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Dealing with Amazon Hijackers (Does the Brand Registry Help?)

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by Bank K.

Has an Amazon Hijacker ever copied one of your products and sold it for less in their shop?

Are you curious whether applying for the Amazon Brand Registry will help solve this issue?

As you know, most of my top-selling products were hijacked by black-hat sellers, and they caused my sales to plummet.

Afterward, I tried to deal with them by:

  • Reporting the hijackers to Amazon
  • Contacting the hijackers directly
  • Claiming ownership using my store
  • Hiring someone on Fiverr to help me

(If you haven’t read Part 1 of this sad story, click here to read it.)

None of my tactics worked.

NONE.

Moreover, some methods only inflicted more damage because some hijackers struck back at me.

They reported to Amazon that I had abused their shop (even though they had copied my work!).

The funny thing is that Amazon supported them, and my account got a policy violation warning…🙄

I had to try another method to get rid of the hijackers.

I researched Google and Facebook Groups and found that some people recommended that anyone with hijacker problems apply to the Amazon Brand Registry.

Apparently, doing so can protect your brand and products from hijackers.

So, since all my other attempts at thwarting the hijackers had been fruitless, I decided to apply.

I’d been hearing about the brand registry for years but never pulled the trigger because it seemed expensive.

But I’d already spent more money hiring someone on Fiverr to remove the hijackers…and it didn’t work 😅

This time, I had no choice. I also figured it might be an excellent long-term investment.

I did some research on the Amazon Brand Registry and found that it doesn’t only help you deal with hijackers.

It can also help increase sales thanks to features like Amazon A+ Content, which unbranded sellers don’t have.

Don’t know what Amazon A+ Content is?

It’s a unique feature that makes your product descriptions more beautiful and professional. You can add more photos and details to your product descriptions to increase conversion rates.

Here are some examples:

Amazon A+ Content
Amazon A+ Content

These benefits convinced me to apply to the Amazon Brand Registry.


How to Apply for the Amazon Brand Registry

I did more research on how to apply for the registry and discovered there are two *easy* ways to do it:

  • Apply it through the Amazon IP Accelerator (expensive)
  • Hire someone from Fiverr to help you (cheaper)

The first one is an Amazon program that connects you with third-party services that help you apply for the Brand Registry.

You can find out more about this option here: https://brandservices.amazon.com/ipaccelerator

The only drawback to these third-party services is that they’re pretty expensive. It cost me around $2,000 to get my brand up and running in about a week.

(The good news is you can save at least $500 if you finish reading this article!)

Many people hire someone on Fiverr to do the same thing.

Just go to the Fiverr website and search for “Amazon Brand Registry”.

Amazon Brand Registry Services on Fiverr

I’ve never tried this option. But people in Facebook Groups use it, so I think it works. You could save over $1,000 by choosing this instead of using Amazon’s third-party option.


How does Amazon’s IP Accelerator work?

Let’s talk about the method I used to get the Brand Registry: the Amazon IP Accelerator.

I found it quite easy to use because the third-party service does everything for you.

Just go to the Amazon IP Acceralator page and click “Get Started”. You’ll see many service providers you can hire to get your brand.

I contacted all the available providers to see their rates and services. I ended up working with IdeaLegal, the second provider in the image above.

They did a webinar for Amazon Thailand, so I joined it and asked a few questions.

When I contacted IdeaLegal, they sent me pricing information and questionnaires I needed to fill out. They need to know about my business – what I’m selling, who I’m selling to, and so on.

After I submitted the questionnaires, their attorney (yeah, there is an attorney involved in this work!) took a day to review them. Then they sent me an invoice I had to pay to proceed to the next steps:

  • A high-level Brand Search ($500)
  • File an Application ($1,500)

For the high-level brand search, IdeaLegal will do intensive research on your selected brand name to ensure it’s not already in use by another business.  

If your brand name is similar to an existing one, your application will be denied and you’ll have to pay the provider to re-submit your application.

At first, I wanted to use the same brand name I used in my Amazon shop, so I hired them to do the research for me.

IdeaLegal discovered there was a 50/50 chance my brand name would be rejected because existing brands are using the same words as my brand name.

