When you start seeing some success with a product, competitors can find your sales data and want to get a piece of what you’re getting so they introduce a knockoff product from yours. This episode talks all about knockoffs on Amazon and what you can do to work around them.
Here’s an example - reusable grocery bags - we were doing close to 4000 units a month and were doing really well. You’ll then run into foreign competitors who have a manufacturing advantage and can buy your product and create a cheaper version with the same product inserts, packaging, etc. They can then sell these on your listing claiming it’s a genuine article.
This is a very common problem. We’re primarily talking about copycats in this episode, there are also hijackers. So copycats on Amazon are those who are selling the duplicate item claiming it’s a genuine article but it’s a completely fabricated copy.
Hijackers are a bit different where they may be selling the real product but they’re selling on your listing and taking all of the sales. If you have a distribution deal with them where you are selling wholesale, you’re still getting paid.
The main tool that Amazon has to combat this is Brand Registry - it’s a tool that you can register for and claim that you are the brand owner, you have the power of removing copycats pretty quickly but first, you have to prove you are the brand owner, in other words, you need a trademark (which can sometimes take 18 months or more). However, there is an exception. Amazon has an accelerated brand registration program where you can use Amazon-certified lawyers, you go through their process, and once you’ve started that you get access to the brand registry tools even though your trademark isn’t fully completed. This is generally cheaper.
Anyone who is serious about selling on Amazon will absolutely need Brand Registry if you want to be serious about selling on Amazon.
If you have a copycat on your listing and you believe this isn’t the real product. Buy the product and submit photos to Amazon of the packaging, the genuine product vs the knockoff, etc. This isn’t a guaranteed way to remove other sellers from copying your product as Amazon essentially has to take pity on you to remove the listing.
If you start selling well, you’re going to run into copycat issues so it’s important to take these issues into consideration.
Check out all the other episodes within our next series of episodes for more advanced Amazon discussions!
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