Amazon Seller Listing Hijacked - Legal Remedies

Amazon Seller Listing Hijacked - Legal Remedies

  • 12 December, 2018
  • Nyall Engfield

You've found a niche for your white-label product - One minute you are selling a pile and are the only one with that product on Amazon, next thing you know there are multiple sellers piggy-backing off your listing. You've lost the BUY BOX, and they may be changing product description and images. How can you regain control of your listing?

What does it mean to have a "listing hijacked"?

This means one of two things - counterfeit or copy-cat products are listed on your listing, and if the copy-cat has a lower price, they may even get the BUY BOX (the default click to buy option on Amazon). If they have the BUY BOX, you are not going to make anywhere near as many sales as you had been previously.

However, there is an even more insidious hijacking of a listing, where the copy-cat takes control of the listing, and then changes the product description, photos and title for their product - just to steal your reviews.

How can they say they have the identical product?

There are a few explanations: i) the product may be coming out of the same factory as yours, or ii) the knock-off seller may have a similar, but not identical product, or iii) they have created a counterfeit. 

If the product is coming out of the same factory, you need to look at the agreement with the factory. Are you just buying products that they created, or do you have exclusivity? If the product is similar, but not identical, it may make sense to update the product listing to point out the differences, so that the similar product can't be validly sold under that listing.

Amazon Brand Registry with a Registered Trademark

If the product is a counterfeit, the best approach may be to have a buyer purchase one and complain to Amazon that it's a knock-off - that will get the fastest response. We have found that complaints to Amazon through Seller Support don't get a fast reaction, and require a different agent for each part of 

In any event, the best step forward with Amazon at this point is to register your trademark in the Amazon Brand Registry. This will let you lock the listing, if you brand the product with your trademark. Don't have a trademark yet? We can help with fast trademark filing and prosecution.

What if they changed the Photos and Description to a Different Product?

You have worked hard with a great product and great customer support to receive 500+ five-star reviews. Not only has the copycat earned the BUY BOX with a lower price, but he is now changing the photos, title and description to a different product. This is a rare, but very serious situation, and you can forget about selling any more product until this is remedied.

The copycat is trying to take your review for their new, and likely terrible, product. As customers purchase the product, they will complain that the product is terrible, and these reviews appear on your listing. You have to act fast to make sure the goodwill that you have developed does not disappear in smoke. 

Legally, you don't own the listing, rather it's Amazon's property.The only one who can rectify this is Seller Support, and this is clearly a violation of the Amazon Seller Terms of Service. The hijacker should be banned or punished. Amazon may offer a new ASIN for a new product listing, but hold out for getting the old listing back, since all those reviews are on there. There may also be external links you don't want to lose.

But if you have a trademark, and your trademark is in use on the product or packaging, then you should modify the listing to feature your brand, so that it can't be knocked off as easily. If you have a registration, you can benefit from the Amazon Brand Registry and lock down your product listing. You'll also receive some features and benefits. Ask us how we can help with Amazon FBA friendly trademarking strategies.



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