Amazon hijackers are every seller’s horror for multiple reasons. These thieves pray on strong-selling listings and take them over to sell them as their own. Because their prices are lower, they usually end up taking the Buy Box spot from you. Not to mention that all benefits from your hard work are now going to the hijackers.
When you notice suspicious activity on your listings, undoubtedly, many questions come to your mind. How long have they been stealing my revenues? What can I do if they hijack my listing? Although Amazon tries its best to fight these scammers, they always find new ways to cause sellers’ problems. However, as an Amazon seller, you can take action to remove the hijackers from your listing or preferably prevent them from taking over.
In this article, we will cover how Amazon hijackers operate and how you can protect yourself.
What Does Amazon Hijacking Mean?
Amazon hijackers are sellers who copy your private label product and sell it as their own. Typically, a hijacked listing is either a straight counterfeit or a slightly edited version. First, they get access to your private label and product by purchasing it from Amazon. After that, they copy the branding, packing, and product design and manufacture it independently.
This situation is especially harmful to private label sellers, who took time and effort to build their brand. As a result of their hard work, they find their copied product listed on Amazon for a lower price by the hijackers.
The worst part is that you now have to compete against these hijacker sellers and lose a lot of revenue because of it. The most important factor in winning the Amazon Buy Box is your product’s price. You can increase the odds by having a good feedback score or using a high-performing Amazon repricer. Regardless, the price matters and hijackers sell the product for cheaper, thus stealing the Buy Box from you.
Not only do you lose profits, but disappointed customers may leave a negative review on your product, scaring off potential customers. If you are an Amazon seller, this is a nightmare situation. However, there are ways how you can protect yourself and your private label against hijackers.
How to Spot Amazon hijackers?
So, we learned how hijacking works and how it damages your Amazon business, but how to know if someone is hijacking your listing?
Previously, spotting the hijackers was challenging. Your options were either to monitoring the listings manually or use an Amazon hijacker removal service. However, the first option is quite tedious, and the latter doesn’t benefit your business in any other way. But there is good news, and it is an efficient solution. Amazon sellers can use Eva’s intelligent tools that automatically detect hijackers and takes action. Since it also monitors your Amazon performance and provides easy-to-read data, you may even notice an indicator that something is not correct.
Regardless, most often, Amazon sellers find out about hijacking through negative customer reviews. In this case, you should investigate the issue and explain the situation to the buyer. In the best-case scenario, you will resolve the problem, and the buyer agrees to change the review.
However, you still have the pesky hijackers that need to be deal with it.
How to Stop Amazon Hijackers?
It’s important to deter the hijackers before they cause any more damage. There are a few solutions on how to remove hijackers from your Amazon listings. However, before taking action, you need to make sure the hijackers captured your listing.
Send a Cease and Desist Letter
When fighting against hijackers, the first option you can try is to confront them directly. Since they most likely are aware of their trademark infringement, calling them out can be effective.
You can message the seller by navigating to their Seller Profile on Amazon and clicking the “Ask a question” button.
When contacting them, keep your message’s tone professional but get straight to the point. Tell them that you are the private label’s owner and ask them to remove the listing. You can find many legal cease-and-desist templates online and use them for a structure. Additionally, you can make a powerful statement hoping that it scares them off. You can mention that you have successfully dealt with hijackers before through Amazon complaints and are ready to take legal actions if necessary.
File a Complaint with Amazon
If contacting the hijacker does not work, you should file a complaint with Amazon. Before submitting Amazon’s Report Infringement Form, ensure you have enough evidence to prove you own the brand. Gather as many photos and details as possible and explain how the two products are similar. Even better if you order the counterfeit from the copycat. Also, don’t forget to document all the interactions with the hijackers for further evidence.
Depending on whether you have or haven’t registered your brand, the process can look slightly different. However, if you can make a waterproof statement of infringement and co-operate with the Amazon team, they will gladly assist you.
