6 Steps To Protect Your Amazon Product Listing From Hijackers

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I love sharing my experiences and strategies of selling on Amazon. There are so many great things about it (like the potential profit, the ability to sell and not touch inventory, the way Amazon handles fulfillment and provides millions of customers, etc), that people will often think it is too good to be true. Why isn’t everyone selling on Amazon, they wonder? This leads to two of the most common questions: is it too competitive already, and for those who know the Amazon lingo, what should I do about someone who hijacks my listing?

These questions give me a chuckle. And then I give my answers: Amazon is a huge and ever-evolving marketplace where new opportunities emerge every day; and do not let “hijackers” deter you from getting started, as it is a false roadblock that can be avoided.

 

I believe that it is very important to do a competitive analysis before you enter any business, or select any product to sell on Amazon, but it is not smart to worry about an ever-present but ambiguous threat of competitive “hijackers”.

Remember when you were young, maybe you were afraid of some imaginary boogeyman who came out at night while you were sleeping….maybe kept you up, gave you nightmares, or had you jet off into your parents bed. Did the boogeyman ever get you? No? I didn’t think so….My point is, don’t let some abstract fear hold you back from selling on Amazon, there are steps that we can take to protect ourselves and prosper!  There definitely are people who can hijack your listing on Amazon, but we can take preemptive steps to make it difficult for them to do so.

In this post, I want to review what Amazon hijackers do, and how you can protect yourself and take action should something happen.

 

What does it mean to have your listing “hijacked”?

In short, having a listing hijacked generally means that someone is selling a counterfeit or similar version of your private label product. This is particularly frustrating to a private label seller, as we took the effort to create our own brand and product specifically so we can avoid having to compete with other Amazon sellers to earn the Buy Box.

 

What is the Buy Box?

Amazon will automatically designate one seller the default seller of a product. If a customer clicks the “Add to Cart” button, the seller that owns the Buy Box will get the sale (unless the customer specifically changes to purchase from a different seller). Because customers will rarely opt for a different seller of an identical product, “owning” the Buy Box is a tremendous advantage in boosting your revenue.

Hijacking example

Let’s take a look at what this actually means. I found a random example of an item that has two sellers (it should have only one seller, as it is a private label product).

When we search Amazon for “bamboo wood cutting board”, we see the following results:

hijacking_1_

 

And clicking through on that result, you can see that there are two sellers for these cutting boards:

 

hijacking_2

 

If we click through to see who the two sellers are, we can compare the sellers side by side:

 

hijacking_3

 

Based on the number of seller reviews and who created the Greener Chef brand, it looks like the original seller and the creator of the private label brand is called GREENER BRANDS. They are competing against a seller called Nakeing.

Here are the two product pages for each seller, first this from GREENER BRANDS:

 

greener_brands

 

And this, slightly more expensive, from Nakeing:

 

nakeing_listing

 

So in this case, Nakeing is probably hijacking the listing for these cutting boards, because they are not getting the cutting boards manufactured and imported, but instead selling a version of cutting boards that is what GREENER BRANDS created and sells.

Just a note, I do not know these brands and certainly do not know this for sure, I just wanted to use this as an example for this blog post.  

So Nakeing is selling these cutting boards, which may be the exact cutting boards that are in the listing or a counterfeit version that they just send to unknowing customers. If you own the GREENER BRANDS brand, this can be a serious problem, because you are losing sales to someone who is piggybacking off of your hard work of finding a product and selling it successfully on Amazon.

Impact of hijacking

To make matters worse, an unsuspecting customer may purchase your cutting boards, but instead of buying from you, your listing hijacker (ie Nakeing in this example) owns the Buy Box and they receive a counterfeit version of your cutting boards! They are unhappy with their purchase, and leave a negative review on your listing! So you get a bad review for something that you don’t even sell, and this bad review could deter future visitors from not purchasing your product.

This could derail your successful product if it continues. Of course, you don’t ever want to find yourself in this position to start with, so let’s explore the precautions you can take to prevent this situation.

