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What is Amazon Brand Registry – and How to Set It Up

Amazon is the largest online marketplace today. With over 398 million products listed and more than 26 million transactions per day, it’s no wonder more and more business owners are selling their products on Amazon.

However, all is not rosy. Selling on Amazon has become increasingly difficult in recent years, with competition from cheap, low-quality counterfeits and unscrupulous resellers trying to make a profit from the arbitrage made selling your products.

For potential buyers of Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) businesses, there is a real concern about buying a business that could easily be hijacked and copied, potentially losing the “buy box” and associated revenue. If you want to sell your private label business in the future, this concern can directly impact your ability to sell.

If you are a seller who makes and sells your own private label products on Amazon, you will need to sign up for Amazon’s updated trademark registry.

What does Amazon consider a “brand” and why should you care about Amazon’s brand registry?

To quote Amazon:

“The Amazon Brand Registry is available to sellers who make or sell their own branded products. Manufacturers can add their brand to the Amazon Brand Registry and register themselves as a brand owner. The goal of Amazon Brand Registry is to make it easier for sellers to manage their own brands and list their products on Amazon.”

Registering your brand proves that you own the products you sell; once approved, you get the added protection Amazon gives brands.

If you sell (or ever want to sell) your private label FBA business, registering your brand can help increase its value. When you buy, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re buying an established and trusted brand that’s protected from hijackers and copycats.

To better understand the changes to Amazon’s brand registry and how it can benefit you as a seller, we need to take a closer look at the first version of the brand registry and some of the challenges sellers faced when using it.

Amazon Brand Registry 1.0 and its problems

Prior to the Amazon Brand Registry updates, a seller could register their private label relatively easily. Sellers simply had to prove ownership of the domain name for the brand and provide images of the product and packaging with the brand name. The idea was that trademark registration would help sellers protect their offerings and prevent copyright infringement by counterfeiters and resellers.

However, the first version of the registry did not provide the protection that sellers expected. The registry offered limited protection, and reporting infringements was a tedious and slow process.

To improve the customer experience and make it easier to find products, Amazon allows the same listing to be used by multiple sellers. Unscrupulous sellers would “hijack” listings and sell similar or counterfeit goods as if they were real by piggybacking on a legitimate product listing. Customers would buy products from an offer thinking it was the original brand and receive a non-genuine product.

In many cases, customers didn’t even realize the product was a fake until they tried to make a warranty claim. When they received poor customer service from the fake seller, they left a bad review for the original offering. Such reviews resulted in damage to the original brand’s reputation and goodwill with customers that the brand owner had invested time and money in building, and also negatively impacted Amazon’s trusted status as a platform that provides a great customer experience.

To make matters worse, the seller bore the burden of proof in reporting the infringement. It was up to the seller to prove that their branding and copyright had been infringed.

Another problem with these hijackers was that even if they got caught, it was too easy for them to open a new account and start over. They sold as many products as they could, and when they got “burned” (flagged and shut down by Amazon), they simply opened a new Amazon account and started over.

As a seller, you are also Amazon’s customer. If you can’t trust Amazon to protect your brand, the company knows you will churn. Fewer sellers hurt Amazon by impacting market share and opening the door for a competitor to throw their hat in the ring.

The updated brand registry system goes a long way toward fixing these issues and aims to improve the customer experience for sellers and consumers alike.

Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 Improvements

The updated brand registry – Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 – is a way for Amazon to show that it is focused on people who are serious about their brands and not selling junk products.

Amazon has made some significant improvements to the brand registry program since May 2017. While there will be ongoing updates, here are the major improvements to Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 so far:

  • The Amazon Brand Registry program now has its own user interface and login, separate from Seller Account Central.
  • The new interface has improved reporting tools to deal with counterfeit products and hijacked listings.
  • Sellers can access powerful new search tools to help them find products that infringe their copyright.
  • Amazon has a dedicated team to deal with reported infringements.

