If you have never heard the word “hijack” – congratulations, you have missed so many problems. Hijackers on Amazon are among the most annoying issues that any entrepreneur working on the Private Label model can face.
In this article, we will discuss how to protect your business from hijackers and answer the question of what to do if the attack on the listing (product) has already taken place.
- 1 Who are hijackers?
- 2 Hijackers do not attack Amazon listings? It’s a lie!
- 3 What to do if you have already fallen as a victim to a hijacker
- 4 Summary
Who are hijackers?
Amazon hijackers are people who try to steal your listing or push you out of it instead of creating their own.
Hijackers can be Chinese manufacturers or suppliers, sellers from Alibaba or Aliexpress. They can also be sellers of counterfeit products or even bots that work according to a specific algorithm, and thanks to the unique criteria, they can be automatically attached to other people’s listings.
Hijackers on Amazon can be divided into several types, but you need to understand that the division here will be entirely conditional.
- Imposter – he is most often “attached” into your listing to sell the same product, but still cheaper. In the case of the sale of goods that can be purchased in the US retail network or on a large number of online platforms, this model of “business” is called dropshipping. But here, we refer to the Private Label model, where the product is unique and usually belongs to only one entrepreneur or his team.
How can such sellers appear in your listing? The two most common causes are either one-time sales of your customers who sell goods obtained from reviews. Or worse, the products of your supplier from China or another country.
- Counterfeiter, the seller of counterfeit goods – this “attacher” operates on a different principle. Its purpose is to sell your product on your listing, which does not match yours in quality, and sometimes even in appearance. And this is one of the worst-case scenarios because, thanks to such sales, negative reviews will soon pour into the listing, first lowering the product rating and then the BSR listing to the very depths of Amazon’s search results.
- Competitor or saboteur – another very unpleasant company, and he certainly did not come to make money directly on your listing. Its purpose is not to let you earn – neither now nor in the future. By having control over the listing, such scammers can change the titles, description, photos of the product and even organize the cheating of negative reviews (although the last action, complete control over the listing is not required).
Hijackers do not attack Amazon listings? It’s a lie!
The situation with hijackers seems to occur only with a few sellers on the Amazon platform due to sellers’ inexperience. For a long time, there was a popular idea among Amazon entrepreneurs that hijackers can not attack Amazon brands’ listings. However, this theory was refuted in 2019 by The Verge magazine, which published an article on “Even Amazon’s own product are getting hijacked by imposter sellers” (link to this material)
How to deal with hijackers? Practical steps
Let’s look at some tactics for stopping high-hackers:
Step 1: Protect your listing from hijacking due to the complex, unusual configuration of your product
Add to your product any item that will become a difficulty for your competitors to counterfeit. There is no need to come up with anything so complicated. Just add a component purchased from another manufacturer. So, if someone wants to duplicate your listing, they will have to look for the products included in your kit from different manufacturers – and this is much more difficult than selling a single product.
Step 2: Brand! Brand! Brand!
The second method that will make it difficult to break the product’s listing quickly and copy – place your Private Label’s logo on the packaging and on the product itself. If your product’s photo shows your brand’s name, it will be much harder for hijackers to counterfeit it.
During the production of your item, take the time to unique it. If you just replaced the manufacturer’s standard color with your own, and that’s all that distinguishes the product under your Private Label from the catalog of a conventional Chinese factory, then don’t be surprised when “uninvited guests” appear in your listing. As we mentioned above, you should endow your product with uniqueness, and such components will be much more challenging to copy.
Step 3: Brand Registry – the answer to many problems
Registering your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry is another way to put sticks in the wheels of potential hijackers. By registering your brand, you should better control the name and description of your listing. And if someone steals your brand or fakes your product, you can complain to Amazon and demand removing the fake listing.
Finally, consider registering your copyright or trademark in the country where you intend to make the sale. Thus, in addition to fighting hijackers under the Amazon Agreement, you will have the opportunity to prosecute them for copyright infringement.
Step 4: Build good relationships with your suppliers
If you build a good business relationship with suppliers, they by themselves will warn you of any possible hijackers who want to forge your listing.
Most sales agents globally are young people in their early twenties who know English at a reasonable level. By introducing them to your culture and showing them that you are open to dialogue, you will build a strong business relationship with them without much effort. Even if you can’t get as close to them as if you lived next to them and saw each other regularly, it would still give you a trump card in the fight against hijackers.
Step 5: Continuous monitoring of listings
View your listings regularly, not only through Seller Central but also through the search bar on Amazon itself. Your task is to see the listing as your client sees it.
If you have hundreds of products and thousands of variations, you should first track the condition of those products that sell well. They can be the target of hijackers, and outsiders are of little interest to them.
What to do if you have already fallen as a victim to a hijacker
1. Write letters
If the hijacker is new to stealing other people’s listings, he can be forced to leave you alone with threatening letters. To do this, through the Storefront “seller-hijacker” you should write him a message.
After sending the letter, you can wait 24 hours, hoping that the hijacker will change his mind and disappear by itself. If this does not happen, then proceed to step №2.
2. Send a complaint of copyright infringement (Trademark Infringement)
You will need this step if you have previously registered in the United States the rights to the following:
- Design patent
- Listing copywriting
3. Send a complaint to the seller (in our case, a hijacker)
To complain about another Amazon reseller, please follow these steps:
Seller Central> Help> Contact Us
Next: Selling on Amazon> Other Issues> Report a Violation
Don’t write long messages. Briefly and in essence, describe the situation: Your product is sold by another Amazon seller who did not receive from you the right not to resell, and therefore, you suspect that he is selling a counterfeit product, endangering both your reputation and the reputation of Amazon.
4. Buy a hijacker’s product
Ideally, it is to make this step, not on your own, but with the help of someone you know, ideally in the US – so the goods will be delivered faster and, accordingly, you will move quickly to the next steps. The sequence of the redemption complaint is as follows:
- Buy a hijacker’s product (either from another account or through friends);
- Wait for the goods’ delivery and take a few photos that prove that the goods do not match the description and do not contain the logos of your Private Label. If the hijackers somehow managed to copy your logo – try to take a photo so that the logo is not visible.
5. Surround the hijacker with spam
Some experienced sellers recommend taking another step: memorize the hijacker’s box with complaints letters. You must do this from multiple accounts. Experienced “Amazoners” claim that the fact that so many complaints can be noticed by Amazon (“Big Brother is watching you and reads your letters”), but we will not say that this is an effective method of solving the problem;
As you may have noticed, if hijackers appear on your Amazon listing, this is not a verdict on your product. By applying a strategy to prevent hijackers from appearing on your listing, as well as following an action plan to combat them in the event of an attack, you will protect yourself from the risk of losing profits and all the inconveniences that come with it!
Of course, not every seller wants to fight hijackers – a lot of time to study the problem and write letters, buy goods, and competition with unscrupulous entrepreneurs is not intended to make you the winner in the end. Therefore, sellers often turn to professionals in this field, such as our company AMZ-Expert.
Want to protect yourself from hijackers? Use our “Hijack removal services” or get a free consultation of our experts on your problem, during which you will learn about the features of the procedure, its cost, and timing.
Don’t hesitate to contact AMZ-Expert team for more information.
If you have any questions or need any assistance don’t hesitate to contact us: