Amazon Seller FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Brand Registry is designed to control your brand’s representation and offer access to tools that increase your product sales, expand your ad options, and protect your listings from copyright and trademark violations. Tools like A+ Content, Stores, Sponsored Brands, the Brand Dashboard, Amazon Trasparency, and Project Zero are some programs that brands can access once they enroll in the Brand Registry program.
Amazon employs a barcode-driven system. Every product you send to a fulfillment center requires a barcode so that it can be tracked throughout the fulfillment process. You have three options for labeling products sent to a fulfillment center: You can use existing UPC or EAN barcodes for eligible products; you can use an Amazon-generated barcode, known as an FNSKU, that you affix to the product yourself; or you can use the FBA Label Service to apply barcodes to your products for a per-item fee.
On Amazon, Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) is the inverse of Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). ACoS is calculated by dividing ad spend by ad revenue. To decrease ACoS, ad spend must decrease against fixed ad revenue or ad revenue must increase against fixed ad spend. Ad spend is a function of the number of clicks times the average cost per click. Ad revenue is a function of the number of clicks times the average conversion rate times the average order value. Lowering ACoS comes from either an increase in conversion rate, or a decrease in cost per click. To decrease cost per click, you must either lower your keyword bids or add more longtail, lower-cost keywords. To increase conversion rate, you should optimize your listings by improving product titles, images, and bullets, adding product video and A+ Content, and soliciting product reviews and customer Q&As.
There are third-party feedback / product review solicitation tools like FeedbackFive.com, FeedbackGenius.com, Feedbackwhiz.com, and BQool.com that automate the process of sending emails to recent customers, asking them for feedback on their Amazon orders of your products. A seller can also manually send emails to customers asking for feedback or product reviews. Before sending any emails directly or through third-party tools, please review Amazon’s latest Terms of Service (TOS) on feedback solicitation – note that Amazon regularly updates its policies on feedback / product review solicitation. Unfortunately, there are a number of “black hat” techniques available to Amazon sellers, the use of any of these can get a seller kicked off the Amazon marketplace forever.
Removing a product listing is different from removing all sellers on that listing. Once a listing is created in the Amazon catalog, it is forever in the catalog and cannot be eliminated unless it is “tombstoned” internally by Amazon. Amazon won’t get involved in helping you remove unauthorized sellers from the Amazon marketplace. Instead you will want to consider some combination of a) eliminating the availability of product for others to sell (e.g., tightly controlling your own sales channels, domestically and internationally); b) implementing an online reseller policy, which you tightly enforce, c) aggressive legal upgrades to your trademark, so as to eliminate “first sale doctrine” protections, which currently give unauthorized sellers legal protection to re-sell your brand without your permission.
Brand gating is nearly impossible on Amazon. We have seen two situations work: either a) the brand has a long documented history of counterfeits being sold on Amazon, and the product goes on the skin or in the body of consumers (so fake product could be very dangerous to consumers), or b) the brand is a very strategic brand to someone senior in Amazon so special considerations are offered during 1P vendor negotiations (Apple and Nike are two such strategic brands that got limited gating from Amazon). If your brand fits the first scenario, you can apply through Brand Registry to be considered for gating — if you are approved, it’s important to understand that gating by Amazon’s definition often means removing the ability of additional sellers from adding their offers to your products, but does not include removal of existing sellers who already had offers on your listings. If your products do not meet either of these two aforementioned criteria, brand gating on Amazon is a highly unrealistic goal for any brand.
Amazon won’t get involved in helping you remove unauthorized sellers from the Amazon marketplace. Instead you will want to consider some combination of a) eliminating the availability of product for others to sell (e.g., tightly controlling your own sales channels, domestically and internationally); b) implementing an online reseller policy, which you tightly enforce, c) aggressive legal upgrades to your trademark, so as to eliminate “first sale doctrine” protections, which currently give unauthorized sellers legal protection to re-sell your brand without your permission.
If you are a brand with a registered trademark, you should register for the Brand Registry program (free to brands), through which Amazon allows brands to upload their own content for their brand, thereby overwriting content submitted by other sellers. If your brand doesn’t have a registered trademark, Amazon doesn’t grant you any rights to be the authority on content for your brand’s listings.
All products on Amazon need traffic (customer eyeballs) to be found by shoppers. Amazon Advertising options offer sellers the opportunity to buy better visibility for their products. We encourage sellers to make sure that they drive ad traffic to product listings that have been properly optimized with high quality text, images and video — all characteristics that increase the likelihood that ad-driven traffic will convert better into sales for the seller spending money on Amazon Advertising.
Many brands still think that they get to decide whether their brands will be sold on Amazon. With few limitations as to who is allowed by Amazon to sell on the Amazon marketplace, combind with a pool of hundreds of millions of shoppers, the Amazon marketplace is a common destination for diverted product to be sold by sophisticated gray market sellers that find ways to source brands’ products, regardless of whether the brands want their products offered for sale on Amazon.
If the brand has a registered trademark, that brand can file complaints through the Brand Registry program if it sees counterfeits being sold on Amazon. It is critical to note that brands should not confuse products sold by unauthorized sellers with counterfeit products – they are legally distinct issues, and Amazon will address only the issue of counterfeits through Brand Registry.
Brand Registry was set up by Amazon to allow brands to lock down their brand content in the Amazon catalog. Brands are granted “content authority” to update content on all listings for their brand, though it can still be challenging for the brand to overwrite content that exists in Vendor Central today. By giving brands this permission to update content, Amazon acknowledges that brands should be better informed on their brands than any reseller. Brand Registry also makes it much easier than before for brands to file claims of counterfeit products being sold on Amazon; now brands can have counterfeit products removed within hours of reporting the issues, all without having to make test buys of the counterfeit products. Brand Registry also offers some functionality for brands to limit additional sellers from listing on product listings already in the Amazon catalog; however, Brand Registry is not designed to be a distribution control tool used by brands to remove unauthorized sellers.
The Brand Registry program is not designed to remove unauthorized sellers on Amazon. While some brands have filed complaints through Brand Registry for this purpose, Amazon normally ignores these complaints. Brands need to find other ways not involving Amazon programs if they want to remove unauthorized sellers.
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