Listing Hijacking: The Do’s and Don’ts by Seller Candy
As a successful Amazon Seller, you’ve put a lot of effort, blood, sweat and tears into developing a successful Amazon business with a strong presence in your marketplace. Then out of the blue you notice that something is off, unjustified bad reviews start appearing on your listing, sales are down for no reason, and you lost the buy box.
It’s just as scary as it sounds, your listing may be hijacked.
Amazon Listing Hijacking
What is it?
When an unauthorized seller starts selling a counterfeit version of your product on your Amazon listing, this is known as listing hijacking, it is different from a reseller who bought your products legally and is selling it on their own. Hijackers go after your most popular products and then create cheap knockoffs to sell as if they were original.
The hijacker’s product may look the same as yours but that’s where the similarities stop! More than likely their product will be of lower quality and price, in other words, they’ll be able to outcompete your authentic product and steal your precious sales.
How does this impact your business?
Loss of Revenue: The presence of highjackers on your Amazon listings results in money being siphoned right out of your pocket. Highjackers masquerade as the real deal but often they are selling knockoff products while capitalizing on your hard work.
Bad Reviews: We all know how important Amazon product reviews and ratings are! As you’d expect when consumers get a low-quality product they’ll be more than eager to leave bad reviews on your listing – effectively warning others to steer clear of your product.
Hurts Brand Reputation: These bad reviews will eventually start affecting your entire brand, and lowering your rating – I don’t need to remind you how critical is good seller rating for Amazon sales – and trickling down to your other product sales.
Is your listing hijacked?
The first thing you can check to see if your Amazon listing has been hijacked is to do a sweep and see if another seller pops up on your listing in the “Other Sellers on Amazon” box. That doesn’t always mean you’re hijacked, it could be a legitimate reseller.
Secondly, check the buy box, is it still there? If another seller has managed to win the buy box for your product it may indicate that you’re hijacked, but again don’t be hasty, check if it’s legitimate.
Lastly, it’s a good practice to always keep an eye on your reviews regardless of whether your listing has been hijacked or not. But the most common thing you’ll notice is that suddenly your product is unjustly getting poor quality reviews, which mainly happens due to counterfeit products.
What can you do when your listing gets hijacked?
Do a Test Buy:
I know it’s counterintuitive but getting your hands on the counterfeit product is the first step to having tangible evidence that your listing has been hijacked. You’ll need to point out how the counterfeit product you bought is different from your original one.
Do not communicate with the hijacker before you buy the counterfeit, they can stop the shipment and prevent you from getting your evidence. Patience is key during this step.
Send a Cease and Desist Letter
We all know that Seller Support can be slow to resolve anything even if you lay it out step by step so you might be able to scare the hijacker off by letting them know you have them cornered.
Getting a legal cease and desist letter sent over to the bad actor might just make them back off.
Go to the hijacker’s Amazon page and follow these steps:
- Go to “Ask a Question”
- Select “Item for Sale”
- Copy the exact text of your cease and desist letter
At most, you should give the hijacker 48 hours to respond, if they don’t then we move on to the next step.
Do not argue with the hijacker or discuss anything with them, the only acceptable response is that they’re taking down the counterfeit product.
Contact Seller Support
This is where getting your hands on the counterfeit product comes in handy, you’ll raise a case in Seller Support with the evidence you collected by submitting an “Infringement Report” to Amazon.
Seller Support might take their sweet time but eventually, they’ll get the hijacker removed from your listing, so you can turn your attention to removing any unjustified negative reviews and ratings you may have received during this unfortunate ordeal.
Protecting your listings for the future
Being a successful Amazon seller means that you won’t be able to dodge hijackers forever, and eventually, your listing will be targeted. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to protect your business and make it difficult for hijackers to get you:
- Trademark your products: While this may take a while, it goes a long way in stopping counterfeit products.
- Register your brand: You can’t do this before trademark registration, but this will help Amazon recognize your brand and all the products associated with it.
- Project Zero: This is a powerful self-service tool Amazon created to fight counterfeit, it provides automated protection by daily flagging suspect counterfeit products and allows you to remove the hijacker yourself instead of waiting for Seller Support’s investigation.
- Brand your packaging & listings: It’s much harder to counterfeit a product with clear branding and will discourage a big chunk of counterfeiters prompting them to move on to easier targets.
Having your listing hijacked can do some real damage to your brand, and negatively impact your bottom line. The best defence against hijackers is proactively taking steps to protect your business and remain vigilant at all times.
Act fast but do not be hasty anytime you suspect you’re the victim of hijacking the more time the counterfeit product is up the more damage your brand will receive.
But if you’re the unfortunate victim of a hijacking Seller Candy’s got your back, our team of Amazon experts will take that counterfeit product down and help you protect yourself in the future so you can focus on what really matters -growing your business- instead of the back and forth with Seller Support.
Do Not wait for disaster to strike secure your Amazon Business now, Talk to Seller Candy.
Author – Daniel Alsryani