As an Amazon seller, it is essential to protect your listings and sales from Amazon listing hijacking. Amazon hijackers are individuals or companies who take over a product listing and sell counterfeit versions of the same product, causing revenue loss and a negative impact on the brand. These hijackers can quickly take over your sales, making it imperative to take proactive steps to prevent Amazon listing hijacking. Today, we will explore the different tactics used by malicious hijackers, learn how to identify if your account has been hijacked by Amazon listing hijacking and outline steps you can take to prevent as well as combat hijackers.

 

How do I know if an Amazon seller hijacked my listing?

It can be challenging to know if your Amazon listing has been hijacked because hijackers often use sophisticated tactics to hide their activity and make it appear as if they are authorized sellers. For example, hijackers may use identical or similar product images, descriptions, and even brand names to make it difficult for customers to distinguish between the authentic product and the counterfeit one. 

Here are some important signs to look out for:

 

Price changes: If you notice a sudden and significant drop in the price of your product, it could mean that someone has taken over your listing. Hijackers often lower the price of the product to make it more attractive to customers and increase their sales. In some cases, they may even offer the product at a price lower than your cost, which can lead to loss of profit for you.

 

Unfamiliar seller: If a new seller appears on your listing, it’s important to investigate them and make sure they are legitimate. You can check their profile, seller ratings, and reviews to see if they are trustworthy. If the seller has no ratings or reviews, it could be a red flag.

 

Negative reviews: If you start receiving a lot of negative reviews for your product, it could be a sign that a hijacker is selling counterfeit versions of your product. Customers may receive a low-quality product that doesn’t meet their expectations, leading to negative reviews.

 

Changes to the product information: If the product information, images, or pricing changes without your knowledge, it could be a sign that someone has taken over your listing. Hijackers may change the product information to make their counterfeit product appear legitimate, or they may make changes to the pricing to maximize their sales.

 

If you suspect that your Amazon listing has been targeted by Amazon listing hijacking, it’s important to take immediate action. You can report the hijacker to Amazon and request that they remove the seller from your listing. You should also consider changing your login information and monitoring your listings more closely to prevent future Amazon listing hijacking incidents.

 

4 Common Tactics of Malicious Amazon Hijackers

4 Common Tactics of Malicious Amazon Hijackers

Counterfeit products are a popular tool for Amazon hijackers. By creating fake listings and selling counterfeit versions of the original product, hijackers can undercut competitors and dominate sales. Learn how to spot counterfeit products and protect your listings from these malicious tactics:

  1. Counterfeit product: Hijackers often use counterfeit products to undercut the competition’s price and take over a listing. They will copy the product images, descriptions, and reviews and create a fake listing to sell their product. Oftentimes these products have small errors, low-quality stolen graphics or missing details that make spotting them easy enough. 
  2. Private label product: Amazon hijackers use private label products that look identical to the original product. They copy the images, descriptions, and reviews and sell their product on the original listing, confusing customers. Amazon hijackers may target private label products to look similar to the original product, but they are typically of lower quality and may even be dangerous to use.
  3. Multiple sellers for the same product: If a product has multiple sellers, hijackers will often try to take over the buy box by offering the lowest price. They will use fake reviews to make their product look legitimate and steal sales from the original seller.
  4. Negative reviews: Hijackers can also use negative reviews to take over a listing. They will purchase the same product and leave negative reviews to lower the rating and make their counterfeit version look better in comparison.

 

Get automatic Amazon listing hijacking alerts

To stay ahead of Amazon hijackers, you can use software tools that provide automatic hijack alerts. These tools monitor your product listings and alert you when there is a potential hijacker. 

Here are some software tools that provide automatic hijack alerts:

  1. Sellercube: Sellercube is an Amazon seller software tool that provides automatic hijack alerts. It also includes features such as inventory management, keyword tracking, and PPC optimization.
  2. Brandlox: Brandlox is an Amazon seller software tool that provides automatic hijack alerts. It also includes features such as brand protection, global search, and listing optimization.
  3. AMZAlert: AMZAlert is an Amazon seller software tool that provides automatic hijack alerts. It also includes features such as listing protection, account health monitoring, and review tracking.

 

The very real impacts of Amazon listing hijackers

Amazon listing hijackers can have a severe impact on your sales and brand reputation. When a hijacker takes over your product listing through Amazon listing hijacking, there can be significant consequences. Firstly, hijackers can steal revenue by quickly dominating sales, leading to lost revenue for your business. Secondly, they often sell counterfeit versions of your product, which do not meet the same standards as the original. This can result in negative product reviews and customer complaints, which can damage your brand reputation. Finally, a hijacker may offer a lower price and win the Amazon buy box, resulting in lost revenue for your business. It is crucial for Amazon sellers to take proactive steps to prevent and address Amazon listing hijacking in order to protect their business and maintain their brand reputation.

