This has to be the most annoying type of competition on Amazon: Listing Hijackers. Once your listing starts getting some momentum you will see these hijackers pop up on your listing. Luckily I will tell you exactly how to remove them!
What does it mean to Hijack an Amazon Listing?
Let’s define an Amazon Listing Hijacker. If you sell a private label product you should be the only seller on your listing. It is your product, and only you are allowed to sell it. Hopefully, you have trademark your brand name, so that nobody else is allowed to use your brand name. However, because Amazon is a marketplace, the system is designed to accommodate multiple sellers, selling the same product 1 listing. So also on your listing, you will see that every seller has the option to sell on your listing.
Now here comes the problem. People will piggyback of your successful listing, and try to sell their counterfeit product on your listing! Below we see another great Garlic Press. You can see the original private label seller: “VATIS-LIFE US”. He created the product & listing and is selling his Garlic Press for $9,99. Above him you will see a hijacker: “Always Honest”, selling the product for $4,99.
The hijacker is either selling a counterfeit item or not shipping the item at all. His goal is to get a portion of buy box by listing the product for a lower price and steal some of your listing sales. Hijackers will almost always have a Just Launched status as they get banned very fast. For an Amazon seller, this serves as a huge problem. Not only will the seller lose a portion of his sales, but his customer will either get scammed or receive a counterfeit product. Either way, you can expect a lot of angry customers, who will leave a negative review on your listing. So even when you removed the hijacker, you can still suffer from the consequences! That is why it is extremely important to get rid of FBA hijackers ASAP!
How to remove an Amazon Hijacker?
First of all, Amazon will not alert you when there is another seller on your listing. So a hijacker might go unnoticed for a very long time! You can check if you have a listing hijacker by manually going to all your listings and verifying that you are still the only seller of your products. There are also some services that provide a Hijacker Alert. They will notify you if you have a Hijacker on one of your listings.
Hijacker Alert Services
- Helium 10 (free trial)
- AMZAlert (free trial)Obviously, this is a huge time saver, if you don’t have to manually check your listings for hijackers every day. I use Sellics, but I don’t think it really matters which one you choose as they all do the same thing: Alert you when a hijacker shows up!
Cease and Desist Email
A C&D letter is usually the first step sellers take to get rid of Amazon Hijackers. This is mainly to scare them of your listing. I use a standard cease & desist email template that I just copy & paste every time I have a hijacker on my listing:
Enter your email below and I will email you my Cease & Desist Email Template
Free C&D Template
Report a Hijacker
A cease & desist letter will of course not always work. There is a good chance the hijacker will just ignore it, as they know it is probably not worth it for you to sue them. However, there is a more effective method: Report them to Amazon!
For this step, it is extremely important that you have trademark your brand name and are enrolled in the Brand Registry. You can simply report the hijackers through Amazon’s contact system or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This might work, and the Amazon customer support might remove the hijackers from your listing. This is how I used to do it, and it is very slow and Amazon will not always remove the hijackers.
However, a way more effective method is to go into your Brand Registry! Once logged in you can use the Report a violation tool! Here you enter the ASIN that has been hijacked, select the hijacker on your listing, and select that they violate your trademark.
This method has been 100% effective for me. The hijackers are always removed within 24 hours.
TLDR: Amazon hijackers are the worst. To combat them sign up for a Hijacker Alert & trademark your brand name!
Wow, this is blowing my mind. Were these hijackers drop shippers? There are courses now on dropshipping onto amazon. I just want to be aware of what I’m getting into as I would rather sell my own items or buy them wholesale and resell them. This is an amazing website by the way!
I think most hijackers were sellers that imported generic low quality items that looked like my product. So very similar, but none of my branding and none of my quality standards. You can also see them as counterfeiters. I don’t know if they were dropshipping or had the actual counterfeit items in stock. If you are getting into it I would advice to get a trademark & brand registry ASAP, as this really help me kick off the hijackers.
What do you select after selecting “violating trademark”? There is then four options to choose from;
1. A product detail page is unlawfully using my trademark (for example, in product title, product images, product description).
2. A product or its packaging has my trademark on it.
3. A product is counterfeit
4. The product is authentic but sold in the European Economic Area (EEA) without the rights owner’s consent (parallel import)
Which one do you select and what do you write in the additional comments section?
Thanks so much for your blog post, it gives me hope against these leeches!
3. Product is a counterfeit: I am the only one who is allowed to use my brandname TM and I am not reselling my products to any wholesaler. This seller is selling counterfeit products to customers who think they are buying my brandname TM products.