Amazon made these changes to meet its original business goals. As stated by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos:

“We have three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Amazon’s primary goal is to put the customer experience first. Counterfeit products, hijacked offers and unauthorized resellers create a negative experience for customers. These negative experiences directly impact Amazon’s bottom line.

Let’s take a look at what these changes mean and how they improve both the customer and seller experience.

Dedicated user interface

The new brand registration has its own user interface and login that is separate from Amazon Seller Central. This new dashboard makes it much easier to track which brands you’ve registered, while also giving you a clean and dedicated interface to manage any copyright or trademark infringements.

Powerful search tools

Until now, you could only detect trademark infringement if someone managed to hijack your listing’s buy box or if you had a bad review from a customer who bought a counterfeit item.

With the new search tool, you can search for trademark infringement:

  • Product name
  • ASIN
  • Brand name
  • Even keywords and images!

With these tools, you can find potential trademark infringement directly from your trademark registration dashboard, reducing potential lost revenue from would-be hijackers.

A+ Content

Formerly known as enhanced branded content, A+ content gives sellers greater control over their storefront. You can create better product descriptions, titles, and product images to set your product detail page apart from the competition.

Improved reporting tools

In the past, you had to report a violation via a form buried deep in the bowels of Amazon Help documentation. Sellers now have the ability to report a violation directly from their brand registration dashboard, making it quick and easy to deal with counterfeit products and listing hijackers.

Dedicated team to handle reported violations.

Before the updates, you had to deal with hijackers and counterfeiters on Amazon Marketplace yourself. You had to send a takedown notification directly to the hijacker/counterfeiter or purchase the counterfeit product to register a complaint. Once you notified Amazon, it usually took a few days for the company to remove the offending listing.

This cumbersome process led to many sellers complaining that Amazon didn’t care about its sellers. Now Amazon is taking a more proactive approach and wants to help sellers deal with counterfeits more efficiently.

Amazon claims that complaints can be handled in as little as four hours by a dedicated team of 300 employees who handle all claims related to violations.

This should speed up and improve the process for reporting counterfeit products and make it harder for counterfeiters to hijack your offering.

What about abuse – what keeps a competitor or counterfeiter from reporting you to negatively impact your ranking? Well, there are a few safeguards that are required of reporters:

  • The complaint must be filed by the person/company filing the complaint and must include the following information: ASIN, email, name, rights asserted, etc.
  • The complainant must provide a statement confirming that he/she is duly authorized to act on behalf of the trademark that has been infringed.

If you are registered as a trademark, all of this information is already on file and it is easy to report infringement through your trademark registration dashboard. If a counterfeiter tries to play games to remove your listing, they should be able to present information they don’t have access to.

This new process is good news for sellers. Previously, complaints could take days or even weeks to process, resulting in lost sales and damage to the legitimate seller’s reputation.

Ongoing improvements and updates

There are many more “rumored” improvements. These include:

  • Unique Amazon URLs for your brand (e.g. amazon.com/my-brand).
  • Customizable product detail pages with more features and a new design
  • Ability to upload custom videos to your product page

All of these changes result in greater control for Amazon sellers over their private label and give them some of the much-needed protections sellers have been asking for, while improving the overall customer experience.

What you need to know to apply for Amazon’s brand registration program

Before you start registering your brand with Amazon, here’s a list of eligibility requirements. These have been taken directly from Amazon’s brand registration page for your convenience:

  • Registered Trademark.
    • This is your brand name that has a registered trademark ®. It can no longer be a pending trademark ™. Also, it must be a word mark and NOT a stylized, illustrated or design mark.
    • For USPTO marks, the drawing type of the mark must be the same as “4 – STANDARD CHARACTER MARK” or “1 – TYPESET WORD(S)/LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)”.
    • If you would like to know more about the basics of trademark registration, here are a series of videos on the USPTO.GOV website.
  • Your “Government Registered Principal Trademark Registration” or serial number.
  • Images of the trademark’s logo.
  • Images of products and packaging that bear the trademarked brand name. If the product is not trademarked, the packaging must be trademarked.
  • A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which the brand will be listed.
  • A list of countries where the brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.