 

How to Report Your Hijacked Product to Amazon

If you suspect that your Amazon seller account has been hijacked, it’s essential to report the issue to Amazon immediately. Here are the steps to report a hijacked product:

  1. Log in to your Amazon seller account and go to the Help section.
  2. Click on “Contact Us” and select “Selling on Amazon.”
  3. Click on “Listing Issues” and select “Report a violation.”
  4. Fill out the form and provide as much information as possible about the hijacker and the counterfeit product.
  5. Submit the form, and Amazon will investigate

 

Action: Enroll your business in Amazon Brand Registry

Enrolling your business in the Amazon Brand Registry is an effective way to protect your product listings from hijackers because it gives you greater control over your brand and product listings on Amazon. With Brand Registry, you can create a unique product identifier for each of your products, which can help you distinguish your products from counterfeit versions and protect your intellectual property.

Brand Registry also allows you to access additional tools and features on Amazon, such as enhanced content and reporting tools, which can help you better manage your product listings and identify potential issues like hijackers or counterfeit sellers. Additionally, Brand Registry gives you greater control over your product detail pages, which can help you maintain the accuracy and consistency of your product listings and prevent unauthorized changes from being made.

One of the key benefits of Brand Registry is the ability to proactively monitor your product listings for hijackers and take swift action to address any issues. With access to advanced reporting tools and a dedicated Brand Registry support team, you can quickly identify and report any hijackers or other unauthorized sellers, and take steps to remove them from your product listings.

Here are the steps to enroll your business in Amazon Brand Registry:

  1. Create an Amazon seller account: If you don’t already have an Amazon seller account, create one.
  2. Register your brand: Register your brand in Amazon Brand Registry. You will need to provide evidence of your brand ownership, such as a trademark registration.
  3. Create a product listing: Create a product listing for your product in Amazon Brand Registry.
  4. Monitor your listing: Monitor your product listing regularly to ensure that there are no counterfeit products or hijackers.

By following these steps, you can protect your Amazon seller account and prevent product listing hijacking. Regularly monitoring your listings and reporting any suspicious activity to Amazon can help you maintain a strong brand reputation and revenue stream on the platform.

 

Tip: Add your branding to your product and product packaging

One of the ways to prevent Amazon product listing hijacking is to add your branding to your product and product packaging. This makes it more difficult for hijackers to create counterfeit versions of your product.

 

Use unique packaging: Using unique packaging is an effective strategy to protect your products from being hijacked. When your product has unique packaging that includes your brand logo and name, it becomes harder for low-quality hijackers to replicate your product and sell it as their own. Using distinctive packaging also helps your product stand out and makes it more memorable to customers. When your product has a strong brand presence, it can help customers differentiate your authentic product from counterfeit versions.

 

Use custom labels: Use custom labels on your product that include your brand logo and name. By using custom labels, you create a unique identifier for your product that makes it difficult for hijackers to replicate. It also makes it easier for customers to identify your genuine product among the various options on Amazon. When you apply a custom label to your product, you’re effectively marking it as yours, which can discourage hijackers from attempting to replicate it. Custom labels can also help you track your inventory more effectively and reduce the risk of counterfeits or gray market sellers.

 

Use product inserts: Include product inserts that include your brand logo and name. These inserts can be used to provide additional information about your brand, product, and how to use it. They can also be used to provide instructions, warranty information, or even ask for feedback or a product review. Including your brand logo and name on these inserts helps to reinforce your brand identity and differentiate your product from counterfeit versions.

 

Action: Purchase your counterfeit product and report it

If you suspect that someone has hijacked your Amazon product listing and is a counterfeit seller of your product, you can purchase the counterfeit product and report it to Amazon.

Here are the steps to purchase and report a counterfeit product:

  1. Purchase the product: Purchase the counterfeit product from the hijacker.
  2. Document the purchase: By taking photos and documenting the purchase, you have evidence of the product’s original packaging, branding, and identifying marks or logos. If the hijacker is selling a counterfeit version of your product, the packaging and logos may be slightly different, which can help you prove that they are selling an illegitimate product.
  3. Report the product: Report the counterfeit product to Amazon and provide evidence of the hijacker and the counterfeit product.

