Bypass Amazon's Brand Registry
Amazon Brand Registry With eEnforce
Navigating the Amazon Marketplace as a Seller can feel overwhelming. Especially with the Amazon Brand Registry thrown into the mix. But don’t be fooled – Even with Amazon Brand Registry, there are still unauthorized sellers undercutting your sales and taking the rug out from under you. Now more than ever is the time to protect your brand from unauthorized, counterfeit, and trademark violators.
What is Amazon Brand Registry?
Amazon Brand Registry is a way for brand owners to identify themselves to the Amazon Marketplace. The idea is that it helps protect registered trademarks on Amazon. By enrolling your brand with Amazon through Amazon Brand Registry, you have access to marketing features and supposedly total control over your brand.
Each country has slightly different qualifications to enroll, but each requires these:
- Sellers need an active registered trademark that is located on your packaging. Additionally, that trademark must be text-based or image-based along with text. But it cannot only be an image.
- The ability to prove that you are the owner of that brand.
- An Amazon account
Amazon has had so many issues with brand infringement and unauthorized sellers, they have created a global team of investigators 24/7.
What Sparked the Amazon Brand Registry?
It’s no secret that unauthorized sellers and counterfeiters are a major issue on Amazon. These “sellers” are mimicking your brand, either by selling legitimate products illegally or with knock-off products and then selling them under your brand name on the Amazon Marketplace. This spells disaster for your brand, starting in the form of lost profits and bad customer reviews.
So as unauthorized sellers and count erfeiters proliferated on Amazon, some major brands announced very public splits with the online retailer. Birkenstock, for example, sent a letter to its vast network of authorized retailers in 2016 prohibiting them from further selling on Amazon.
The letter ended up all over the national news. As explained by the popular shoe maker’s CEO:
The Amazon Marketplace, which operates as an open market, creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices which we believe jeopardize our brand. Policing this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible.
In some respects, this public exposé of Amazon’s dirty TPR program forced the company’s hand. It had to do something to clean up its TPR pool or face a public relations nightmare that could have had a devastating impact on sales. That is not a risk Amazon was willing to take.
Consequently, Amazon began offering manufacturers a service referred to as Amazon Brand Registry. Amazon touts this program as Proactive Brand Protection, and claims that its “automated protections use information about your brand to proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content.” The company confidently claims that “Amazon Brand Registry helps you protect your intellectual property.”
Amazon Brand Registry Limitations
Initial reviews of Amazon Brand Registry were mixed, but most manufacturers found themselves disappointed with the program’s limitations. Thus, in May 2017, Amazon rolled out what it referred to as Brand Registry 2.0.
Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 is reported to include several enhanced features to assist brands, including:
- Greater control over content listings
- Internal investigations of counterfeiting claims within four hours of the initial report
- Counterfeit investigations without prior product purchases
- A dedicated user interface for registered brands (apart from Seller Central)
These improvements seem like a reason for manufacturers and brands to celebrate, right?
Not so fast.
Despite Amazon Brand Registry, Unauthorized Sellers are Still Rampant
Amazon Brand Registry does not remove unauthorized sellers from the Amazon Marketplace. It simply is a step for you to potentially have more control over your brand. While it is a step in the right direction, it still is not nearly enough.
Unauthorized sellers are still listing products on Amazon. And Amazon doesn’t tend to view them as violating any laws or rights, because they are selling a product. Even if that product is under your brand.
Additionally, we know that unauthorized sellers on Amazon are a major predicate for sub-MAP sales and price erosion. In fact, one study revealed that the company’s TPR platform causes at least 13% price erosion off of brands’ minimum advertised prices. Given this significant impact on manufacturers and brands, you would think Amazon would do something to put a stop to this problem. But they have not.
In fact, Prime Day has historically been such a hit that other major retailers have suffered upwards of 30% fewer sales on the day of the event.
To date, the company has recruited more than 2 million third-party retailers. 3,000 new Third-Party Retailers (TPRs) are said to join the program every single day.
And it’s no wonder Amazon pursues their Amazon Brand Registry program so aggressively. In 2017, TPRs generated a staggering $10 billion in sales for the mega-retailer. This explosion in Third-Party Retailers has also created a separate challenge of unauthorized-sellers, rogue ASIN’s, counterfeit’s, false reviews and a myriad of other blackhat tactics to gain more sales and to harm brands reputations, and sales.
On the contrary, Amazon is quite transparent about its lack of concern for what it sees as a simple sales channel issue. In fact, on the page where Amazon offers information for brands about reporting infringement, the company says:
“Amazon respects a manufacturer’s right to enter into exclusive distribution agreements for its products. However, violations of such agreements do not constitute intellectual property rights infringement. As the enforcement of these agreements is a matter between the manufacturer and the retailers, it would not be appropriate for Amazon to assist in enforcement activities.
In other words, Amazon is taking the hard and fast position that unauthorized sales do not violate a brand’s trademark rights. Amazon does not provide the reasoning behind its legal conclusion that unauthorized sales “do not constitute intellectual property rights infringement.”
How eEnforce Bypasses Amazon’s Brand Registry
But there is still action that you can take to protect your brand. For all the reasons listed above, eEnforce bypasses Amazon’s Brand Registry to remove unauthorized sellers by:
- Helping Brands develop a comprehensive enforcement strategy.
- Identifying the real identities of unauthorized sellers, hijackers, rogue ASIN’s, and counterfeiters behind the store names on Amazon down to their social security and EIN levels. This includes Name, Address, Phone Number and email.
- Sending out legal notifications in volume directly to the exposed seller at their home or business approved by the brand.
- Forcing the seller off the platform for federal trademark infringement your brand’s trademark.
- Ensuring they don’t return.
- Building your brand’s enforcement credibility against unauthorized sellers and counterfeiters.
Get Your Brand Protected on Amazon
Amazon Brand Registry is not enough for stopping Amazon unauthorized sellers. At eEnforce, we take action to make sure your brand is protected and put a stop to Amazon brand hijackers and counterfeiters.
eEnforce has been helping companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies find the real identities of imposter sellers for the last decade. We are the only online protection and enforcement firm that maintains the legal license and capabilities to identify unauthorized Amazon sellers. We can even locate them down to their EIN or social security number and take legal action against violators of a brand’s trademark.
In a collaboration between intelligence-based technology and licensed investigators, your business is being protected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with eEnforce. MAP pricing, product distribution, quality control, and your bottom line are safe from Amazon hijackers with our services. We uphold your reputation as an Amazon seller so that you can focus on what you do best: making your product and building your brand.
Not only is eEnforce one of the fastest growing eCommerce protection services in the world, but we’re the only company that offers a 30-day risk-free trial. Let us help you keep your brand protected on Amazon.
Since 2011, eEnforce™ has provided eCommerce protection for brands seeking permanent solutions to stopping unauthorized sellers and other online, intellectual property violators.
We are able to find, identify, track and permanently remove unauthorized sellers on marketplaces and private websites. In fact we are able to help your brand get an average of 94%+ control over your MAP pricing in the first 90-180 days depending on the severity of your brands supply chain-leakage.
We augment your brand’s team with our expertise, advanced intelligence & investigative tools, and bandwidth expansion to allow you to regain control over your online, eCommerce channels.