Once you have all the information in the list above, go to Amazon’s trademark registration page.

While many of the eligibility requirements are unchanged, there is one really important change to the Amazon Trademark Registry that will impact you as a private label seller.

Registered trademark Requirement

The biggest change to the trademark registry requirements is that private label sellers must now have a registered trademark for their brand in order to qualify. Because of this, if you were registered prior to April 30, 2017, you will need to re-enrol in the program, as your previously registered trademarks will not automatically transfer to the new system.

In the past, you could have a pending trademark and still register by using the Pending Trademarks ™ icon on your branding; however, this is no longer allowed. To be eligible for registration in Brand Registry 2.0, you must have an “Active Registered Trademark” ®. This requirement means that your trademark application must have already been approved and is currently listed as “active” before you submit your application to the Amazon Brand Registry.

If you have not filed a trademark application before attempting to register your trademark, there may be a delay of six to ten months before you can properly register your products on Amazon while you wait for your trademark to be approved.

Helpful tips for registering your brand’s trademark

When you submit your trademark registration application to Amazon, the trademark information you provide must exactly match what is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trade Office database, including capitalization. Any discrepancies will result in rejection of your trademark registration application and further delay your access to the protection that trademark registration with Amazon provides.

When applying for your trademark, you will be asked to provide a copy of the product being used in commerce (a picture of your product is fine). If you cannot provide a picture, your application for this class could be denied.

Trademark registration costs money, and the cost varies depending on how you go about it. Trademark application fees can range from $225 to $400, plus additional fees for additional classes you want to protect. If you use a trademark attorney or a service like Trademark Engine, prices may be higher.

If you have multiple trademarks, the trademark registration process can get very expensive very quickly. Depending on your circumstances, registering a single “all-inclusive” trademark may be a better option than registering multiple independent trademarks.

Although Amazon does not charge to register your brand, they do require a trademark; the cost of trademark registration is a barrier to entry for some sellers.

Where you sell your products, either now or in the future, is a consideration when registering your trademark. If you only do business in the U.S., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will suffice. However, if you currently sell or intend to sell in Europe or internationally, then registration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which uses the “Madrid System,” may be more appropriate.

In either case, it is important to seek legal advice on what is right for you and your business. Enforcing trademark rights internationally is a much more complicated issue and is beyond the scope of what is covered here.

Improve the value of your brand through Amazon’s trademark registry.

Amazon’s brand registry updates are a step in the right direction. They improve the shopping experience for customers by making it harder for counterfeit products to be sold on the Amazon platform, thereby restoring buyer confidence.

Amazon has listened to sellers’ concerns and made changes to improve the overall selling experience. By creating a team to handle complaints and make it easier for sellers to report infringing listings as well as decide who can sell their product, Amazon is giving power back to sellers.

While requiring a registered trademark is a pain and additional cost for many sellers, it should be viewed as a positive. Brand protection is important, and Amazon’s requirement serves to reinforce the need to brand your products. However, if you are testing a product or bootstrapping, it may not make sense to brand individual products due to the cost.

So if you want to protect your private label on Amazon, legitimize it in the eyes of consumers, and give yourself an edge over the competition, Amazon’s updated brand registry is the way to go.

Add to these changes all the exciting new features on the horizon for registered brands, and the future looks bright for sellers on Amazon.

If you’re planning to buy a private label FBA business, then you’ll have the peace of mind that brand registration will protect your new business from counterfeiters and imitators.
If you are an existing seller, brand registration can increase the value of your business if you plan to sell. Build your own online selling empire and protect it with Amazon brand registration.

Brands Inside Zonmaster

With Zonmaster’s powerful autoresponder and auto-review requestor tools, you can target emails and Amazon review requests to specific brands. In the case of emails, you can also include branding images and brand-specific information inside the emails.