How to Deter Listing Hijackers

1. Monitor Your Listing Closely

They don’t call it “Amazon” for nothing–things can get wild out there! Whether you are walking through the Amazon forest, or the ecommerce superstore, heed this advice: be aware of your surroundings at all times!

Beyond just checking in on your Seller Central dashboard every day, you will want to see your listing from your customers point of view. How many sellers are selling your private label product. If it’s more than one (that one seller being you!), then you may have a hijacker situation on your hands….you don’t need to check your listing every day, but periodically will be sufficient, especially as your sales start to ramp up and others may note your success.

Additionally, if you notice any sudden dips in sales from your Seller Central dashboard, that could be an indication of something amiss.

 

Invest In Your Brand

Building your brand can be a great solution to deterring hijackers. You can do this in several ways.

2. Build Your Own Ecommerce Site

If you are able to create your own ecommerce channel outside of Amazon (sites like Shopify or Square Space make it easy to set up your own ecommerce store), you can avoid the riff raff of Amazon hijackers. This is a great long term strategy as well, so that you can start building your own customer base that you can contact directly, and not be fully reliant on the traffic and rules of Amazon.

Amazon offers a white label fulfillment service, so you can have customers check out completely on your site and then have the item fulfilled by Amazon. Or you can send the customer directly to your Amazon product page to check out.

 

3. Brand Your Products Better

If you create better branding on your product listing, and show that you have a distinct brand and logo on the actual product, and the packaging, you may deter the lurking pirate. The reason for this is because you are clearly demonstrating the brand to the customer, and if they order your product from a counterfeit seller, then it is immediately apparent that their product may not have the branding that your product should have.

So when you are taking your product photos, do your best to show off the branding on the packaging and the product itself. This is a best practice regardless, as you are investing in developing the brand and your marketing collateral, you might as well show this off to your customers!

Here’s a great example of a well-branded private label brand that I came across in the Jungle Scout Product Database:

 

strong branded product

 

 

You can see that not only do they show the brand in the product itself, the packaging, but also in the product listing and product description. Despite being a private label brand, they convey to the consumer in this niche that their product is a “brand name” product.

 

4. Register Your Brand with Amazon

One helpful step to protect yourself against hijackers is to register your brand with Amazon. It is a very straightforward process that I have covered before in webinars and blog posts.  You can simply go to the page to register your Amazon brand and fill out some basic information, like below:

 

amz-brand-registry

 

One thing that you will need to have or create is a company website, which you can do quickly and cheaply with Shopify or Square Space if you want a site to also do ecommerce transactions, or even just a WordPress or Unbounce landing page would suffice.

It is important to note, and Amazon states this clearly: “Enrolling a brand in the Brand Registry and registering as the brand owner does not prevent other sellers from selling the branded products.”

Ultimately, once you have registered your brand, you will be able to control your listing, and less likely that someone will change your product listing without consent. And if someone sells a counterfeit product, and it is proven (with photos and descriptions), then you can have the hijacker’s listing removed.

 

5. Contact the Seller Directly: Cease And Desist

This point is perhaps the most important, so glad that you made it here. And it is simply this: contact the seller directly and ask them to remove the post. Yup, that simple, yet very effective.

You can contact the seller through the link on their profile, which you can access here, in their Seller Profile. This is how you get to the Seller’s Profile:


seller_profile

 

And you can contact them like this:

seller_button

 

Example

And when contacting them, it is best to be short, friendly, and to-the-point. Here is an example template of what I would send (we can pretend that this is for Jungle Stix), feel free to use this verbatim, or edit as you need:

 

Hi {Seller Name},
I see that you are also selling Jungle Stix. However, I have created the Jungle Stix brand from scratch, and have never resold any wholesale items to any other reseller.

 

I own the brand, and have not authorized you or anyone else, to sell Jungle Stix on Amazon.

 

If you are selling a different brand, while posturing as Jungle Stix, then you are selling counterfeit products, which is something that Amazon takes very seriously and will shut down your account without warning.

 

If you do not remove your product from the Jungle Stix listing within 24 hours, I will have to contact Amazon and issue a formal Cease and Desist letter. This is obviously not an ideal situation for either of us, so I hope that you take heed to this note and remove your product from Jungle Stix listing immediately.

