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What is Amazon listing hijacking and how brands can prevent it
Brand Protection
5 mins

What is Amazon listing hijacking and how brands can prevent it

Table of Contents:

    CHECK OUT THE COUNTERFEIT PROTECTION PLAN AVAILABLE FOR YOU

    Have you ever noticed an unauthorized seller listing one of your products on Amazon? This kind of infringement is referred to as listing hijacking on Amazon, and it’s a threat all brand owners need to protect themselves from. Listing hijackers use cheap counterfeits to infringe on your brand and steal your revenue, which can be detrimental to your business.

    As brand protection experts, Red Points has helped countless brand owners take down listing hijackers and keep their brands protected on Amazon. Use this information to learn more about listing hijacking and how you can report and remove hijackers on Amazon when necessary.

    What is Amazon listing hijacking? 

    Amazon listing hijacking happens when an unauthorized seller lists a counterfeit version of your product on the platform. These counterfeit products are usually cheap versions of the actual products your brand produces and sells. 

    It is fairly simple for a bad actor to hijack one of your product listings on Amazon. They simply need to steal your product photos and name and can list their counterfeit in a matter of minutes. Once posted, it can be difficult for consumers to identify the hijacked listing as a counterfeit, and they can be extremely enticing for budget shoppers.

    Because these counterfeit products are made with lesser-quality materials, they can usually be sold for far less than your original product. This can entice shoppers who scour the platform for the best deals on products.

    Impact of Amazon listing hijackers

    No brand can afford to have their product listings hijacked on Amazon. The negative impact of these counterfeit listings include:

    Stolen revenue

    If your brand loses sales to an Amazon hijacked listing of one of your products, your revenue has been effectively stolen. In this case, the consumer would not have had the option of buying the counterfeit product, and would have purchased yours. 

    Increased competition 

    If there are listings for the same product at a lower rate on Amazon, consumers looking for a deal will find them. This means that Amazon hijacked listings featuring discounted counterfeits of your product will create competition you’ll have to beat out to make sales. There’s no way you can meet their low rates, considering the low-quality materials they use, and you’ll lose your edge over the competition.

    Poor product ratings 

    Having good ratings on your products is vital to making sales on Amazon. If consumers purchase cheap counterfeits of your products, they are likely to be unhappy and complain. These negative reviews can bring down your rating, damage your reputation, and even cause you to lose the buy box on your products. 

    Damaged brand reputation 

    Consumers want to purchase products from sellers they can trust. If a consumer sees negative reviews complaining about the quality of your products, they are less likely to purchase from your brand. You could also stand to lose loyal customers if they happen to be fooled by a hijacked listing on Amazon.

    How to tell if your listing has been hijacked on Amazon

    To best protect your brand on Amazon, hijacked listings need to be identified and taken down as fast as possible. There are signs you can look for that indicate your listing has been hijacked on Amazon. 

    Here are the signs to be aware of:

    Unauthorized sellers listing your products 

    When a customer is on a product listing page on Amazon, there are a few options that come up to purchase the product. Consumers can either add the product to their cart, buy it immediately, or view the same product for sale with other sellers on Amazon. This is a good place to identify hijack listings on the platform. 

    If you identify that an unauthorized seller has listed your product on Amazon, it has been hijacked. This is important to deal with quickly, especially if they are selling the counterfeit product for less than your listing. You don’t want to lose out on sales due to this unfair competition, which could result in negative reviews when customers receive their counterfeit product.

    You’ve lost the Amazon buy box to another seller

    The Amazon buy box is awarded to the product listing Amazon identifies as the highest-quality in terms of price, customer satisfaction, and seller performance. Winning the Amazon buy box is essential for sellers, accounting for over 80% of the platform’s sales. If another seller wins the buy box, your product listing will only appear in the “other sellers on Amazon” section of the listing. 

    Losing your buy box to another seller on Amazon is a sign your listing has been hijacked, especially if you don’t authorize additional sellers. If this does occur, investigate the seller who has won the Amazon buy box and report them so the hijacked listing can be taken down

    Negative product reviews and customer complaints

    Do you seem to be getting more negative reviews on your products, or complaints sent to your customer service team? This could also be a sign of listing hijacking on Amazon. As mentioned above, customers who have been fooled by counterfeit products will often end up leaving a negative review on your listing.

    Amazon resellers vs. listing hijackers 

    If you do find that there are other sellers listing your products on Amazon, it may not be an immediate cause for concern. These products could be completely legitimate if they are being sold by resellers. So long as they list that the product they are listing is used, Amazon resellers are completely legal and permitted on the platform.

    The main difference between resellers and hijack listings on Amazon is that resellers list your actual products and hijackers list cheap counterfeits. While resold products uphold your brand’s quality, counterfeits are poorly made knock-offs that can damage your brand integrity.

    To identify whether a product listing is being sold by a reseller or by a hijacker, you can see how they are listed. Resellers must disclose that the product they’re selling is used, and this means they cannot win the buy box for the product. If a product sold by an unauthorized seller is listed as new or has the buy box, it’s a hijacked listing. 

    How to report an Amazon hijacker

    If you have identified that one of your product listings has been hijacked on Amazon, it’s important to report it immediately. The longer the counterfeit listing stays up, the more damage can be done to your brand. The good news is that it is fairly simple to file an Amazon infringement report.

    After signing into your seller account on Amazon, navigate to their infringement reporting page. Here, you will fill out the form with your brand’s information, select the type of infringement that has taken place, and any other key information. Once you have filled out and sent in the report on an Amazon hijacker, it will usually take Amazon 1-3 working days to respond. 

    If Amazon does not take down the hijacked listing, you can send in another report. You may have to include screenshots or provide additional information to increase your chances of removing the hijacker from Amazon listing.

    Further steps to prevent listing hijacking on Amazon

    You don’t have to wait for someone to hijack your listing before you protect your brand on Amazon. There are steps you can take to avoid and protect from listing hijacking before it becomes a problem. 

    Follow these steps to avoid listing hijacking on Amazon: 

    Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry 

    The Amazon Brand Registry is a program that verifies your brand and offers additional protection against Amazon listing hijacking. To enroll, you will need a registered trademark for your brand, images of your logo, and additional information to verify the identity of your brand. Once enrolled, it will be far easier to identify, report and remove  infringements like listing hijacking when they happen. 

    Brand your product photos 

    Amazon listing hijackers usually steal product photos from the brands they are infringing on to sell their counterfeit products. It will be more difficult for bad actors to rip off your products if you clearly display your logo or brand name in product photos.

    Get automatic Amazon hijack alerts 

    It is important you monitor for listing hijackers on Amazon, but this can be a time-consuming process. As a brand owner, you likely don’t have the time necessary to search for these infringements for every single one of your products. Instead, you can use Red Points´ Amazon unauthorized seller removal solution to get automatic Amazon hijacker alerts. 

    A software like this can automatically monitor Amazon for these infringements, alert you when they happen, and report listing hijackers to Amazon immediately. This keeps your brand protected and saves you time from doing the hard work yourself. 

    What’s next

    It is important to protect your brand from listing hijacking on Amazon if you wish to be successful selling on the platform. Identifying counterfeits and brand impersonators and removing them is vital to combat this issue. 

    If you are already losing revenue because of listing hijacking, it’s time to reclaim ownership of your IP on Amazon. Learn how you can protect your listings with Red Points’s Amazon brand protection services.

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