Duplicate Listings and Brand Protection

How to Protect Your Brand From Duplicate Listings Abuse?

In the previous post of this series, we talked about what duplicate listings are, why Amazon (and everyone else as a matter of fact) doesn’t like them and how sellers can deal with self-created duplicate listings mistakenly made for their products.

This post will move deeper into the topic and talk about duplicate listings that are DELIBERATELY created by rogue sellers in the market to misuse Amazon’s ranking system and damage other sellers, in competition with them. 

So let’s dive in straight away and see how you can protect your brand from bad actors that hijack away your fair share of sales.

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Unauthorized Duplicate Listings and Why Should You Care?

Amazon is an open marketplace which means anyone can join. This, by default, means that not all who enter are angelic. It is common for flourishing brands to be at risk of many listing threats, such as duplicate listings, copyright/trademark infringement, counterfeiters, hijacking worries, etc if…. they don’t have the right expertise and knowledge at hand. Once your listings start to gain traction, you come into the eyes of black hat sellers, and it becomes necessary to have the tools to protect your hard-earned success from being taken advantage of.

How Unauthorized Duplicate Listings Can Harm Your Brand? Amazon requires a single product to be listed only once. When multiple sellers sell the same product, they are all listed on the same product page. Who gets to make the sales (or the most sales) is decided by multiple factors of buy box rotation, such as account health, inventory, service quality, seller feedback, etc.

This allows the brands and Amazon to keep tabs on the activity happening over their product pages, maintain brand consistency and present a healthy challenge for sellers to strive for the best performance. However, not everyone wants to play the fair card. Black hat sellers try to short-change the process by making duplicate listings to bypass the buy-box competition and sneak their way to the top. Not only does this mislead customers, bring poor customer experience, and clutter the search pages, it increases undue competition for the original sellers and dilutes sales.

Another motive behind unauthorized listing duplicates is unscrupulous hijacking attempts made by the black hats to take advantage of someone’s hard work and get the original seller’s listings deleted from the platform. Rogue sellers can try to manipulate the system and strike false complaints or merge requests at YOUR legitimate listings when precautions are not taken to maximize protection. Among many other problems, you can also experience piggybacking or counterfeiters illegally selling low-quality counterfeit products under your brand name to make a few quick bucks and misrepresent your brand, adversely affecting your brand’s reputation and customer base.

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How to Protect Your Brand From Duplicate Listings Abuse?

BRAND REGISTRY: Amazon brand registry comes with incredible benefits and is a prerequisite to powerful protection tools that are your best bet to safeguard your Amazon business. It allows Amazon to identify brand owners and get brands linked back to them on the platform. This gives brand owners ownership of content , protection from various hijacking/infringement/counterfeit attempts, and 10x times better control of how their brand operates through brand monitoring tools, better marketing options, and data-powered authenticity programs. 

BRAND GATING: The next step is to protect your intellectual property and try getting your brand gated by Amazon. This program provides a digital moat around a brand’s product listings and prevents resellers from selling your products without proof of your approval. All you need to do is get your amazon-registered brand and submit the list of ASINs experiencing counterfeiting to seller support.  

AMAZON’S PROJECT ZERO:  Another game-changing self-service program to maximize brand protection. Project Zero allows brand-registered sellers to distinguish between their original listings from duplicates and remove them without having to wait for Amazon’s approval. The program also has other incredible features like 1) automated protection, which uses machine learning to automatically scan and remove unauthorized duplicates, and 2) product serialization, which uses product codes to stop non-original products before they reach the customers. You can also go a step further with Amazon transparency which is similar to the product serialization feature of project zero.

ASIN-MERGING: ASIN merging is also very effective in knocking off unauthorized duplicate listings from the search results, having a solid hold on brand protection, and gaining a tremendous boost in organic rankings. The first step is to confirm from Amazon if your listing is cataloged as the original listing in their database (It should be if you are the brand owner). You can then simply ask Amazon through the merge request form in Seller Support by stating the reason for the request. Since it is deemed urgent, Amazon’s response usually takes a day or even less. 

USE FNSKU INSTEAD OF UPC:  FNSKUs are Amazon-provided barcodes better suited for products sold on Amazon than UPC. They provide seller identification and help strengthen your protection against rogue duplicates or counterfeits.

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Final Thoughts 

With the perks that Amazon provides its sellers, there are also some tough brand protection challenges that require the right effort, expertise, and strategy to sustain your hard-earned brand success. More than 78% of brands prefer services from brand monitoring experts like Mr. Jeff to help them quickly identify and battle threats like duplicate listings, counterfeit issues, hijacking, etc. You can, too, throw the extra burden off your shoulders and double up your protection, save time, money, and worries. 

Let’s connect through the form below to get started.

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