The greatest threat to the continued success of a growing Amazon private label seller is to have your brand counterfeited or hijacked by a third party looking to trade on someone else’s success. Once the hijack occurs, it is very difficult to remove the counterfeit sellers, and even once that’s done, the negative reviews left on your listing can tarnish your brand forever. Luckily, Amazon provides a tool called Amazon Brand Gating that allows brand owners to control who can sell their products. For example, as Nike is Brand Gated, anyone attempting to sell Nike apparel on Amazon would need to submit a “Selling application” including authorization from Nike to do so:
While third parties would still be able to list similar goods as “Used – Like New”, they will never be eligible to win the Buy Box. And you don’t have to be Nike to have this protection, any private label seller or brand owner can make use of Amazon Brand Gating by following a few steps:
1. Get your brand trademarked with the USPTO
2. Get your brand onto the Amazon Brand Registry
3. Contact Amazon with a list of ASIN’s to be gated.
4. Follow up promptly
5. Check up regularly
6. Enjoy your protection!
If all went well, your brand should be Gated, which will be a very effective deterrent to counterfeiters and hijackers. Note that this process is not guaranteed, and Amazon may decline to gate a brand or set of ASIN’s at their discretion. They are a private company, and the decision to Gate is ultimately up to them.