 

Thank you for your prompt attention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Greg Mercer, CEO @ Jungle Stix

 

And that is basically as much as you can say and then the ball is in the hijackers hands….if they do not respond or act accordingly, you will want to contact Amazon directly. And that brings us to our last action to address listing hijackers….

 

6. File a Complaint With Amazon

You can submit a complaint with Amazon with one form. You will have to gather your evidence, which means purchase the product from the offending seller, document all the ways in which it is counterfeit and deceitful, and submit it to Amazon.

 

infringement

 

Be as thorough as possible here, with as many photos and details as you can muster, comparing your product to the product that you received from the hijacker. Keep in mind that Amazon wants to protect its customer experience as much as possible, so if it is clear that someone who purchases a fake version of your product will not be happy with the purchase, then they will act on that. This may take time and back and forth, so not my ideal course of action.

 

Conclusion

Having to deal with the shady seller with questionable principles is the unfortunate side of selling on Amazon. There will be people who want to prey on others success and turn a quick dollar, however, I think that there is too much hay to be made to worry about these people as my main priority. If you follow the steps outlined above, and continue moving forward with developing a strong brand with well-curated products and marketing strategies, your success will overshadow the hijackers who feast on the crumbs they can gather from you. Onwards!

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63 Comments on “6 Steps To Protect Your Amazon Product Listing From Hijackers”

  1. Thanks for putting this post together. For those with multiple products like myself, I’ve automated the process by having my VA monitor the products. Some products are more threatened than others (as you mentioned, no branding on the product itself) so these are watched more closely. Usually a nice quick letter from us has them off the listing within a day. For stubborn hijackers, they will stay and the purchase route is required. People must remember you are in this for the long haul- this is just part of it. Don’t look at the purchase route as a headache but a worthwhile expense to defend your brand.

  2. Thank you for your post. It was very informative and very helpful. I do have a question though. I have been told by many other sellers that we are not allowed to contact another seller and request that they remove their listing. Contacting them is a violation and Amazon may remove selling priveleges for doing so. I have been unable to confirm that, yet I am not wanting to risk my account by doing so. Have you heard that?

    1. Hm, I’ve never heard of this before but also haven’t ready through the TOS front to back. Personally, I think its OK but you may want to check for yourself.

  3. Great article, Greg! I have a question about a related issue…

    Whenever I have a special promotion for one my brand-registered products, a seller uses multiple buyer accounts to buy multiple quantities of my product and then competes with me in selling them on Amazon (stealing the buy box 50% of the time).

    So not only I lose money because of the promo, but also later through stolen buy box.

    What’s the best way to stop this seller?

    1. This is a tough one and hard to stop. How are you controlling who gets the coupons? Can you stop them from being able to take advantage of the promotion?

      1. Unfortunately, I cannot stop or identify them before purchase. I was thinking about doing either of these 2:

        1) Since I am the brand owner, I can contact them and tell them that legally I am the exclusive seller and do not authorize resale. (in “new” condition)

        2) Contact Amazon and tell them that I am the exclusive seller and brand owner, so the other seller cannot list as “new”.

        What do you think about either options? Which one is a better approach?

        If I want to contact Amazon, should I contact seller support or seller performance?

  4. Thank you, Greg,for clearly explaining the highjacker situation and providing helpful solutions for dealing with it.

    Your posts always make me feel like you truly care about us and our success. I’m sure this has a lot to do with why you’re so successful.

  5. @Dean….school of business????

    if i buy a plain blue polo shirt with no branding and try to sell it as a Ralph Lauren polo shirt then its fake.

    if i buy a plain blue polo shirt and put a ralph lauren logo on it then guess what…its fake

    Same rules apply to both…counterfeit.

    1. Your argument only makes sense if the branding is counterfeit. That’s now what this article is about. You create your own brand name not copy someone’s else brand name. You went off on a tangent there.

  6. Wow thanks Greg. We are dealing with this exact same thing right now where someone has decided to piggy back on all of our hard work to get to the top. We have already reported it to Amazon and have done a trial order and realized it is a completely unbranded product that they are selling. Amazon is taking some steps but it is slow, so we will definitely try the cease and desist letter.

