July 12, 2022

Selling on Amazon: Amazon Listing Hijacking and How to Prevent it

To increase sales on Amazon and become successful on the platform, you need to be armed with knowledge on how you can protect yourself. Learn how to protect your listing from hijack.
Selling on Amazon: Amazon Listing Hijacking and How to Prevent it
Selling on Amazon: Amazon Listing Hijacking and How to Prevent it

The Amazon marketplace presents massive opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses. From April 15th, 2020 to January 15th, 2021, global third-party sellers in Amazon stores increased sales by 55%. With the success that comes with selling on Amazon, there are people who work tirelessly to take advantage of the work of others. One of such are Amazon listing hijackers. 

To increase sales on Amazon and become successful on the platform, you need to be armed with knowledge on how you can protect yourself. 

If you are wondering what Amazon listing hijacking is all about, read on as we go through it in detail and provide steps to help you protect your Amazon listings. 

What is Amazon listing hijacking?

Amazon listing hijacking is a situation where someone claims to be selling the same product as yours. However, beneath this, they are offering a cheap, low-quality, or counterfeit version of your product. 

These hijackers attach themselves to your listing. For your customers, this is bad news as they wouldn't be able to differentiate between sellers offering the product. 

A hijacker will usually pay attention to listings of high quality. They reduce the prices of such products to generate as many sales as possible. 

Sadly, when customers place an order, they are actually ordering for a low-quality version of your product. This will leave customers frustrated and will likely attract negative reviews on your product listing. 

Sometimes, these hijackers may target listings for the sole purpose of getting the seller in trouble with Amazon. 

Effects of Amazon listing hijacking 

Amazon listing hijacking is a subtle act that may not seem like a big deal. However, over time, it could have negative effects on your business. Here are a few effects of having your Amazon FBA listing hijacked: 

Negative product reviews 

You may get a few negative reviews on your Amazon listing once in a while. But this shouldn't happen so frequently. 

When a hijacker generates sales from your product, customers will want to leave a review on your page. 

With the quality of the product compromised, customers are likely to leave negative reviews on your product page. This could stop potential customers from buying from you and ruin your credibility.  

What's more, it can affect the health of your  Amazon seller account and lower rankings on search engine results. 

No Buy Box 

Amazon listing hijacking can also cost you the Buy Box. Sellers with the lowest prices typically have a higher chance of winning the Buy Box. Hijackers may get away with offering cheaper prices since they are offering counterfeit products. 

Customers may order the product not realizing that the product isn't really yours. This could cost you a lot in sales. In the long run, it can affect your reputation as a business. 

Low profits 

With the hijacker taking a part of your sales without putting in the work, your profits may be affected in the long run. As your profits decrease, ensuring continuity in business becomes more difficult. It may even lead to debts. With this cycle, it won't be long before your business runs down. 

How to recover a hijacked Amazon listing

So your Amazon listing has been hijacked and you're feeling frustrated. How do you recover your listing? The faster you work to recover your listing, the more you'll be able to minimize the impact of lost sales. 

Here are a few strategies that can help you:

  • Send a cease and desist letter: One way to deal with the situation is to send a cease and desist letter to the hijacker, warning them of the legal consequences of their actions. You can get a lawyer to help you draft a letter and ensure it is up to standard. Some hijackers may back off, meaning you won't need to take any further action. 
  • Report the situation to Amazon: After sending a cease and desist letter, report the case to Amazon immediately. To build a case, you may need to purchase the product yourself. Compare both products, take pictures and notes and keep detailed records of your case. The more evidence you can get, the faster you can get the hijacker away from your listing. Pen down your case with supporting evidence showing how the counterfeit product violates trademark laws.

How to prevent Amazon listing hijacking 

Thankfully, there are simple strategies that can help you wade off hijackers and make it easier to identify them. 

Here are simple steps to prevent hijacking and protect your Amazon listing: 

  1. Brand your products 
  2. Closely monitor your Amazon listing
  3. Get a trademark 
  4. Join the Amazon Brand Registry
  5. Create a website
  6. Offer product bundles 
  7. Get 2D barcodes

Brand your products 

Branding not only sets you apart from the competition but reduces the risk of Amazon listing hijacking. What do we mean? 

Ensure your branding is clear on your product, product photos, and packaging. This will make it easy for your customers to differentiate the original from the counterfeit product. It will also make it difficult for hijackers to copy your branding elements. 

You can take it further by specifying certain elements your customers need to look out for when they receive a product. This will make it easier to prevent hijackers.  

Closely monitor your Amazon listing

There are several ways to monitor your Amazon listing and prevent hijacking. You can manually look at your listing from a customer's point of view. If you observe that your listing has more than one seller, you may have a situation of Amazon listing hijacking. You can monitor your listing as often as weekly, especially if you are running an Amazon seller promotion and sales are going up. You may also consider using a monitoring service like FeedbackWhiz which will send you an alert if your Amazon listing has been hijacked. 

Get a trademark 

One of the greatest protections against Amazon listing hijacking and IP infringements is obtaining a trademark for your business. 

A trademark offers your business legal protection and prevents others from stealing your identity. 

With a trademark, you can easily get Amazon to remove a hijacker from your listing. 

Trademarks could be in two forms. It could be text-based or image-based. The processes also vary depending on the country. A trademark is also important if you want to register under the Amazon Brand Registry. To begin the process, you can go to USPTO and apply for a trademark within your country. 

Join the Amazon Brand Registry

Amazon Brand Registry is a program that offers sellers protection from IP Infringements and listing hijackers. In addition, the program also offers sellers opportunities for branding and marketing. With Amazon Brand Registry, you get access to features like Sponsored Brand Ads, Display Ads, and Amazon Stores. 

As mentioned earlier, you need to have a trademark on your product or packaging. 

When you enroll in the program, you can easily file a complaint regarding hijackers on Amazon Seller Support and get a response as soon as possible. 

Create a website

Building a website is a great way to create an additional sales channel and build credibility. With a website, you won't need to worry about hijackers on the site. Customers who have purchased products through your website will be able to spot any inconsistencies with your product. 

In the case of Amazon listing hijacking, a website gives your brand enough credibility, letting Amazon know you are the rightful owner of the product. You want to ensure your website maintains consistency with your Amazon listing and also highlights your SKUs. 

Offer product bundles 

Another strategy to prevent Amazon listing hijacking is to create product bundles. Selling bundles will make it difficult for hijackers to copy your product listing. This is because they will need to have all the products included in the bundle. Think of products that can easily go well together. 

To get an idea of how to bundle your products, you can also check out your competitor's listing of “Frequently bought together” items. 

Get 2D barcodes

With 2D barcodes, Amazon officials can scan the content of your box without you having to provide content information from your Seller Central account. These codes will appear on your box whether you sell with fulfillment by Amazon or you ship your products yourself. 

When Amazon scans and verifies the code, they can know your product is original and free to be shipped to customers. This can prevent hijackers from shipping counterfeit products to customers since they don’t have the barcodes. 

Conclusion 

Amazon listing hijacking can be detrimental to both small and large businesses on Amazon. You don’t want to lose out on sales, especially to a hijacker. With the tips above, you can protect yourself against hijackers and prevent future attacks. 

Enjoying our articles?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive ePlaybooks insights directly in your inbox. Don't worry we will respect your inbox.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.