There are three main steps to protecting your brand from unauthorized resellers: identify rogue sellers, monitor pricing, and send cease and desist letters to unauthorized dealers.
Step 1: Identify rogue sellers
You can’t take any action until you know who to go after. Today, an advanced monitoring system can scan marketplaces, seller websites, and gray market websites to look for instances of your brand and products.
A monitoring system can also work to connect the dots between multiple seller accounts and find contact information and make enforcement more effective. With information on unauthorized resellers, you can also uncover how they purchased your products to see which of your distributor contracts needs attention.
Step 2: Monitor pricing
In addition to identifying unauthorized resellers, you can use monitoring tools to make sure the dealers in your supply chain are following your MAP policy. This makes distribution contract management easier. With continuous monitoring, you’ll know when a seller goes against your policy. You can act quickly and maintain your pricing power in the market.
Step 3: Notify/send cease and desist to unauthorized dealers
You now have two types of alerts to take action with unauthorized sellers and resellers and authorized sellers that are selling below MAP. The last step is to notify these parties in the right way. You don’t want to send a cease and desist letter to a legitimate seller and possibly harm the relationship, after all. With a legitimate company, you can let them know you’re aware they are selling under MAP and outline the steps you’ll take to enforce that if they don’t comply.
On the other hand, let’s say you found unauthorized sellers who did not sign a MAP policy agreement with you. This is where cease and desist notices come in. Also, if they are selling your products as “New,” you can make a case to Amazon (or another platform) that new products require your warranty, but since the seller is unauthorized, they can’t offer the warranty. This can give you another way to stop unauthorized sellers, remove the listing and solve the issue.