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Counterfeit sellers on Amazon can be a serious problem for private label sellers. These are sellers who join your listing but sell a product that is different from your private-label product. These sellers, who we will call hijackers, can cause a loss of sales and damage your brand reputation. However, removing hijackers from your Amazon listing is possible. Here are some steps you can take:
The first step in removing a hijacker from your Amazon listing is identifying them. You can do so by monitoring your product listings and checking for any unauthorized sellers. You may suspect sellers who are offering your product at a much cheaper price. Counterfeit products can be different from your listed product in quality, size, shape, color, etc. Sometimes the hijackers sell a product that has a different brand name on it!
Order the product to confirm that it is indeed counterfeit (different from your product as explained above). Note, if the product you received is identical to your product then it is authentic – not counterfeit. In this case, you should not report the seller since they are allowed to sell authentic products that match the product sold on your listing. In other words, not every unauthorized seller is a hijacker so a report would generally be inappropriate if the product is authentic.
If you confirm the product sold is indeed counterfeit, you may send the hijacker a cease and desist notice. You can use the following language as a sample notice:
Dear [HIJACKER NAME],
It has come to our attention that you have been purporting to sell [BRAND NAME] products on Amazon, while you are in fact selling infringing products.
Please be advised that we own all rights in the [BRAND NAME] brand. By using our brand name and pretending to sell our products on Amazon, you are misleading consumers and infringing our trademark.
Therefore, we demand that you immediately cease and desist any and all use of our trademark and remove all listings on Amazon in which you have been using our trademark.
Failure to take action within 24 hours will force us to report this serious violation to Amazon, which may eventually result in the removal of your selling privileges on Amazon.
If we do not hear from you or if your violation does not cease within 24 hours, we shall escalate this matter to our Legal Department for further legal action.
If the hijacker does not comply with your request, you can report them to Amazon. To do this, go to the Report a Violation through your Amazon Brand Registry dashboard: https://brandregistry.amazon.com/brand/report-a-violation.
If the counterfeit seller or hijacker continues to sell counterfeit products on your listing, you can file a counterfeit complaint with Amazon via the Report Infringement page: https://www.amazon.com/report/infringement . This will require you to provide your trademark registration number. Importantly, you need a registered trademark in the appropriate jurisdiction to submit a report. So, for a hijacker on Amazon.com you will need a US trademark registration that covers the product you are selling on Amazon. Amazon will investigate the complaint and take action if appropriate.
Consider Legal Action
If the hijacker is causing significant harm to your business, you may want to consider legal action. Consult with a lawyer to determine if legal action is the right course for your situation.
Preventing Counterfeit Sellers or Hijackers on Amazon
To prevent counterfeit sellers or hijackers from taking over your Amazon listing, you can take the following steps:
Register your brand with Amazon’s Brand Registry program. This will give you greater control over your product listings and help prevent counterfeit products from being sold under your brand name.
Monitor your product listings regularly to ensure that no hijackers have joined your listing.
Enroll in Amazon’s Transparency program to authenticate and verify the authenticity of your products.
Removing a hijacker from your Amazon listing can be a time-consuming process, but it is possible. By taking the steps outlined above, you can protect your brand reputation and prevent counterfeit products from being sold under your listings. Additionally, taking steps to prevent counterfeit sellers or hijackers from taking over your listing in the first place is essential. By being proactive and monitoring your listings regularly, you can minimize the risk of hijackers harming your business.