    1. Is Sundey the name of the seller by any chance? They keep hijacking my listing, then they’ll take it off, put it back, and back and forth. It’s driving me crazy! I’ve ordered their product so that I can initiate the process of getting them kicked off but with shipping from China, it might take another month or more. SO frustrating! I noticed that they have done the same with several other private label sellers so I was just wondering if it might be the same bad guys 😉

      1. No.They are called Boamain and they are from China and we did order and confirmed that it is just a non-labelled generic version. They have almost 2000 positive feedback and its at 100%. They sell over a 100 pages worth of items and it seems as though they are all other private label sellers items that have gone un-noticed. They are running a major operation and Amazon is hesitant to accuse them of anything because of all the positive feedback. It is very frustrating. But try the letter. I tell ya, it worked in less than 2 hours.

  7. Like Tom said above, branded sellers do promos. Other merchants, myself included will buy the product (if the discount is significant enough) and use CCC or Keepa to see the history. If worth reselling Amazon does allow you to resell on the branded page as long as the item is authentic. So when the branded seller asks where you bought it from, uh, I got it from you because you dropped your price to arbitrage levels, then send them a picture. I guess the branded seller could then use the angle that ok it’s not counterfeit but you’re not an authorized reseller and I own the brand. Then have your angry brother or uncle play the high powered lawyer to scare resellers away. You could also claim since it was bought from the brand owner (yourself), it is no longer new and could only be sold as used.

    1. I am not totally sure but I believe the reseller can still sell the item as new if the package is unopened. And also Amazon owns the listing not the branded seller so the reseller has the right to sell the item on the listing because it is their “personal” purchase. The reseller does not have right to sell on other channels though. Some expert want to verify me on this?

  8. Here with an update just a few hours later. I sent the hijacker the warning letter and in less than an hour they responded saying that they removed the listing. I double checked and it’s GONE!! Amazing!! Thanks Greg, your so awesome that’s why I stalk all your information channels. LoL!!

      1. Np Gen. And for the icing on the cake. We sold almost double our usual sales yesterday. Which seems to indicate that the hijackers were taking away a lot of our sales. I’m so grateful to the jungle scout team. Thanks again! 🙂

  9. Some product have not registered brand with amazon but claim that they registered. Do you know how to check that ?

  10. Hi all,

    I have a question, I hope you can answer it for me.

    If I see a product listing on Amazon and I notice that the product is selling really well, I then source out that exact same product from a manufacturer in China. I then buy the product in bulk and sell the product with my own brand name, my own photos, my own description etc.

    Is that classed as me hijacking a listing? And will the seller and Amazon take action against me? Remember, it’s the exact same product but with my own brand, photos, description title.

    Hope you can answer my question.

    Thanks
    James

    1. If you are selling the item on your own listing, with your own photos, etc. then this is totally OK and is what we recommend.

  11. The question “is it too competitive” is very real and it’s getting worse. Many product categories are restricted, especially for new sellers. For example, it’s nearly impossible for new sellers to enter the health and personal care category. Many categories including clothing, automotive and others are highly restricted as well.

    Up to 500,000 new products are listed everyday on Amazon. At some point, the infrastructure and the marketplace will be unable to support this growth. Amazon is well aware of this. In the end, I believe only the very biggest and most experienced sellers will be allowed to list products.

  12. I have the same question as mr.dean has.I have researched and found a product.I found a supplier as well.later I found same kind of product on amazon.so can I go ahead and create my own brand and listing?will that be hijacking..same style same colour with my brand and my images.
    There is no room for any change or improvise.plss reply

  13. Some expert please reply…. Can a reseller buy the branded product at whatever price and sell same REAL BRANDED product on the IDENTICAL listing at whatever price ( nevermind the buybox, just anywhere on the listing) ? Also can the reseller modify the listing in any way? So I am NOT talking about any counterfeit product (similar product, same brand name) or replaced product (similar product, different brand name or no brand name).

