Brand Gating – Protect your Brand on Amazon
Amazon’s self-proclaimed “obsession with customers” ensures that its marketplace is as convenient for the customers as possible. This enables Amazon’s ever-increasing growth. One important aspect of streamlining the process is to provide the purchaser with both relevant and trustworthy results. The trustworthiness, especially, had been undermined in the past years by a great number of sellers engaging in malpractices such as brand counterfeiting and unauthorized reselling. This is where brand gating comes into play.
What is brand gating and why is it importantAmazon offers brand gating to manufacturers and authorized resellers to retain the control over their brands and labels. Brand gating is a process in which third-party sellers wishing to sell a branded product need to apply and fulfil certain criteria set up by Amazon. This prevents counterfeiters and unauthorized resellers to continue selling your products. By asking Amazon to have your brand gated, you protect your brand not only from the potential loss of sales due to third parties leeching them off your share, but also from the loss of brand trust thanks to sub-par counterfeits reaching your customers. The history of brand gating goes back to 2016 when the shoe producer Birkenstock quit selling through Amazon exactly because of the rising concerns about the spread of counterfeit selling in the US marketplace. However, reselling is essential to Amazon’s success. In Q1 2019, Amazon stated that third-party selling is growing faster than first-party selling. To keep selling brands that do not approve of having their products listed directly through Amazon, the retail giant implemented controversial measures such as purchasing stock from authorized third parties to resell the products globally. This was met with contempt from Birkenstock’s CEO. Brand gating, on the other hand, is a welcome addition to Amazon’s growing number of seller-oriented instruments fighting misuse by bad actors.
What brand gating means for third-party sellersIn order to sell brand-gated products, third-party sellers need to prepare to overcome a variety of measures Amazon put in place to prevent violations. As an authorized reseller, you can expect to:
- be checked on your past performance
- have to fulfil certain qualification requirements
- pay fees
Best practice: It is not recommended to try going around the restrictions and selling the items as used or as collectibles. By not adhering to the process, you risk getting your seller account terminated.You can request selling brand-gated products on the bottom of the right bar on a product detail page.
How to get your brand gated as a manufacturer?By following a few simple steps, you can protect your brand on Amazon:
- Register your brand as a trademark in the country where you wish to sell.
- Enroll in the Amazon brand registry.
- Contact Amazon and deliver a list of your most important and/or most counterfeited ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number) to Amazon
- Let Amazon know of resellers you authorized to sell your brand