Amazon is an incredibly competitive marketplace, one where you have to constantly offer great products at great pricing while being committed to customer service. Even if you do all of these things, there are bad actors that can try and undercut you. One way this can happen is by listing hijacking, a practice where someone notices your success and tries to steal your sales by offering a counterfeit version of your private-label product while passing it off as yours. The goal, more often than not, is to steal the Buy Box from you by offering a cheaper version of the product, significantly impacting your sales while giving your product a bad name and bad reviews.
Listing hijacking is unfortunately all too common across the Amazon ecosystem but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless if it happens to you. Today, we go through how you can tell if you are being hijacked, and what to do about it.
Have My Listings Been Hijacked?
One of the less proactive ways to see if you’re being subjected to listing hijacking is if you notice legitimate bad reviews are starting to come in. This can sometimes happen because people will get a poor quality version of your product, believe it’s the real thing and start leaving bad reviews on your product.
A more proactive approach is to look at the “Other Sellers on Amazon” box on your listings. If someone shows up there who isn’t a legitimate reseller, then it may be a listing hijacker.
It’s important to note that reselling and listing hijacking are two completely different things. Listing hijacking is selling counterfeit products pretending to be yours. Reselling, by contrast, is someone buying your actual product and then reselling it on the Amazon platform.
What Do I Do If I’ve Been Hijacked?
First, you need to make sure. Start by buying a test product. While giving them money won’t feel great, it will mean you’ll have an example in your hands that you can inspect and document if you need to take legal steps. When it arrives, make sure the product isn’t yours, but a counterfeit. If it’s yours, then you have a reseller. If it’s pretending to be yours, then it’s time for a cease-and-desist letter.
A cease-and-desist is a tried and true way to get bad actors to stop. You can use your lawyer to draft one up. You can also use a template online to draft your own. Once you have one, click on the username of the seller, click “Ask a question” and then “An item for sale.” Go through any additional options and then send them the letter. The goal of the letter is to scare the hijacker into stopping before you take other steps, and it often works.
If the cease-and-desist letter doesn’t work, then it’s time to involve Amazon. Use the pictures and documentation of the product (including the hijacker’s info and listings) and submit a report infringement form to Amazon. Detail the issue and how it’s affecting your business. This will usually end in the listings being removed and, potentially, the seller suffering consequences.
Get Extra Help
To succeed as an Amazon seller, you will need to be proactive and savvy, and Wizards of Ecom are here to help. Check out our wide variety of resources on everything from stopping bad actors to maximizing your profits and even expanding past Amazon. We’re here to help everyone grow their business on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Learn more.