    1. I’m not an expert but I will be happy to help 🙂 Yes, many people do this and my understanding is its OK. This type of reselling is often coined “Retail Arbitrage”. If you do a search on that you’ll find a bunch of good resources.

  14. Hi Greg, Very nice article.

    I have tried everything to avoid hijackers and opted the ways to hijack other listing to know how they do that. I didn’t di this to hijack actually, I was trying to find the ways out.

    I cam across some PL sellers who has 5/6 products in their store fronts and also Not in restricted category.

    I cannot find the tab “SELL YOURS” in their listing & also if try to put their ASIN in side from my seller central I gives me a selling on this listing is Restricted. I guess they did Frustration free Packaging approved. Is it So ?

    Can you Pls make a Chapter on “Brand registry ” & “Frustration Free Packaging” requirements ?

    Best Regards

  15. Hi,

    I was curious how your Jungle Stix were doing from the collaborative launch so just searched in Amazon but see that a copy-cat showed up higher than you.

    They basically copied your whole idea, it seems pretty pathetic to me since you did the whole thing as a free training exercise and are giving the profit to charity. I suppose some idiot was bound to copy you. They seem pretty clueless and have zero creativity, they named their product Whole “Stix” (same spelling) and copied Whole Foods logo.

    One thing I did want to bring your attention to is in their product description they copied your text exactly and left in “Jungle Stix” instead of “Whole Stix”:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019YVIRAA?psc=1
    5.GREAT VALUE – Get more for your money with Jungle Stix: 150 sticks per unit will last you through several seasons and many fun occasions.

    Thanks for all the great info.
    Marcel

    1. Hey Marcel,

      Thanks for the interest and the heads up on the similar listing….we did see it pop up a little while ago, unfortunately I guess it was just a matter of time!

      Curious though, what keywords do you search for when you see it rank higher than Jungle Stix? I still see jungle stix higher for “marshmallow sticks” and “bamboo marshmallow sticks”….and I am searching in Incognito in Google to avoid any personalized search results. Thanks Marcel!

      Gen

  16. Hi Gen,

    I can’t remember exactly what I searched on the other day but
    I’ve searched a few more times. They seem to rank higher for ‘bamboo marshmallow SKEWERS’. Right now, you guys show up above them as a sponsored link. They appear to be the first organic result. It’s ‘Out Walkabout’ brand bidding higher than you on PPC, then Jungle Stix, then Whole Stix (no PPC). So maybe you didn´t have ppc running at the time I searched the other day…

    For ‘Sticks’ you rank higher.

    -Marcel

    1. Ah, good call, thanks Marcel…it is is the Bamboo Marshmallow Skewers that they are ranking for above us. Thanks for the headsup. Stay tuned, there should be a post on Jungle Stix soon, also addressing the competition.

  17. I have listed a complaint at Amazon about a hijacker listing against our product. We sell with our logo on the bottom of our products and the hijacker doesn’t. We even had a written statement from our supplier that we are the only seller they deliver to with our logo on the bottom.

    We provided the images and statement to Amazon but they responded by saying it was not enough evidence. I think it’s the world upside down. I hate these hijacking lazy parasites!

    Now I have a unpacking video made by a US buyer to convince Amazon.

    I really think Amazon should protect their sellers much much better against this scum.

  18. Greg,
    Do I need to register a Brand Name as a trade mark before I can use it? Did you trademark the Jungle Stix brand before selling on Amazon?

    1. Hi Andrew,

      No, you do not need to trademark before you start selling on Amazon (assuming you are not using a name that is already trademarked).

      Gen

  19. Greg!!! I need your help! Please !!
    I got hijacked this week for first time from 3 sellers all “just launched” sellers I’m sure my competitors did it. They not selling the exact product, they decrease the price to very low, and I lost my buy box, and the ranking of my product due to this attack. I did almost everything you mention but : 1. didn’t succeed to brand registry cause now Amazon ask for trademark as a must requirement and it will take time till my application for trademark to be accepted. 2. I can’t take photos yet of their product cause they release their inventory slow – so it will arrive in 10 days (although I have prime)

    I reported to Amazon and called them 20 times and nothing happen.
    Please help!!!!!
    (I’m jungle scout client and your fan !)