Check out Zonmaster today for more details and start your 15-day free trial now.

 

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Selling on Amazon Renewed

How to Sell Certified Refurbished Products on Amazon Renewed

This guide will walk you through what Amazon Renewed is, how to get started, what is required of you as a seller, and how to successfully sell certified refurbished products.

What is Amazon Renewed?

There are three different types of products that you can sell on Amazon Renewed:

Refurbished: Products that are probably used and that the customer has either returned because they were defective or because they no longer wanted.

Preserved: Products that are likely used, but were in better condition than a refurbished product when they were returned.

Open packaging: products whose packaging has been opened but the actual product has not been used.

Qualified Amazon Renewed sellers have these devices professionally inspected, tested, and cleaned to keep them looking and working like new before repackaging and reselling them.

And with the program’s guarantee, buyers can rest assured that products purchased through Amazon Renewed will work like new – as promised.

What Certified Refurbished Products can you sell online through Amazon Renewed?

Amazon Renewed is a program that enables products that cannot be sold as “new” (but are in good enough condition to meet Amazon and consumer standards) to reach the Amazon marketplace.

Sellers can sell reconditioned, used, and open products in these categories:

  • Auto parts
  • Cameras
  • Headphones & audio
  • domestic appliances
  • Tools for household and industry
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Laptops and computers
  • Musical instruments
  • Outdoor & sport
  • Office equipment
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Televisions
  • Video game consoles
  • Clocks

How to Sell Refurbished Products on Amazon Renewed

1. Register to become an Amazon seller

In order to sell certified refurbished, used and open products on Amazon Renewed, you must first be a registered seller on Amazon.

If this is your first time selling on Amazon, you can sign up as a seller by going to Amazon Seller Central and creating a new account.

2. Find product opportunities

Since you need to prove to Amazon that you have enough inventory before you can sell on Amazon Renewed, it is important that you first find the item that you want to sell.

Of course, you don’t want to just buy anything. Similar to any other method of selling on Amazon, you need to know what is actually in demand and what kind of competition to expect.

Look for products that meet the following criteria:

High demand and little competition. The product should sell hundreds – if not thousands – of units per month without many other sellers in the niche active.

It is not sold by Amazon or a private label seller. Make sure the product you are interested in is not competing directly with Amazon. Also, avoid items that are sold under a third-party private label. You will also not be able to sell through these listings.

Make sure you can make the price of the product competitive. Your price should be within 2% of the current buy box price of the product. Anything on top makes it a lot harder to sell your product.

3. Procure products

Once you know which products are in high demand and have little competition, you need to source those products.

Fortunately, there are a few different ways you can get hold of such products:

Liquidation Companies: Some third-party companies buy excess goods from manufacturers, do the remanufacturing themselves, and then sell those goods to distributors and retailers like you.

Manufacturers: Some manufacturers sell remanufactured goods directly to third-party suppliers and retailers.

Alibaba: If you’re already a fan of the private label process, then you probably won’t be surprised to find that Alibaba certified refurbished merchandise is also available for wholesale.

4. Apply and qualify to sell on Amazon Renewed

Now that you know what you will be selling and where you will be getting these products from, you must apply and qualify to sell on Amazon Renewed.

These are the requirements you must meet in order to sell on Amazon Renewed:

