How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon?



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 1. Charging too much, thinking that your brand will help you win.
No brand has an easy time on Amazon. It's one of the few places where big brands and small brands can compete on the same level. Because there are so many options on the site, having a good reputation doesn't mean you'll be successful right away.


How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

There is also evidence that most people who buy things on Amazon don't stick to one brand. 58% of searches on Amazon are for unbranded items, and 65% of people surveyed said they are comfortable buying from sellers on marketplaces they have never heard of before.

So, companies that put too much stock in their brand when setting their prices on Amazon can hurt their chances of being successful. We can see this in the pet category, where Furbo sometimes charges almost three times as much for its dog camera as its closest competitor.

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon
Before you decide on a price strategy for Amazon, leave your ego at the door and do your research. If the competition is mostly "dirt cheap" products, it's possible that some of your products aren't right for Amazon. Or, Amazon might be a better place to sell off your out-of-season or extra stock. No matter what, don't bet that your brand will be the only one that stands out on Amazon.





How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

Instead, figure out what your lowest selling price will be. Then, go to Amazon or use a tool like AMZScout to find out how your competitors' prices and sales are doing on the first page of your target keywords. Your prices should be reasonable (no more than 30% more than the most expensive price on page one). Try out different price points to see where you can make the most money, but make getting on the first page of Google your top priority if you want to sell more.



2. Getting lazy about making lists, How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon
When you have a big catalog or a busy schedule, this is all too easy to do. You do yourself a disservice, though, if you list once and then forget about it or if you copy and paste your listings from one channel to another.

Not only do you run the risk of duplicate content problems on Google, where Amazon will almost always rank higher than your site pages, but you also run the risk of Amazon's algorithm ignoring you or punishing you.




How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

For example, traditional SEO (for Google) likes titles that are shorter, but on Amazon, titles that are longer and give more information tend to rank higher. It's common for third-party sellers to use all of their characters, which is how one brand got seven times as many orders per month to their listings in just two months after updating their titles.

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon





The quality of the data can also make or break a sale on Amazon. Too often, brands list their products in the wrong category or don't give enough information about them, which hurts their chances of being on the first page (or even the first ten pages) of their target category.

To make things even more complicated, Amazon is known to automatically re-categorize ASINs if words in the listing suggest it should be in a different category, and it's up to you to tell Seller Support about these mistakes.




How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon
The takeaway is that you should tailor your listings to Amazon and keep in mind that by going beyond the required attributes, you can set better customer expectations, reduce returns, and make sure that you don't get left out when a buyer filters the search results.



Take the time to improve the Amazon SEO of your listings. If you have a big catalog, you can always start with the items that sell the most and slowly move through the rest. Or, you can use software for ecommerce listings to automate the process or make changes in bulk. The best software can help you find holes in your data or put your SKUs into categories that Amazon can use.





How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

Bonus tip: Using other tools, like A+ Content (formerly EBC), can help you reduce the number of people who leave your product detail pages without buying, build trust in your brand, and make more sales. Don't be afraid to try those out if you can!

3. Not keeping up with changes in the market
Amazon has strict listing requirements that change all the time and require unique SEO practices. If a brand doesn't keep an eye on them, their items could be taken out of the search results one day.





How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon
For example, when Amazon revealed its new clothing size standards, it suddenly put a lot of pressure on thousands of brands to reformat and improve their listings. Even though Amazon's updates can be hard to keep track of and understand, you don't want to miss the memo.

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

Keep in mind that Amazon often makes changes with very little notice. Amazon isn't likely to change its release date or requirements just for you, even if you have tens of thousands of listings in your catalog.

Takeaway: Keep an eye out for new Amazon changes and have a plan for how to adapt to them. If that's not possible, find software or a service that can do the work for you.




How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon
The rules of the game change all the time, so you have to keep your eyes open to catch each one. Ask your software partner or agency how they handle situations like this. Some may choose to leave the burden on you, the seller.

4. Overstocking
No matter what channel you sell on, managing your inventory is always a challenge. But when it comes to Amazon, brands tend to overestimate demand during shopping events like Prime Day or buy a lot of stock before they really understand Amazon. Some new sellers buy a lot of items they think will sell quickly, only to find that their listings are wrong and they can't make a single sale.




How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

When FBA comes into play, things get even more complicated. If you don't move your stuff, you'll have to pay for long-term storage and moving. Not only that, but relying too much on FBA can be risky (see tip #8).