    1. Hey Maya,

      Sorry to hear you are having issues with hijacking. It sounds like you are doing everything right in terms of getting the trademark process underway so you can brand your product better.

      The only other steps I can suggest are to continue and be really persistent with Amazon support. I know it’s not ideal but you might eventually get somewhere. I like to use the call back feature and speak to representatives on the phone, but you can also try the email support and see which you get most progress with.

      Definitely persist with taking photographs of the counterfeit items too, when they arrive, so that you have evidence.

      Another step you can try is step 5 in this blog post, contact the sellers directly and ask them to remove the listing.

      Hope you get to the bottom of this soon!
      Kym

  20. Hi,
    Thank you very much for this awesome post.
    I have a question regarding case I am dealing with right now.
    I have a product that I am selling on amazon under PL. I check the product I buy myself to make sure they are of good quality also I created the listing from scratch under a UPC that I purchased with photos I took. The first batch of the product I sent doesn’t have any logo on them as they were the trial initial batch.
    Now I have somebody who is hijacking my listing. I emailed them and they said they will remove the listing but didn’t.
    I was wondering if I can report them to Amazon. I have my brand name set as the manufacturer and I haven’t authorized anybody to sell my products.
    Brand is not registered with Amazon as the brand registry option is not open.
    I appreciate your advice.

  21. Hi! Another seller has bought one of my products and is reselling it on Amazon as “NEW”. is he allowed to do this or does he need to mark it as “USED” or “AS NEW”?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Hazel,

      Does the seller just have the one unit? If so, it might be a lot of effort for you to try and get this taken down for the sake of one unit. You could try sending a cease and desist notice to them, or reporting it to Amazon support. Even if they are sourcing your exact product and using your private label branding, it can still be a painstaking process to get Amazon to take action on your behalf unless you are in the Brand Registry.

      I would definitely consider planning to get a trademark and entering Brand Registry in the future, if you intend to sell this product for a long stretch of time. It has many benefits, added protection being one of them, which is really useful in these situations.

      Additonally, here’s a useful post about preventing hijacking.

      Hope this helps!

      Kym

  22. Is entering Brand Registry the ONLY way to prevent other Amazon sellers from selling your product? We have a problem with people stealing our product and selling it on Amazon for well below MAP price. Amazon has thus far been zero help.

    1. Hey Lauren,

      Sorry to hear you are having issues with hijackers.

      Brand Registry certainly is the best way to protect your product and get Amazon’s support on these issues, however it does take a while to get now as you require a registered trademark.

      You can try to get Amazon to help you out without BR, but as you say results aren’t always what you had hoped for. You can also send out cease and desist letters but if there are multiple people doing this that might be a waste of time.

      Other tactics some sellers use are to bundle the product and make it harder to copy whilst adding value to their own offering.

      Good luck with everything and let us know how you get along!
      Kym

  23. Hi! I want to sell a product and it has a generic brand, which is sold by a few Alibaba suppliers. A few sellers are selling this same product. I understand that I need to create my own brand (will but the MOQ is too high for the product), use my own photos (will for sure)… Could adding a small product to my main product be a way to discourage hijackers? It would show on the first picture. Unless they order this exact small product, the offer is different…
    Thanks

    1. Vero,

      That’s one way, for sure. In addition to that, I recommend looking for a way to improve upon the product. The easiest way to do that is through reading the reviews. Also, if it’s a product that you’re a fan of already, you may know yourself. Doing all these things will discourage hijackers, for sure.

      Finally, a little more advanced method, is simply getting a trademark and entering your product in Amazon’s brand register. There’s costs associated and it can take up to 12 months to get approved, but in the end it’s worth it since you’ll have final say in what happens with your product.

      Hope that’s helpful.

  24. Hi
    I Started selling on amazon, i was earning good i hired an employee who was very much in need of a job, he created a list of product which were selling and he closed that listing(which has high margins), from my account i was unaware of the situation, i thought he was working for me and left the account with him, he copied all which were selling even supplier details all which i have created and my mock up images and all my design files, he started his own brand by just removing name and replaced with his. Is there anything i can do.

