E-commerce success starts at Amazon, and as the biggest online retailer, Amazon should be at the forefront of any brand’s e-commerce technique. As you start working with Amazon, you’ll find yourself competing against third party sellers that are also selling your products. With so many Amazon users shopping for different kinds of products, removing 3p sellers on Amazon that are unauthorized or are selling counterfeit products is important to your brand’s integrity.
What are third-party sellers?
3p sellers (third-party sellers) use Amazon as a marketplace where they can sell directly to consumers. These items appear with labels “ships from and sold by <the name of the retailer>” or “Fulfilled by Amazon”. These sellers acquire their inventory by buying it directly from the manufacturer, from other retailers, or maybe selling items that are either counterfeit or stolen.
Every sale they make is a sale that isn’t credited to you. They sell your products for profit but they have no stake in your brand integrity. Because of this, removing 3p sellers on Amazon is very important.
How do 3p sellers on Amazon affect brands?
Many brands experience adverse impacts that many Amazon sellers create, which include the following:
- Diluting the reputation of your brand. Any unauthorized seller sells low-quality and/or counterfeit products under your name, which tarnishes your reputation. Unaware, your clients think you’ve taken advantage of them after receiving a product that isn’t a true representation of your brand. In turn, they will follow up with negative reviews to warn buyers, which creates an ugly cycle of losing sales.
- Harming relationships with authorized retailers. Your authorized third-party sellers are most likely going to stop contributing to your business if these unauthorized third-party sellers impact their ability to profit from that relationship.
- Selling knock-off or counterfeit products. These kinds of products are always made with cheap materials. This results in dissatisfied customers and lost business.
- Harming your sales and profit margins. Your overall sales suffer if your customers consistently have the choice to purchase your items for products that are below your MAP standards.
- Causing difficulties in controlling MAP. Ensure that you have set agreements with your retailers regarding the MAP pricing. If hijackers are listing your brand for just a few cents below your MAP, then your authorized third-parties will have no choice but to follow, and this creates turmoil.
Not only are these issues affecting brands that are selling on Amazon, but they’re also affecting brands that aren’t listing any products on Amazon. A typical consumer sees a product in a store and easily does a quick comparison of the available pricing online. And since the most affordable option is on Amazon, consumers are most likely to choose your products sold by these hijackers. Removing 3p sellers on Amazon is crucial in maintaining your revenue stream.
Removing 3p Sellers on Amazon: What does Amazon do?
This problem is too complicated, that Amazon has created a program called Amazon Brand Registry. This is a direct response to the problem legit sellers on Amazon currently face involving counterfeit products. For you to qualify for Amazon Brand Registry, you’ll need a registered trademark for your brand. However, this still doesn’t help in removing 3p sellers on Amazon.
What does the Amazon Brand Registry do?
The Brand Registry program helps in reporting unauthorized sellers. Reporting them doesn’t mean that it will remove the 3p sellers from Amazon, but here are the things it can help you with:
- It gives you access to Enhanced Brand Content (top-quality marketing tools) to help your brand’s listing stand out.
- It provides access to the Early Reviewer Program
- It also gives you access to the Global Catalog Identifier. Having a GCID is good for brands for consistency across all the Amazon marketplaces.
In short, while the Amazon Brand Registry offers brands with enhanced legitimacy, it doesn’t close the loopholes that hijackers use every day. You’re still left playing a whack-a-mole game with unauthorized 3p sellers that keep popping up after you report them.
Because of this, you need to find a way to help you completely remove the unauthorized 3p sellers from Amazon. How can you achieve this?
Removing 3p Sellers on Amazon: How to do this?
For you to limit the 3p competition, what you can do is to keep tight control over your supply chain. How do you do this? Start by identifying the 3p sellers that sell your products on Amazon. Once you’re able to do this, you can identify where they’re sourcing their stock. Closing this loop can put a stop to these 3ps from getting a hold of cheap versions of your items.
Below are some ways you can follow to remove 3p sellers from Amazon:
- Limit promotions. The most common pattern we see is a significant uptick in 3p sales after a promotional period. When brands offer discounts, resellers take advantage of this opportunity by purchasing in bulk, at heavily reduced prices. Doing this essentially floods the market with cheap stocks. And when you come off the promotion, these 3p sellers can undercut you on the price for the next few months.
For you to avoid this, you need to set limits on your promotions. This means that whenever you’re running a promotion on Amazon, introduce “per-customer” limits to ensure that individual shoppers can buy up to a reasonable amount specified.
- Brand gate. If you have already done what you can to control the supply chain, but you’re still losing the buy box because of the price, then you should try brand gating. Doing this will allow you to negotiate with Amazon to set a wall or barrier around your brand to stop 3ps from selling through your listings. This can be a very effective way to discourage counterfeiters and resellers from targeting your brand.
- Catch counterfeiters. For you to catch counterfeiters, keep a close eye on the Amazon search page for intellectual or copyright infringements. If you notice anything amiss, then feel free to report them.