They suggested three options:

  • Try submitting my current application. But if it was rejected, I’d have to re-start the whole process (and pay at least $1,500 again…)
  • Find another name and let them do more high-level brand research (cost: another $500)
  • Add *unique* words to the current brand name I want. (I’d pay nothing, but have to ensure the final name was unique.)

I chose the third option. I didn’t want to pay more. I added one unique word to the brand, and it worked.

If I’d chosen to use this name from the start, I wouldn’t have had to pay $500 for the high-level brand search.

So, if you want to avoid paying $500 for a high-level brand search, start with a unique brand name!

When you finish choosing your brand, IdeaLegal will ask you to sign another document so they can proceed with your Amazon Brand Registry application.

One day later, you’ll get a serial number you can use to apply for the registry.

But you can’t apply just yet, because your serial number will not have yet been entered into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database. You need to wait for 7-14 days.

Once it’s in that database, you can apply to the Amazon Brand Registry and kick some hijacker ass!


Does Amazon Brand Registry Help Get Rid of Hijackers?

After I knew I could create an Amazon Brand Registry account, I did it immediately.

There is a specific member area for brand registry users. I logged in to it at https://brandservices.amazon.com/ and saw the “Report a Violation” section.

I felt like I was ONE STEP away from removing all the hijackers from my Amazon store.

I filed a report immediately, expecting that Amazon would kick the hijackers away.

I got you Hijackasssss!!

A few seconds later, Amazon rejected all my reports.

They said:

“Thank you for your report of infringement. We determined it was invalid based on previous reviews of similar notices. If you believe there was a mistake, please resubmit.”

All the hijackers were still showing up in my Amazon listings!

WTF? I just spent $2,000 for nothing? Again?

I returned to the Facebook Groups that talk about Amazon FBA and searched for discussions about the Brand Registry to see if it had ever helped anyone remove Amazon hijackers.

And I found this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amazonsellergroupusa/posts/919009388186574/

It’s about the Myth of the Brand Registry.

“The goal of Amazon Brand Registry is to make it easier for sellers to manage their brands and list their products on Amazon.”

“Can other sellers list my brand-registered product?”

“Yes. The brand registry only provides you with greater influence over the details page. Other sellers can still list the same products.”

WHAAAAAAT!?

Other sellers can still list the same products??

 I panicked after reading just a few paragraphs.

But read on!

The key takeaway from that Facebook Post is:

“The only way to remove hijackers from your listing if your brand is registered but not trademarked or copyright-protected is to prove to Amazon that the hijacker is selling a different item than you are.”

But how do you do that?

If you’re a print-on-demand seller, you’ve never seen your products in real life.  

You just launch products you’ve dreamed up, let your suppliers make them, and ship them to buyers.

I read Amazon’s rules. They say you have to *print* or *blend* your brand on your product or packaging. You can’t just print a sticker of your brand logo and stick it on the product box.

So, the way to get rid of hijackers is to put your brand name somewhere on your product, take a photo of it, upload it to your product page, and then report any hijacker violations.

My hijacked products were coffee mugs, so I ordered a custom box for my coffee mugs with my brand logo printed on it.

I put my coffee mug on the box and took a photo of them.

Tadaaaa! My product was now different from the hijacked ones!

I uploaded this photo to my listing and waited for Amazon to update the product page. (If you do this, it might take a day to update the page.)

After I added the new photo, I reported the hijacking violation again from my brand registry account.

I told Amazon the hijackers couldn’t sell my products because the versions they were selling didn’t have my brand logo on the packaging.

Since my logo is trademarked, I’m the only one who can sell products sold under that logo.

That was it!

Amazon removed the hijackers in a few minutes.

Some Amazon Hijackers came back after I reported them, but no matter. I just filed more violation reports.

They disappeared, and there’s been no sign they’re coming back.

So does the brand registry work?

YES. But you need to know how it works.

It’s a bit inconvenient. You need to order a physical product, create unique packaging, and take a photo of them together.

If 100 of your products are being hijacked, you might need to order all of them. Photoshop might work in this case, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Okay, that’s a wrap on my Amazon Hijackers saga.

I hope it’s useful for you guys!

—Bank K.

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