 

Option: Send your Amazon hijacker a cease and desist letter

If you’ve identified a hijacker on your Amazon product listing, sending them a cease and desist letter can be an effective way to try and stop them from infringing on your brand and sales. 

One option is to hire a lawyer to draft and send the cease and desist letter on your behalf. This can be a costly option, with legal fees varying depending on the complexity of the case and the experience of the lawyer. However, it may be worth the investment if the hijacker is causing significant damage to your business.

Alternatively, you can draft and send the cease and desist letter yourself. It’s important to ensure that your letter is clear, professional, and outlines the specific actions you are requesting the hijacker to take. The letter should also make it clear that failure to comply with your request may result in legal action.

While sending a cease and desist letter may be effective in some cases, it’s important to have realistic expectations of what it can achieve. Some hijackers may simply ignore the letter or continue their activities, in which case you may need to consider other options such as filing a complaint with Amazon or pursuing legal action.

As an Amazon seller, you do have legal options when it comes to dealing with hijackers. You may be able to file a complaint with Amazon or pursue legal action against the hijacker. However, it’s important to be aware that these processes can be time-consuming and costly, and there is no guarantee of success.

One of the challenges sellers face in pursuing legal action against hijackers is identifying the hijacker’s true identity. Hijackers often use fake names, addresses, and other details to conceal their identity, making it difficult to pursue legal action against them. 

 

How to send a Cease and Desist to Amazon Listing Hijackers

Here are the steps to send a cease and desist letter:

  1. Hire a lawyer: Hire a lawyer, ideally with Amazon litigation experience, to draft the cease and desist letter.
  2. Include evidence: Include as much evidence of the hijacker and the counterfeit product in the letter as possible. Keep all evidence and records for at least ten years in the event further legal action must be taken. 
  3. Send the letter: Send the letter to the hijacker via email or mail. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

Know the difference: Amazon resellers vs. listing hijackers

It’s important to differentiate between Amazon resellers and listing hijackers. Multiple sellers are Amazon resellers listed as legitimate businesses or individuals who purchase products and resell them on Amazon. Resellers are not hijackers unless they sell counterfeit versions of the same product or use other deceptive practices to take over a product listing. Amazon allows resellers to sell products as long as they comply with the platform’s policies.

Listing hijackers, on the other hand, are individuals or companies that use counterfeit or private label products to take over a product listing. These hijackers are in direct competition with the original seller and can cause significant revenue loss and damage to the brand reputation.

 

Can I stop Amazon resellers from selling my products? 

Stopping Amazon resellers can be challenging, but there are a couple of steps that Amazon sellers can take to reduce the number of Amazon resellers on their listings.

One effective way to stop Amazon resellers is to set minimum pricing requirements for your products. This can help prevent resellers from undercutting your prices and eroding your margins. You can use Amazon’s Brand Registry program to enforce minimum pricing requirements, which allows you to set up automated pricing rules that prevent sellers from selling below a certain price point.

Another strategy to stop Amazon resellers is to create unique product bundles that are exclusive to your brand. This can make it more difficult for resellers to source your products, as they will not be able to find the same product combination elsewhere. You can also consider adding value to your product by offering additional services, warranties, or guarantees that are exclusive to your brand.

 

Negative product reviews and customer complaints

If a hijacker takes over your product listing and sells counterfeit versions of your product, it can lead to negative product reviews and customer complaints. Customers who receive the counterfeit product may be dissatisfied with the quality or functionality of the product, leading to an increase in negative reviews. These negative reviews can harm your brand reputation and deter potential customers from purchasing your product. Additionally, dissatisfied customers may return the product or request refunds, which can lead to lost revenue for your business.

Furthermore, if the counterfeit product is of low quality, it may not meet the same safety standards as the original product. This can lead to customer injuries and even lawsuits against your business. You may be held responsible for any damages caused by the counterfeit product, even if you didn’t manufacture or sell it yourself.

Here are some simple steps you can take to address negative reviews and customer complaints:

  1. Respond promptly: Respond to negative reviews and complaints as quickly as possible. This shows that you care about your customers and are taking their concerns seriously.
  2. Provide a solution: Offer a solution to the customer’s problem, such as a refund or replacement product.
  3. Report the hijacker: Report the hijacker to Amazon and provide evidence of the counterfeit product.
  4. Monitor your listing: Monitor your product listing regularly to ensure that there are no counterfeit products or hijackers.