Purchase The Counterfeit From the Hijacker
If you have done the two methods mentioned earlier, you can take matters into your hand to reinforce your case with Amazon. In order words, you should purchase the fake product from the hijacker. This method allows you to analyze and record the similarities between products for the complaint.
Another strategy is to have your friend buy the product and leave a complaint about ‘not being materially the same.’ Using terms such as ‘fake’ and ‘counterfeit’ might encourage Amazon to proceed with your case faster and get the hijacker’s account suspended.
Top 5 Tips on Avoiding Amazon Hijackers
Whether you have already dealt with a hijacker or not, you may be wondering what you can do to stop Amazon hijackers from copying your product and stealing the efforts you have put into your private label. There are a few tricks and strategies on how you can protect yourself from Amazon hijackers.
Include Your Brand in The Product And Pictures
All your listings must include product pictures, and especially clear, high-quality images are essential for successful private labels. However, if your brand’s logo is not visible in these images, you should consider retaking the photos. Hijackers are much less likely to copy if the logo and brand are clearly visible in the product pictures. Especially the top-level image should display the brand since the customers see it first.
Additionally, any kind of branding further protects your brand and distinguishes it from copycats. Tailor your packaging, make it unique for your brand, and inform customers how the item is shipped. If possible, it’s even better to modify the product itself to include the brand. These are the tricks you can do without adding outside URLs, which are against Amazon’s policies.
Since hijackers typically target singular products, an effective way to avoid them is to bundle your products. It makes it harder for the hijackers to steal because they also have to find another product to go along with the listing. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you can bundle the foundation with make-up brushes.
Create A Website for Your Private Label
You can also consider building a website for your private label. Investing in a website and its visibility is a great long-term strategy. When the customers search for your products or brand on search engines, they come across your website. Moreover, your website allows you to establish your e-commerce channel. There you can sell the products yourself or send the customers to your Amazon listing. Creating a site does not only prove that you own the brand, but you can start building your own customer base outside Amazon and have direct contact with them.
Differentiated Products Are Less Desirable for Amazon Hijackers
One fundamental way to avoid hijackers is to differentiate your branded product from the available product that everyone else is selling. By utilizing this strategy, your customers find it easier to tell the difference between your brand and imitators. Moreover, it reduced the likelihood of hijackers wanting to copy your unique characteristics. It’s up to you to decide what aspects of your product and brand you want to emphasize. However, differentiable factors could be special packaging, bundles, or added accessories along with the brand itself.
Register Your Private Label with Amazon’s Brand Registry
One effective way to protect your private label against hijackers is to register your brand with Amazon. More specifically, Amazon Brand Registry allows you to represent your brand, report violations, and share information with Amazon that prevents infringement. The system gives you tools to fight fake products and allows your branded listings to compete for the Buy Box.
Remember that enrolling your brand in the Brand Registry does not necessarily prevent other sellers from selling the products. However, it does give you more control over the listings and decreases the chances of getting hijacked. For instance, some of the information only can be accessed by you. The info about product listing’s is some of them. And if someone sells a counterfeit product, you have proof that the brand originally belongs to you. To learn more about the benefits and brand registry requirements, visit Amazon’s brand services.
Having to deal with thieves that want to benefit from your hard work is the unfortunate side of selling on Amazon. Utilizing the strategies mentioned in this article, you can protect yourself against those pesky Amazon hijackers.
However, sometimes despite the best efforts, they find a way to hijack your product. If you don’t periodically check your listings, it can go unnoticed long enough to cause you significant sales losses. But this task is time-consuming, and as a private label owner, you should prioritize your time.
In this case, the single most effective way is to sign up for Eva. Eva monitors hijackers on your listings and either act quickly by switching to the competitive mode or reports on the listing for further legal actions. Eva guards your listings 24/7, and meanwhile, you can focus on building a strong private label to surpass the hijackers.