Selling products online is the best way to reach new customers, particularly when you're an authorized Amazon reseller. However, while you may be using above-board tactics and methods, not everyone else is. Unauthorized sellers on Amazon have become a big problem in recent years, cutting into some brands’ profitability and reputation.
Keep reading to learn how to stop unauthorized sellers on Amazon so that you can maintain a strong business presence on the platform—and keep your products and brand protected.
What Exactly Is an Unauthorized Seller?
Simply put, these resellers buy your products in bulk and then turn around and start selling them without your permission. Sometimes, they can use a similar brand name, or they might use a different name. Either way, they're harming your business in two ways:
- Every product they sell is one that you don't. Shady resellers can also undermine your minimum advertised price (MAP), meaning that they can get the Buy Box, so more customers buy from them than you.
- Unauthorized sellers don't care about customer service, meaning that they can deliver subpar products with damaged goods. Improper reselling practices can hurt your brand's reputation or make customers not want to buy similar items because of the negative reviews. (Learn how to generate more positive Amazon seller and product reviews here).
So, once you identify an unauthorized seller, you need to act swiftly. Let's find out how...
How to Deal With Unauthorized Sellers on Amazon
Unfortunately, because Amazon is such an open marketplace and contains over 350M+ items, the company is not always great about helping authorized sellers combat unauthorized ones. There are guidelines and Amazon seller requirements brands must consider when they join the marketplace—but even with these measures, unauthorized sellers still slip through the cracks.
There are some steps you have to take when you discover unauthorized sellers of your products, but keep in mind that the whole process can take time, and it can sometimes feel like a game of whack-a-mole. As soon as you get one seller removed, another may take its place.
Here are tips on how to restrict sellers on Amazon:
- Be Vigilant - Knowing how to identify third-party sellers on Amazon is crucial, as unauthorized resellers use shady tactics. For example, they may make up Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) so that you can't detect them with scanning software. They may also use different (but similar) brand names for your products. Overall, it's best to assume that unauthorized resellers are trying to make money from your products, so you have to actively search for them or they'll keep selling your products without your permission.
- Use Amazon's Brand Registry - If you have a trademark or copyright on your products, you can enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry program. This program gives you authority and a bit more leverage when learning how to report an unauthorized seller on Amazon. If you qualify for Brand Registry, you can use an Amazon agency like SupplyKick to help get you registered and manage claims for unauthorized sellers. Speaking of claims...
- Be Patient - Amazon is notoriously slow when replying to these claims, and many of them may get denied or rejected for various reasons. While it's easy to give up, you have to stay vigilant with these sellers if you want to maintain a strong brand reputation. Being proactive will win the day eventually. Find tips and tricks for working with Amazon Seller Support.
- Do Test Buys - Sometimes, the best way to file a dispute is to prove that a reseller sells a knockoff product, meaning that you have to buy it yourself and wait for it to arrive. In many cases, the only way to remove a listing is to show that the product doesn't match yours exactly. In instances where the unauthorized seller uses your products with a different ASIN, you may also be able prove with a test buy. If you’re able to establish proof, then follow the steps below.
How to Remove a Seller From Your Amazon Listing
When figuring out how to stop resellers on Amazon, one of the most significant problems is that you don't technically own your product listing. Since Amazon owns all listings, you have to follow the company's policy, which may not always work in your favor. So, when it comes to kicking sellers off an Amazon listing, the process is a bit tedious and time-consuming.
Here are our recommendations on how to remove a seller from your Amazon listing:
- Study Amazon's Policies - Amazon’s ability to stop resellers is tricky because most of them are not violating specific policies. Reading up on Amazon's terms and conditions can help you figure out the best way to report an unauthorized seller and get them removed from the marketplace.
- Gather All Pertinent Details - Make a note of everything you can about the unauthorized reseller, including ASINs, product descriptions, brand names, pricing, etc. The more information you can provide Amazon, the better.
- File a Formal Complaint - You'll need to go to the Selling Policies and Code of Conduct Page and click on "Report Abuse." From there, select the violation and enter the information you collected.
- Call Seller Support - Once you’ve filed a formal complaint and sent an email, then give them a call. An email can give you a paper trail and make it easier for seller support to pull up your account. But, calling them is often easier because you can explain the situation better and get an immediate response. While it's tempting to get angry, patience and calmness will go a lot further.
- Don't Get Discouraged - Amazon's reselling policies don't always support the seller, particularly if you're selling another company's products. Unless you're the primary manufacturer, it's even harder to remove unauthorized listings from your page. If you need help tackling unauthorized sellers, connect with our team to learn more about our Wholesale and Agency partnerships (we have experience helping sellers with these claims!).
How to Find Amazon Authorized Sellers
As an Amazon seller, you can broaden your reach and potentially earn more money by working with the help of a trustworthy Amazon Wholesale Seller or Amazon Seller Consultant. In this case, you sell your products in bulk, and they resell them to customers, so everyone wins. However, how can you tell if a seller is authorized or not? Unfortunately, there is no official "Amazon Authorized Reseller" badge or certification, so you have to do some homework.
Here are some tactics you can try:
- Contact Them - You can easily find a seller name and brand on an Amazon product listing, such as "X Products, LLC.” Here’s SupplyKick’s seller page for example. From there, you can look them up online and see what kind of presence they have. Reputable sellers should have multiple ways of getting in touch with them, so if you can't find any way to reach them outside of Amazon, it could be a bad sign.
- Order a Product From Them - The easiest way to tell if a seller is legit is to order a product and see how well it arrives. If you receive prompt delivery and high-quality merchandise, the seller is likely legitimate.
- Browse Their Listings - Just as you should be vigilant for any knockoffs of your own products, you can see if a reseller is trying to scam other brands with mismatched ASINs and product names.
- Check Seller Feedback and Product Reviews - Both of these features are highly valuable when figuring out how to become an authorized seller on Amazon. Reputable brands will have good feedback on their seller profile, and you shouldn't notice too many (if any) product reviews that mention problems like damaged items or knockoffs.
As a top Amazon seller and agency since 2013, we’ve helped 100+ brands tackle brand management and protection, customer service, logistics, marketing, advertising, and more. SupplyKick can help you figure out the complexities of selling on Amazon and take your marketplace presence and growth to the next level. Contact us here to get started.