 

What to do when you’ve lost the Amazon buy box to another seller

If a hijacker takes over your product listing, they may be able to offer a lower price and win the Amazon buy box. This means that they will receive the majority of the sales, leading to lost revenue for your business. Here are some steps you can take if you lose the Amazon buy box to another seller:

  1. Investigate the seller: Look into the seller who has taken over the buy box and determine if they are legitimate or a hijacker.
  2. Report the hijacker: Report the hijacker to Amazon and provide evidence of the counterfeit product.
  3. Optimize your listing: Optimize your product listing to improve your chances of winning the buy box. This includes pricing, product descriptions, images, and customer reviews.
  4. Monitor your listing: Monitor your product listing regularly to ensure that there are no counterfeit products or hijackers.

 

How to Prevent Getting Your Amazon Account Hijacked

Preventing Amazon hijacking can save you weeks of frustration caused by dealing with the aftermath of hijackers taking over your listings. It also keeps your sales from being impacted, ensuring that your business remains profitable and competitive on Amazon.

Here are five ways to prevent Amazon product listing hijacking:

  1. Use Amazon Brand Registry: Amazon Brand Registry is a program that allows sellers to register their own brand and protect their listings from hijackers. This program provides additional tools for registered brand protection, such as search tools, predictive automation, and global search.
  2. Monitor your listings: Regularly monitor your product listings to ensure that there are no counterfeit products or hijackers.
  3. Use a unique UPC code: Use a unique UPC code for each product to ensure that it is not confused with counterfeit products. Learn more about UPC barcodes, here
  4. Sell your products on your own website: Having your own website also provides additional protection against hijackers. Since you control the website, you can implement security measures to prevent unauthorized access and monitor your sales more closely. You can also use digital marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
  5. Purchase 2D UPC Codes: Purchase 2D UPC codes that include a company prefix to help protect your listings. This type of UPC code can only be obtained from GS1, the organization responsible for issuing UPC codes.

 

2D UPC Codes Make Hijacking Your Listings Much Harder

2D UPC codes can help you gain greater protections over your product listings by allowing you to establish a direct connection between your products and your Amazon seller account. When you create a product listing on Amazon, you can include a 2D UPC code that is unique to your product and recognized by GS1. This code serves as a direct connection between your product and your seller account. 

When you enroll your product in Amazon’s Brand Registry program, you can use your 2D UPC codes to help prevent unauthorized sellers from listing your products. By doing so, you can far more easily establish yourself as the rightful owner of the product and have the ground to work with Amazon to get your listings fixed and the hijackers removed from the platform.  

Using 2D UPC codes can also help you track your inventory and ensure that your products are being sold in the right marketplace. This can help you avoid issues with cross-border selling or pricing errors that can negatively impact your sales and reputation.

Overall, using 2D UPC codes in conjunction with Amazon’s Brand Registry program can help you gain greater control over your product listings on Amazon. This can help you protect your brand, reduce the risk of hijacking, and maintain a strong revenue stream on the platform.

 

The Global Challenge of Amazon Listing Hijacking 

Amazon has expanded its global presence and operates in several countries around the world, which has given rise to the issue of trademark infringement claims and counterfeit laws concerning Amazon listing hijacking overseas. The laws and regulations in different countries can vary significantly, which can make it challenging to enforce trademark and counterfeit listing laws consistently. This has led to the blurring of lines between what is considered legal and illegal in terms of Amazon listing hijacking in different regions of the world.

One of the biggest challenges with Amazon listing hijacking overseas is that there is often a lack of enforcement of intellectual property rights in some countries. This means that unauthorized sellers can easily sell counterfeit or infringing products without fear of legal repercussions. Additionally, some countries have weaker intellectual property laws, which makes it easier for unauthorized sellers to evade legal action. This has led to a rise in counterfeit products being sold on Amazon, particularly in regions such as Asia.

 

The Final Word on Amazon Listing Hijacking

Amazon listing hijacking is a serious issue that can have detrimental effects on your business, including lost revenue, negative reviews, and even suspension of your Amazon seller account. However, by understanding the common tactics of hijackers, monitoring your listings closely, and taking proactive measures such as enrolling in Amazon’s Brand Registry program and using 2D UPC codes, you can protect your brand and revenue on Amazon. Lab 916 is here to help with any Amazon account issues you may face, including hijacking. Our team of experienced Amazon specialists provide comprehensive account troubleshooting services to help resolve any account issues and get your business back on track. 

Don’t let Amazon hijacking damage your business – contact Lab 916 today for expert affordable assistance.

Lab916_Logo_LOOM

We bring our clients real-world experience in product branding, storefront and product listing management.

© Lab 916 2023,  All Rights Reserved.