AMZ Watchdog will work with your brand to create and maintain the only bulletproof strategy to remove unauthorized sellers from your listings for good.
You absolutely can. Contrary to what online forums say (usually run by online or retail arbitrage sellers), a brand is 100% within their right to legally and permanently clean up a sales channel and only allow authorized sellers to represent their brand.
The first sale doctrine states that anyone who purchases a branded item has the right to resell that item anywhere they want, assuming it is in an unchanged state (still new, unopened, in its original packaging). This means that, technically, any Amazon seller who simply stocks and then resells a genuine product is generally protected from any intellectual property infringement claims and thus is allowed to sell with impunity.
There are exceptions, however, to the first sale doctrine. Two, actually – Material Differences and Consumer Confusion. This is the critical step that virtually all brands miss.
Supply chain ‘leakage’ is one of the bigger issues that online retailers face when it comes to controlling their pricing due to unauthorized sellers. There are many ways an online seller can acquire products. A brand may run a ‘lightening deal’ on Amazon during the holidays only to see those same products pop up a few months later being sold on their own listing – driving prices down dramatically. Larger brands who offer discounts to hotel chains, airlines, or stadiums for giveaways later see these products listed online at steep discounts. Manufacturers, distributors, and 3PL facilities with poor inventory management may see a few boxes ‘slip out the back door’ only to have these shrinkage items show up online.
Our best clients are those that have ‘tried everything’. Cease and desist letters, angry letters to Amazon, Walmart or Home Depot management, stacks of legal bills with nothing to show, etc. A brand can certainly try to clean up the online sales channels but unless you are well versed in the nuances of online selling and overcoming the first sale doctrine, it is nearly impossible to achieve the goal on your own.
The challenge with all the SaaS companies touting fancy software is that these tools point out the high number of unauthorized sellers. That’s actually something you can see with the naked eye. The logical question you should be asking is “OK, so… now what? How do we get rid of them?” Most of our best customers come from the software companies that are happy to take your monthly fee but rarely deliver any results beyond a continually growing list of infringing, unauthorized sellers.
A MAP policy is nice to have but having one in place (or not) is no deal breaker. It is virtually impossible to enforce a MAP policy anyway and we have yet to see any MAP agreement that kept unauthorized sellers off of an e-commerce platform. AMZ Watchdog helps a brand remove unauthorized sellers regardless of having a MAP policy in place.