How to Remove Hijackers from Your Amazon Listing

How to Remove Hijackers from Your Amazon Listing

Product listing hijacking is a growing threat for sellers on Amazon. This is when an unauthorized seller adds their offers to your existing product listings, allowing them to essentially “hijack” the buy box and your hard-earned reviews and sales history.


Dealing with these hijackers is crucial for protecting your business on Amazon. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical strategies that you can use right now to tackle hijackers on your listings.


Whether you are already facing hijackers or want to build up your defenses, this guide will break down the critical know-how you need to safeguard your listings. Let’s start by understanding exactly what Amazon listing hijacking involves and how these attacks can damage sellers like yourself.


What is Amazon Listing Hijacking?

When another seller adds their offer to your existing product listing page, that is referred to as hijacking. Essentially, these hijackers will piggyback on the product page you created, adding their own details and offers for what are supposed to be your products.


This allows them to unfairly benefit from your hard work in building up the listing, ratings, reviews, and sales rank. Having their offer placed right next to yours gives them access to the same pool of buyers without putting in the same effort.


There are a few common ways these hijackers can impact your business:


  • Stealing potential sales by getting the “buy box” - If their offer is lower or is eligible for faster Prime shipping, hijackers often win the buy box. This means your listing and offer get pushed aside.
  • Diluting or stealing reviews - Any sales and reviews they generate may get pooled into your listing's aggregate ratings and reviews. This dilutes the accuracy of your own reviews.
  • Allowing counterfeit goods - Since hijackers essentially piggyback on your listing legitimacy, they can more easily sell knockoff versions while looking like authorized sellers.


As far as identifying a hijack, here are some clear signals to watch out for:


  • Sudden changes in sales volume not attributable to your own efforts
  • Customer questions or negative reviews that mention unfamiliar product details or selling behavior
  • Checking sellers of your listing reveals offers not created by you


No seller wants to deal with hijackers, but unfortunately, it is a common occurrence in the world of online selling. These unauthorized third-party sellers can cause major headaches for legitimate sellers by stealing sales, diluting reviews, and making the market a more competitive and confusing place. So what can you do?


Amazon Hijacking Prevention Strategies

While removing existing hijackers is important, the best defense is proactively preventing attacks in the first place. This involves some foundational listing hygiene and brand protection steps.

Create Detailed, Unique Listings

  • Optimize product titles with keywords that directly describe the items, but use a naming convention unique to your brand.
  • Fill out backend detail pages completely, including as much proprietary product information as you legally can share publicly.
  • Create customized images and visual assets representing branding, not just generic product shots. Add watermarks if it helps establish uniqueness.

Register for the Amazon Brand Registry

  • Beyond registering, set up active monitoring and alerts based on your product catalog and listings.
  • Submit any trademarks, logos, etc., to strengthen your case for authorized brand authority over listings.
  • Use Amazon Brand Registry reporting to identify rule violations and take actions like test buys against potential hijacker listings.

Build Customer Loyalty

  • Prominently feature your brand story, founding team, or other identifying information on your ecommerce site, ads, and all buyer touchpoints. Emphasize your company's heritage and values.
  • Offer occasional discount codes, giveaways, or rewards only sent to confirmed customer lists, encouraging relationship building via subscriptions, etc.
  • Publish refreshed blog content and social/video highlights of your brand, new products, and company news - create engaging content fans look forward to rather than purely shopping-focused interactions.


Can I Take Action Against Hijackers?

Prompt counteraction is crucial if you uncover an active hijacking attempt on your listings. Here are the main approaches to actively stopping these attackers:


1. Sending a Cease and Desist Letter

Crafting an official cease and desist letter is often the first direct action to take.


Key aspects for effective letters:


  • Polite but Firm Tone: Avoid aggressive language while directly requesting they halt hijacking activities. Highlight the reporting and legal options you can pursue if they fail to comply.
  • Specific Details: To build your case, include specific listing URLs, product codes, and imaged evidence of the hijacking.
  • State Legal Implications: Remind hijackers their activities directly violate Amazon terms and your registered branding rights. Outline the exact legal filings and suits you can pursue.

2. Contacting Amazon Directly

Amazon provides violation reporting forms to document listing hijackers:


  • Product Detail Page Complaints: File “Violates Amazon Policies” complaints directly on hijacked listing pages.
  • Amazon Brand Registry Reporting: Enrolled brands can leverage added violation reporting and alerts.


Understanding Amazon’s follow-up process can ensure effective cases, too. Confirm whether they simply removed specific listings or actually banned hijacker accounts outright. Follow up if initial actions seem ineffective at curbing further hijacking attempts.


3. Legal Recourse

If polite requests and Amazon reporting fail to halt repeat, aggressive hijacking efforts, legal arguments can take over:


  • Trademark Infringement: Legal teams can threaten federal lawsuits, given hijacking violates registered brand trademarks.
  • Unfair Competition: You can claim product hijacking represents deliberately unfair and fraudulent competition.


Pursuing litigation is the last resort, yet is often a highly effective measure. The threat or application of serious fines via legal channels causes most hijackers to promptly withdraw, so don’t underestimate the power of this option.


Don’t Let Hijackers Steal Your Amazon Success

Having your Amazon listings hijacked can seriously damage your business, diverting rightful sales and traffic while eroding the trust you built with your customers.


But there’s good news: as we’ve covered, effective prevention involves diligently monitoring your listings, registering your brand identity, and discouraging hijackers through customer loyalty efforts.


Amazon will likely expand its protections and crack down further on listing hijackers and counterfeiters as time passes. Staying current on the latest terms of service and seller policies continues to be part of running an online business.


This guide should equip you with the insight to secure your Amazon listings. But feel free to reach out with any other questions as you establish and grow your brand’s presence. With vigilance and care, your listings should continue driving success through authentic trust and customer satisfaction!

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