  1. You must be able to provide invoices showing that you have met Amazon’s minimum order quantity: you must either purchase $ 50,000 in qualifying remanufactured products or at least 500 remanufactured units within 90 days of submitting your claim. Additionally, items with a retail price of $ 15 or less will not count towards the 500 remanufactured devices. However, the program allows you to blank out either the required quantity or the required dollar amount on your bills. That means you can include low priced products. However, this only applies if you choose to submit invoices with dollar amounts instead of quantities.
  2. If you are an existing seller on Amazon, you must maintain an order error rate (ODR) of 0.8% or less in the last 90 days.
  3. Your company must provide a minimum 90-day warranty on all of its Certified Refurbished products.
    1. If you want to list remanufactured products with no manufacturer warranty, you will need to obtain approval. To do this, you must submit at least eight images of a sample device so that Amazon can perform a product and packaging review. You need to show them the box the product came in, the inner packaging and padding, a top and bottom view of the product, and pictures of all four sides of the item.
  4. If you’ve decided to sell remanufactured Apple products, you’ll need to get approval first. And to get approval, you’ll need to submit invoices to Amazon for a total of $ 2.5 million for refurbished Apple products dated to the past 90 days.
5. Start selling and grow your business

Once you are through the application process, you can start listing all of your certified reconditioned, used and open products, as well as adding offers to existing pages.

Why should you sell refurbished products on Amazon Renewed?

Selling certified, refurbished products on Amazon Renewed offers a number of benefits.

Take part in an exclusive program and avoid competition

Not everyone can sell certified refurbished products on Amazon. Only sellers who meet Amazon’s criteria and are able to consistently sell as good as new products are allowed to sell on Amazon Renewed. That means that there is a huge chance of success for the few who are accepted.

Sell ​​to millions of loyal Amazon customers

Enjoy a high level of customer trust due to the strict customer satisfaction targets that Amazon has set for measuring seller performance. Not to mention that Amazon’s US marketplace alone has more than 2 billion visitors each month, with conversion rates in the double digits.

Use the proven e-commerce solutions from Amazon

Amazon’s sales tools and fulfilment capabilities enable you to sell as-new products to customers in Amazon’s global marketplaces.

Just grow your business

This sales method complements practices that you may already be using in your company, such as wholesale and private label. By adding Amazon Renewed to your current business model, you can increase both your overall sales and your brand.

Tips for increasing sales with Amazon Renewed

In addition, these tips will help you succeed with the Amazon Renewed program:

  • Price your products at least 20% lower than the “new” price and within 2% of the “used” Buy Box price.
  • Add at least 15 stock keeping units (SKUs) to get started.
  • Offer “Best Deals” for your refurbished, used and open products.
  • Use Amazon’s Sponsored Products advertising program to direct traffic to your newly created certified refurbished ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers).
  • Amazon recommends that you consider both manual and automatic campaigns. However, for manual campaigns, it is best to use broad keywords to drive initial traffic to an ASIN.

How Zonmaster Can Help

If you do opt to try Amazon Renewed don’t forget that Zonmaster can offer you the same exciting tools – autoresponders, auto review requestors, sales statistics and more – for Amazon Renewed as well as your usual Amazon FBA/FBM sales!

Get started with Amazon Renewed today!

So, if you’re looking to start selling on Amazon or expand your existing Amazon business, Amazon Renewed is a great opportunity.

 

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[Amazon Basics] What is an ASIN number?

Amazon ASIN: What is an ASIN number?

Amazon uses ASINs to manage its ever-growing catalog of products. These unique product identifiers are an important part of Amazon’s sales policies because they help buyers find the items they want. If they are not used correctly, Amazon sellers can violate the terms of sale and even lose their eligibility for the marketplace.

To make sure you can list and sell your items on Amazon, learn what Amazon ASIN numbers are, why they’re important, and how to use them to find and identify your product listings in this article.

What is an ASIN number?

ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. It is a 10-digit alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners. It is primarily used for product identification within the product catalog. For books, the ASIN is identical to the ISBN number.

ASINs are only guaranteed to be unique within a marketplace. Thus, different national Amazon sites may use different ASINs for the same product.

Why the Amazon ASIN is important for Amazon and its sellers

An Amazon ASIN is important to both Amazon and its sellers because an ASIN is used to reference catalog data, track inventory for products, and index catalog pages for searching and browsing.

