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How to uphold an established brand on Amazon

by TaxJar November 1, 2023

This guest post is from our friends at Buy Box Experts. Please note: This blog was originally published in 2021. It’s since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

When a brand decides to officially move onto Amazon, they’ve made the right decision. A bigger audience, greater visibility, more sales—it’s the right move, but it’s also a daunting task. They’re bound to run into a few obstacles, like counterfeiters or inconsistent branding. However, if dealt with correctly, brands can experience prosperity and growth on the e-commerce platform. 

Get brand registered 

Brand Registry offers a slew of benefits for brands looking to maintain their image and reputation. 

  • Branding Control –  Effectively maintain brand-centric content, descriptions, and images without worrying about unauthorized sellers hijacking a product detail page.
  • A+ Content – Replace text descriptions with eye-catching, appealing graphics.
  • Amazon Storefront – Create a custom branded page to showcase a catalog. 
  • Counterfeit Protection – Amazon uses a brand’s trademark, logos, catalog, country of origin, and more as a quality check against sellers who are violating intellectual property. 

Brand registry is the best way to ensure a brand is protected on all fronts. Find out how to sign up for brand registry here: Protect Your Brand on Amazon with Brand Registry.

Kick counterfeiters & unauthorized sellers to the curb 

What if brands find their products already online? Where did these mystery products come from? 

Answer: they’re either counterfeits or diverted inventory. 

If a brand is dealing with counterfeiters, it’s a lengthy process to remove the frauds, which involves test buys to prove to Amazon that the products are illegitimate. It’s a lot of work, but Buy Box Experts broke everything down in an informative webinar, “How To Fight Back Against Counterfeit Sellers on Amazon.” We also offer additional tips on protecting a brand from counterfeits in our blog post, Learn How to Fight Counterfeits on Amazon

For example, let’s say the brand runs a test on the product and finds that it IS legitimate. Then, they’ve got diverted inventory on their hands. Diverted inventory can come from one of two sources: a seller who had no direct relationship with the brand and bought the product independently OR an authorized distributor who sells the product on the sly. 

If a brand is interested in learning more about how to defend their brand from unauthorized sellers, consider reading Controlling Your Brand In The Age of Amazon: The Brand Executive’s Playbook for Winning Online by top industry experts James Thomson (Buy Box Experts) and Whitney Gibson (Vorys eControl). This book covers step-by-step what to do against counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers. 

Note: Part of what makes catching unauthorized sellers so difficult is their anonymity. However, on September 1, 2020, all third-party sellers will provide their actual name and address publicly for shoppers to see. This could make it easier for brands to learn the identities of unauthorized sellers, but there’s still legwork to do. Check out how this new policy affects brands: Learning the True Identities of Amazon Sellers Can Be a Win If…

Manage authorized sellers 

To get rid of unauthorized sellers, a brand needs to coordinate with their authorized sellers. Consider enforcing strict quality control standards and legally compliant pricing or advertising policies such as MAP, MRP, and MSRP. If a seller (authorized or not) is found breaking any of these standards, they can be found liable to legal action. 

Brand leaders new to Amazon also worry about upsetting their current authorized sellers. Have an open and honest discussion with all authorized sellers. Make them aware of expectations and policies in place to ensure a good working relationship.

Pro Tip: Some brand leaders allow their authorized sellers to sell a majority of their catalog on Amazon, but save a few products to sell themselves. This keeps authorized sellers happy and gives brand leaders an edge on Amazon. 

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