In July, the House of Chanel won a lawsuit against Amazon.
The lawsuit centered around 30 Amazon sellers using the platform to peddle fake Chanel items.
While the $3 million Chanel won is a drop in the bucket for Amazon, the lawsuit highlights a very big problem.
Almost every large brand struggles to keep counterfeit items off of Amazon. But, actual counterfeits are just the tip of the iceberg.
Unauthorized sellers, trademark infringers and IP theft are even bigger brand protection challenges. Not only are these problems more widespread, but they affect brands of all sizes.
Marketplace Valet provides Amazon brand protection services. Because we deal with these issues on a daily basis, we get a lot of question from businesses about protecting their brands.
In this post, we’re going to provide answers about how businesses can protect against several different types of brand abuse.
What You Can Do about Trademark Infringers
It costs several hundred dollars to file a trademark. This cost can increase to several thousand dollars if a lawyer is involved.
The reason it’s worth investing in a trademark is it distinguishes your products from all others. So, if other parties on Amazon start infringing on your trademark, it’s important to take brand protection action.
Trademark infringement often occurs after a company moves its manufacturing for an item to another factory. Instead of ending their production efforts, the first factory continues producing the item.
Then on their own or with another business, the factory puts this trademark-infringing version of an item on the Amazon listing.
This activity takes away revenue and Buy Box share away from the trademark holder. It can also damage the item’s reputation on Amazon through negative reviews for lower quality.
As an individual company, the main course of action Amazon provides is a contact form to report the violation. If you work with Marketplace Valet, we will use our experience and resources to proactively guard against trademark infringement.
How to Avoid Price Undercutting
Amazon is known for being very secretive about their data. This secretiveness includes their Buy Box algorithm and its overall usage.
Based on the data they are able to collect, most analysts believe 70% to 90% of all Amazon transactions occur through the Buy Box.
That’s why losing the Buy Box on a listing can tank a company’s sales. Price undercutting is the most common reason companies lose the Buy Box.
This type of undercutting can occur even when manufacturers set a Minimum Advertised Price. The reason is Amazon doesn’t mediate pricing agreements between sellers.
Avoiding Price Undercutting
There are three main steps companies can take to avoid price undercutting. The first is to automatically track price changes. Not tracking this activity can result in unauthorized price drops flying under the radar.
The second step is to send a direct communication. This may take the form of a warning for a reseller with a MAP agreement. It can also be a simple cease and desist letter for a seller that doesn’t have this agreement.
The last step is to make the right kind of case with Amazon. A common example is reporting a seller listing a product as New. Amazon may ban the seller if they can’t produce valid wholesale receipts.
At Marketplace Valet, we can take action on your behalf to prevent price undercutting through our Amazon brand protection services program
Brand Protection against Unauthorized Sellers
It takes a lot of work to create a great Amazon listing. What’s scary and frustrating is an unauthorized seller can mess up all the hard work invested in a listing.
One option for protecting against unauthorized sellers is to enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. This program gives companies a way to register their logo and intellectual property.
After a brand is registered, Amazon uses a number of tools to protect against unauthorized sellers. Those tools include predictive automation and proprietary image search.
If a seller is flagged through these tools, Amazon will review the seller and then remove them if they are unauthorized. Brand Registry also gives companies the ability to list products without UPCs or EANs.
Although Brand Registry is off to a promising start, it’s still far from perfect. One issue is plenty of companies have run into problems completing the application process. This results in an Incomplete Brand Registry error message.
Another shortcoming of the program is it doesn’t protect against all forms of unauthorized sellers. Fully protecting against unauthorized sellers requires a comprehensive solution.
The Best Solution for Protection and Fulfillment
Selling on Amazon provides companies with access to tens of millions of Prime customers. But this platform also presents plenty of challenges.
Trademark infringement, price undercutting, and other unauthorized sellers can directly hit a company’s bottom line. Guarding against these ongoing threats requires comprehensive brand protection.
Marketplace Valet is in the business of helping our customers successfully sell across multiple online marketplaces. We make it easy to set up a product on Amazon, as well as Wal-Mart and other popular marketplaces.
Once your product is listed, we can handle the inventory management. We’ll take care of quality control, barcoding, product storage and more. We can also manage multi-channel fulfillment.
Because our company was founded by a Top 100 Amazon seller, we understand the demands of selling on this platform. That’s why we offer full customer service solutions.
We do the same for strategic planning and advice, as well as advertising and review management. Combining all of these services means we can fully manage and successfully grow your online selling efforts.
Successful products are the biggest targets of trademark infringement and unauthorized sellers. Our brand protection program will ensure your success isn’t derailed by these threats.
If you want to take care of everything from product fulfillment to protecting your brand, Marketplace Valet is the partner you need. We offer very competitive pricing, including as little as $1,000 for a comprehensive initial account setup.
We encourage you to check out some of our happy clients. You can then use the contact information or form at the bottom of that page to get in touch with us!