Don’t we all know the happy feeling when we wake up in the morning and check how much we sold while asleep? Scrolling through the numbers, counting the money, planning for the future. How would you feel if one dreadful morning, after logging in to your amazon seller account, a terrifying picture appeared in your eyes – zeros all over the place. Questions start rising, what happened? What did I do? And then you see it – a hijacker. Now they are the number one under your listing. Pictures you’ve made, detailed description you came up with, positive comments your product received, all the hard work is now selling someone else’s items. Who is an amazon hijacker and how to get rid of them?

Who is a listing hijacker?
To put it simply, an amazon hijacker is a new seller of your product who sells under the same listing as you. If you’re used to having several sellers on your listing, they’re usually harmless. Some products have so much demand that everyone with a good offer can make a living, while not being the only seller or even winning the buy box (these are usually products from popular brands like Nike or Duracell). Some, however, do not have search volume big enough to satisfy a crowd of sellers. In such cases, you could have private- labeled your product since you might not wish to fight for a buy box position with someone who straight-up copies you. If a product is in high demand it usually already has several sellers, which is normal. Listing hijacking only occurs with products that are private- labeled because in all other cases everyone has the right to join in. If a particular item is offered by a small group of sellers and someone joins on that listing with a lower price, he can often take most of the selling opportunities for himself, but if that item is not private labeled or restricted in any way, he can technically do that without any consequences. The only scenario in which you can remove a hijacker is to private label your products.

Popular, non-private labeled product sold by many sellers – all good
Private-labeled product sold by Komfyko which is clearly before hijacking attempt

Two types of Hijackers
If you decide to fight with that kind of competition we need to start with separating hijackers into two categories: the ones who sell fakes and the ones who actually sell products identical to yours. Hijackers who copy your product and offer an imitation of what your listings description promises can be a long term issue if not dealt with immediately. If a hijacker manages to steal your buy box by lowering the price significantly, they will negatively impact your income, and based on positive reviews your product earned, they will sell theirs, that might not be as good quality-wise. Furthermore, If their copy is low quality (which it usually is), they can start to receive a number of negative reviews that will stay on your listing even if a hijacker is removed from it. Review once written, stays on the listing forever. Hijackers from the second category are the ones who actually sell your product. According to Amazon rules, if the product is identical, not only it can but should be listed together. Even though Amazon allows selling identical copies of private labeled products, there is a way to get rid of this kind of hijacker from your listing.

How to remove Amazon listing Hijacker who sells fakes of your product?
If you spot a hijacker on your listing, first and foremost check what they sell. Sometimes it happens that hijacker actually sells product identical to yours, and then steps would be entirely different. However when your product is private labeled, in most cases, the hijacker’s product is just a copy of yours, in other words, they sell fakes. In this instance removing a hijacker would be relatively easy.

Before taking any action with Amazon Support, always try to contact the hijacker first. Send a letter requesting them to withdraw their offer from your listing otherwise you’ll take action. Highlight that in case of disobedience they might get their account suspended. These threats are not in vain, hijackers who claim to sell a product from your description, and instead deliver a cheaper version of it, are in big trouble. Amazon always prioritizes clients’ welfare. If there’s a suspicion that the client is being cheated, even seemingly too harsh consequences are on the plate.

If your listing hijacker doesn’t comply it’s time for step two: emailing Amazon Support. Be cautious with your wording and keep in mind that clients’ needs come first. Since your hijacker is using your listing (pictures, description, good ratings) there’s no way to spot shortcomings in quality at the first sight. It is your listing after all. The only way to establish if this fake isn’t actually better than what you offer, is to buy this item from your listing hijacker. Make sure to review this copy thoroughly. Look for any features that make this item less quality than yours. The probability that hijacker’s product is better or even equal to yours quality-wise is very low. If this not very likely scenario happens, then your product still has some room for improvements, but in this case, removing hijacker would be impossible.

Let’s focus on the more probable case in which there are clear signs that hijacker’s product is visibly worse than yours. Make a picture of every single attribute that shows a lack of quality in Amazon hijacker’s product compared to yours. Send these pictures along with an email to Amazon. Keep in mind that your message must clearly state that the client is being deceived. Make it apparent that this product should not be associated with your listing, since client would have different expectations based on your photos, description and reviews. And voila, the problem will be solved as soon as it appeared.

How to remove Amazon listing Hijacker who sells products identical to yours?
This type of hijacker is most difficult to remove but happily doesn’t occur very often. Mostly because private labeled products can only be obtained from someone who holds the label, which in our scenario is you. The only way a hijacker can sell under your listing is when his product is identical to yours, hence your label would need to be included on the product, otherwise, it would require separate ASIN. How it happens then? The answer is easy – hijacker bought their items from you. It usually happens when you’re making a discount or arrange a sale. This creates an opportunity to buy large quantities of your product which is re-sold at regular price afterwards.

How to remove someone who joined in on your listing and they actually sell the product from the description? There are two ways to do that. Amazon does not restrict selling private labeled products by several sellers, therefore, tactics used in the first type of listing hijackers won’t work. Amazon does restrict, however, re-selling products on Amazon, that were previously bought using amazon prime account. And if a hijacker was able to buy your product on sale, it’s fair to assume he’s using a prime account. So the first thing you can do (if DM-ing hijacker won’t work) is to send a formal letter to amazon describing the issue. Highlight you’re suspecting that items offered by this seller were bought using a prime account and are now re-sold. This complaint should resolve your problem. Hijacker that joined your listing will not only be forced to remove the product from your offer, but their account can be suspended altogether.

The less invasive method is to just buy all your products from the hijacker’s assortments. It would take much less effort and is effective, but this option is also very expensive. If all other measures failed this might be used as a last resort.

Above all, it is best to prevent
To keep your potential listing hijackers at distance, good practice would be having good relations with your suppliers. Sustaining a strong relationship with your business partners can repay you with loyalty and courtesy. If someone expresses interest in manufacturing your product, your supplier may give you a heads up, to warn you of potential competition. Another crucial matter is to monitor your listings as often as you possibly can. It seems like obvious advice, but if you’re the seller of many items it gets difficult to monitor them thoroughly. It also gets more and more difficult as your success increases. There are many approaches to handle this task, but it is best to do it daily, or even hourly- the faster listing hijacker is spotted the faster he can be dealt with, which minimizes the potential damage. Of course, there aren’t many ways to make it faster if you choose to do it manually. There is a way however to automate this task.

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Author Karolina

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