    1. Dave,

      Man, that SUCKS. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s much you can do other than bring an attorney into it and sue the guy. You might also try reaching out to us for our seller stories to help future sellers become aware of these practices.

  25. My comment is also an observation, as well as a suggestion. I’m doing research to become a seller, and now am aware of the “highjacking” phenom. As a long time Amazon purchaser, I never even considered this when looking up things I wanted to order. but now I have knowledge. and now I have some sense of how to identify hijackers, and NOT choose to buy from them, knowing what they do to hard working people. so maybe you catch my drift here. by making Amazon USERS AWARE OF UNETHICAL PRACTICES, the PEOPLE themselves can help police this, and also put pressure on Amazon. nobody lays down the pressure more than cash customers.
    You see, Amazon will only comply with what they have to legally, and rightfully so. they make money on EVERYONE’S account, wether it be a buyer, a legit seller or an unethical seller. Amazon gets fees either way.
    So let the people be aware, and help make the changes that are needed.

  26. I have unfortunately had this happen to me with two different hijackers in the past two weeks. I figured that I’d rather lower my price to beat them in the buy box until I send them the cease and desist letter and they hopefully get out themselves. I was able to get one out and now I am dealing with the second who haven’t left yet.
    It shows that he has 10 left in stock, so I just ordered a product from him and it went down to 9. I will start the process of contacting seller support to report him once I get the product, I know nobody has ordered a total of 10, ever!
    I can’t wait to get my trademark, which I’ve already applied for, so that I can have my brand page and hopefully keep this from happening….it’s very stressful dealing with hijackers!!! I feel I’m on the lookout all day!!!
    Thanks for your post, sometimes I’ve felt I’m the only one this happens to! Specially when amazon seller support says that this is legal and there’s nothing they will do about it without proof!!!

  27. Thanks for the info Greg (and all commenters). We’ve just become aware of a widespread hijacking issue across most of the branded products we sell on Amazon. The bit that’s confusing me is, they’re selling for upwards of double our price…so how are they winning the buy box?
    I’d welcome your thoughts. In the meantime I’m going to keep on at seller support and keep gathering evidence.

    1. I believe Amazon sets the buy box based on the average price its sold for, and sometimes not necessarily lowest. I have a book that I’m selling on my own account that I had listed for $20… but the buy box had it as $58.95. And the same seller each time! From what I’ve heard, the Buy Box is for sellers who are within 30% of the average sales price who are in relatively good standing with Amazon (seller rating, account health, etc).

  28. Hi everyone,

    I have a question.. So when I match to an existing listing which is a PL product, then I suppose I am a hijacker, right?
    So If I don’t have a brand name registered yet and even if it’s in process until I get the number issued, what are my options to sell the product?
    Will I be able to create my PL listing without having a Brand Registry?
    Or do I need to create a match to an existing listing and just carefully select the one that is not a private label?

    I just don’t want to be a hi-jacker…

    1. Hi Evgeniia,

      You do not need Brand Registry to create a new product listing to sell as a private label seller.

      Instead you would need to get a GTIN/Barcode from GS1 and then create a brand new listing for your product with this barcode. Then you create a new product listing for your product and would be the only seller on the buy box for that listing.

      Private label sellers usually sell products that already exist, but do not have any patents or intellectual property restrictions. Many sellers will make improvements to a product that already exists to differentiate themselves in the market.

      Many thanks,
      Kym

  29. “….Amazon states this clearly: “Enrolling a brand in the Brand Registry and registering as the brand owner does not prevent other sellers from selling the branded products.”…. Clearly this a BS statement. Anyone wants to sell the same product should obtain written authorization from default seller. Amazon SHOULD add this clause BEFORE hijacker post a listing. Having DEFAULT SELLERS SENDING CEASE & DESISTS or BUYING ITS OWN PRODUCTS IS RIDICULOUS!

    1. Yeah, it’s a pain. But from what I’ve heard of big time Amazon attorneys, even the big brands have to deal with this headache.

      I hope that eventually Amazon decides to draw a line in the sand and support the sellers a bit more on this issue.

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