the merchandise?
The Amazon marketplace is a goldmine, and counterfeit sellers are taking advantage of that. Amazon is a fantastic distribution channel for a D2C brand. But there are many ways to cheat the system, including selling counterfeit goods or unauthorized items to undercut genuine sellers.
Amazon has been making a push to ensure that all items sold on their site are authentic. They have even gone so far as to send out cease-and-desist letters to sellers who were violating the terms of service by selling counterfeit products.
However, some counterfeit sellers still can get away with selling counterfeit merchandise through Amazon's marketplace because they know how to get around the system. There are several ways that these sellers do this:
They buy your product at wholesale prices and then sell it at retail prices.
They purchase authentic products from other retailers and then alter them before selling them on Amazon for a higher price point than what they paid for them originally.
They purchase authentic products from other retailers, then rebrand and resell those same products at a much higher price point than what they paid for them originally.
They purchase authentic products from other retailers, then rebrand and resell those products under their own brand without any alterations (eBay is notorious for this type of activity).
No matter how they get your products, these unauthorized resellers aren't hurting just you—they're hurting genuine sellers. They're hurting the trust that customers have in your brand. If a customer buys from an unauthorized seller because they think it's cheaper or better quality than it really is, then that customer won't come back to buy from you again.
If you're a brand selling on Amazon, there are ways to deal with unauthorized sellers.
How to restrict unauthorized resellers on Amazon:
1. Register on the Amazon Brand Registry:
If you own a trademark or copyright on a product, you can register it with Amazon. This will give you the ability to report unauthorized sellers on Amazon.
A brand registry allows you to control who can sell your products on Amazon. You can specify which authorized sellers can sell your products, where they can sell them, and how much they can charge for them. This helps keep rogue sellers at bay.
Once registered, you'll have access to all sorts of tools for managing your brand presence on Amazon. One of those tools is Brand Gating, which restricts third-party sellers from selling your products unless they have permission from you.
2. Use the Transparency Program:
Amazon's Transparency Program is the first step in restricting unauthorized sellers. It allows you to see who's selling your products, where they're selling them from, and how much they're selling them. You can even see what reviews customers have left for these sellers.
By using the transparency program, brands can ensure that only genuine products are shipped to the customers. The transparency program adds an extra layer of protection, making it more difficult for unauthorized sellers to list your product on Amazon and ship counterfeit goods.
3. Have an airtight distribution agreement with your sellers and have huge penalty clauses for agreement breaches:
A distribution agreement is the first step in restricting unauthorized sellers on Amazon. You should have an airtight distribution agreement with your sellers and huge penalty clauses for any agreement breaches.
First, you must ensure your seller understands they cannot sell products on Amazon without your permission. This means that if someone buys the product and lists it on Amazon, they will have severe consequences if they end up selling it themselves.
Second, if they break this rule, they need to know that you will take action against them. Ensure all employees know this policy and understand that no one is above the law—not even staff members!
Finally, include a clause that clarifies who owns the rights to products after they leave your warehouse/store. If you don't have this clause in place and someone lists a product on Amazon without your permission, you could lose money or have legal issues down the road. The MAP policies should be clearly outlined to protect yourself if a legit seller infringes on the pricing policy. The distributor should be educated on your buy box monitoring and understand any violations of agreed-upon MAP pricing will have blowback.
4. Have a monitoring system in Place:
Amazon is a great place to sell your products, but it's also a place where you need to be on your toes. You have to ensure that you have the right monitoring system in place and do the right things to protect your brand.
We recommend using someone like Datahut to monitor Amazon for potential bad actors regularly. You can find out who is listing products that are similar to yours, and then you can take action to make sure that they don't get too close. We've been doing this for many brands and are happy to do so for you.
5. Take Legal Action:
Take legal action if your seller breaches the map or distribution agreements or doesn't adhere to the seller's policies. If they are selling your products outside of the terms of your contract, they are violating your intellectual property rights and have no right to do so. Unauthorized sellers are scared of litigious companies. You can send them a cease and desist letter or even sue them in court if they don't respond favorably to the first attempt at communication.
If you're able to establish proof, then follow the steps below.
How to Remove a Seller From Your Amazon Listing
Amazon doesn't own your products. You're just listing them on the platform. If you want to kick someone off your listing, the process is tedious and time-consuming.
Buy from the bad actors: As a first step in removing unauthorized sellers - you can buy the product from an unauthorized seller using your account. Next, you can file a dispute to prove that the rogue seller sells a counterfeit or unauthorized product.
Rather than being a reactive response - do a test buy as soon as your monitoring system discovers a new seller. Our customers using the data for monitoring unauthorized sellers reported the incidents of unauthorized sellers reduced by 85% in six months. In addition, if unauthorized sellers see constant enforcement from a brand - they're most likely not to repeat it for the same brand because it is no longer profitable.
Here are our recommendations for removing a seller from your Amazon listings:
Have their complete details: Gather all essential details about the unauthorized seller. You will need to gather information like ASINs, product descriptions, brand names, pricing, and other relevant information. If possible, get the contact information of the unauthorized seller. The more information you have - the better it is.
File a complaint - There is a report abuse option on the Code of Conduct Page. Report the incident will all the information you collected. It should include proof of purchase and explain things in detail. The more information you provide to the amazon dispute contact - the better and faster the resolution.
Call the Unauthorized seller: You'll need to report the incident to the seller via a call and send them all the details you shared via the report abuse option. Tell them you're suing for damages, and most sellers cave when you say this. The claims of infringement should be clearly explained, and the roadmap of the litigation process.
Push your amazon contact: If you're a brand distributor in a territory/country - get help from the brand to remove the seller. Amazon responds slowly to resellers. Push your amazon contact to accelerate the process.
Amazon's policies aren't always fair to sellers. You may not be able to get rid of all the unauthorized sellers on your page. Even if you are the manufacturer, it can be hard to remove unauthorized listings. But still, if the unauthorized seller sees you are determined to proceed with litigation- they’re more likely to take their eyes off your brand.
How to Find Amazon Unauthorized Sellers
Unauthorized Amazon sellers are like a plague in the marketplace. They can be very hard to track down and even harder to eliminate. Some brands don’t even know they have unauthorized sellers who could sell their products without their permission. But there are ways to help you stop unauthorized Amazon resellers from hijacking your sales.
The best way to find unauthorized Amazon sellers is to monitor the marketplace and use buy box winner data. The earlier you find the unauthorized seller - the better it is. Contact us today if you're interested in getting buy box data.
Datahut partners with Amazon agencies to help their customer acquisition and grow existing accounts using buy box data and other data solutions. Get in touch and we will talk.
Related Reading: How to Build an Amazon Price Tracker using Python