The ASIN number is the basis for Amazon’s product catalog structure, which in turn provides buyers with advanced search options, such as browsing multiple categories. Buyers can even enter a product description or the ASIN number in the search box to find the exact item they are looking for. Using a product’s ASIN, Amazon delivers accurate and relevant product searches every time.

It is therefore important that sellers identify and use the correct ASIN identifier for their products. Otherwise, Amazon will not be able to organize and search your products for customers. So if you want to list a product on Amazon, you need to match your product to an existing ASIN number or create a new one.

How to find your Amazon ASIN number

You can find an Amazon ASIN number for your product in several places: in the product’s web address, in the product details, or using an ASIN search software tool.

The fastest way is to search for the product you want to sell in your browser’s address bar. The Amazon ASIN will be after the product name and “dp” as highlighted below.

The second place you can find the ASIN is in the product details on Amazon.com, near the bottom of the product page.

Sellers can also use software tools like Synccentric to look up ASIN numbers. If you have thousands of products, you don’t want to look up web addresses for each item individually. Instead, you can use an online tool to do a bulk upload of your product identifiers that will return each ASIN number.

Of course, these types of tools cost something. Whether you need one depends on how many items you have and how often you list new products on Amazon.

Note that it is illegal to create a new ASIN for a product that already exists on Amazon. This may result in your selling privileges being temporarily suspended or permanently removed. It is important to check if your item already exists on Amazon!

Product Variations Policy

When searching and adding ASIN numbers, Amazon sellers often deal with product variations or parent-child relationships. Variations allow buyers to compare and purchase products based on different attributes such as size, color, or other features. Here’s what variations might look like for an Amazon shopper:

There will be a parent ASIN number for these products. However, Amazon has several rules about how variations should be listed. There are also several prohibited practices to prevent sellers from abusing variations and fundamentally altering children’s products and their relationship to their parent ASIN number.

Read more about the Amazon Variation Relationships policy.

Adding unique Amazon ASINs: Using GTINs, UPCs, ISBNS, and EANs

When you add a new item to Amazon, sellers must create a new ASIN to add it to the Amazon catalog. Manufacturers often need to add new ASINs for their products.

To create a new ASIN, Amazon provides an “Add Product” tool. Once your product page is set up, you can sell your items. (Note that other sellers can also use this ASIN number to sell the same items.)

When creating a new ASIN, you will need to know the GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) of your products. The most commonly used GTINs are UPCs, ISBNs, and EANs. These types of product codes are usually located near the barcode on your product’s packaging. Amazon uses these universal product identifiers to create and customize its own unique ASIN codes.

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number): 10 digits or 13 digits.
  • UPC (Universal Product Code): 12 digits
  • EAN (European Article Number): 13 digits
  • GTIN-14 (Global Trade Item Number): 14 digits

If you don’t know your GTIN yet, you can ask the manufacturer of your product for it. However, if you manufactured the item yourself, you will need to register your product through GS1 US for UPCs or the US ISBN Agency for ISBNs (for US sellers).

Limit for creating an ASIN

Amazon limits the number of new listings sellers can create based on sales history, listing creation history, and other factors. As you increase your sales, your capacity to create new listings also increases. Amazon suggests prioritizing the products you list to quickly increase your sales.

Read more about Amazon’s limits on ASIN creation.

Creating a new Amazon ASIN indicates low competition.

Amazon continues to expand its extensive product catalog into hundreds of categories. However, this also means that Amazon has become an extremely competitive marketplace for sales.

If you need to create a new Amazon ASIN for your product, this is an indication that you are the only seller for that product. You then don’t have to compete with other direct sellers. This is a great strategy to help you win the Amazon Buy Box, which is a sure way to increase sales.

If you want to offer new products on Amazon, you should pay attention to how competitive this item is. Are there already several sellers offering it, or are you creating a new ASIN for it?

What to do next

Identifying your Amazon ASIN number is the first step in listing your products on Amazon. It’s important that you understand the process for customizing or creating your ASIN so that your items are searchable by customers.