Don't assume that the sales you see on your own site or in other places will also happen on Amazon. It brings in a unique group of people who buy things in different ways and have different tastes. Tools like AMZScout and Helium 10 can help you see how sales are going for a certain type of product.
In the end, though, you'll need to start keeping track of your own sales and figure out how to choose between lost sales because of stock-outs and extra storage costs because of slow-moving inventory.
Think about processes and tools that help you work outside of the usual 30-, 60-, or 90-day reordering windows. Depending on the type of product you sell, it may help you to buy less at a time but more often.





5. Waiting indifferently for reviews, How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon
Everyone knows that reviews are important. But everyone knows that Amazon doesn't want you to ask for reviews. The marketplace does not allow any of the following:

giving something in exchange for a good review
Rather than asking for any kind of review, the packaging, box inserts, or buyer-seller messages should ask for a positive review.
Putting up phony reviews
Paying a customer to take down a bad review is unethical.
Look at a full list of the most common offenses.

Some brands can't move forward because of this, even though they know that the best-selling items on Amazon usually have at least a few hundred reviews, if not thousands.

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

Don't ignore the resources for review collection that are available to you. Besides what has already been mentioned, there are third-party apps, like FeedbackWhiz, that are approved by Amazon that can help you communicate with your buyers automatically. Before you spend time getting more feedback, make sure that your product listing, order fulfillment, and customer service are as good as they can be.

After all, it will be hard to get good feedback if your packages are often shipped late, your listings aren't complete (and could be misleading as a result), or you already have negative feedback on your product. Fix the problems, and then do everything you can to get the word out about your product.

6. Not putting up a defense against bad people
Amazon is still a popular place for counterfeiters, unauthorized sellers, and other bad people to do business, even though Amazon works hard to stop them.

I wouldn't say this is a reason to stay away from Amazon, though. Most brands find that the good far outweighs the bad, and not being on the channel could make things worse. For example, Amazon is mostly based on "first-come, first-served," which means that the first seller to list a new item often has the most say over how it is listed.

By putting your products first on the list, you gain an advantage. And once you have an Amazon account, you can add your brand to Brand Registry. This gives you more protection against fakes and sellers who are not authorized.

There are lots of other dirty tricks that Amazon sellers try to use to cheat the system or get rid of their competitors. Even though it's not the most exciting part of the job, you'll need to be on guard for these kinds of attacks and report them right away.

At the very least, sign up for Amazon's Brand Registry. Set yourself up as the official brand for your products and use Amazon's proactive protection services. Use A+ content and images that show your logo or serial numbers in a clear way, for example, to stop people from making fakes.

7. Letting finances run amok
"Turnover is a waste of time; profit is sensible." Some sellers get into trouble because they are always trying to make new sales and waste money on new products, expensive consultants, and other shiny things.

In the background, their costs keep going up, and their organization, no matter how big it gets, still fails.

In the same way, some brands think wrongly that the product that sells the most is making them the most money. In reality, the costs of making, storing, shipping, paying taxes, and selling may be more than what they make.
The main point is that top-line revenue is not a good measure on its own. You should also think about many other things, such as how well you're turning that income into profit.
Use a bookkeeping app like QuickBooks or Xero to keep track of everything. And think about ways to cut costs, such as outsourcing fulfillment or reducing inventory, to increase your margins.



How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

Putting all of your money on FBA
Two-thirds of sellers on Amazon depend solely on Amazon FBA. It's a good option for people who want to outsource fulfillment or need a way to make their products Prime-eligible.

At the same time, brands that rely too much on FBA put their businesses at risk, even if they don't know it until something bad happens. As an example, let's look at the recent pandemic. In March 2020, Amazon put a temporary ban on all FBA items that were not essential. This made a mess for thousands of sellers.

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

Aside from the pandemic, you could lose access to your inventory if, for example, Amazon suspends your account for reasons that may or may not be your fault.

The main point is that FBA has clear benefits, but you should also be aware of the risks you are taking when you sign up. Compare the pros and cons of using FBA versus shipping from your own warehouse or using a third-party logistics partner (3PL).

How do I legally sell brand name products on Amazon

In general, you should diversify both your supply chain and your sales channels so that Amazon doesn't have too much power over your business. When you sell on the marketplace, anything can happen, and no brand is safe from having their account suddenly shut down.