Every retail arbitrage seller on Amazon should know how to properly protect themselves against Trademark complaints and all other Product Policy Issues on Amazon. In this article I will discuss the system we use to bulletproof ourselves against Trademark Complaints on Amazon. Additionally, this system will help protect you against other Policy Issues when performing retail arbitrage.
There is a lot of back and forth and disagreement when it comes to policy issues on Amazon. I am not here to debate anything or prove anybody wrong or right.
All I am doing is showing you the system I have used since 2015 to protect myself from these issues. Our business sources without worry when it comes to this. If Amazon lets us sell an item and we source the product from an authorized supplier then we have no worries when it comes to selling the product. I could get into the legal reasons why this is the case but does it even really matter? I mean, I just won a case INSERT DATE (Days from writing this article) and my legal intelligence had nothing to do with it. It works, Amazon likes it, and that’s all that matters in this situation. If a brand wants to prevent 3rd party sellers from being on Amazon they need to enroll in the Transparency Program. That’s the best way to stop other sellers from getting on a listing.
Here is what you need to do in to properly protect yourself from these issues while doing retail arbitrage
You have to source the product from suppliers Amazon recognizes as legitimate and have proper documentation to support your purchases.
Good news: Retail receipts from places like Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls WILL WORK for handling cases like this one. I won the above case with an Ulta receipt.
Amazon does recognize these suppliers as legitimate suppliers.
You have to store your receipts somewhere they can be accessed so you can prove you purchased these items from a legitimate source.
You can use programs like Shoeboxed to store receipts, you can scan and save receipts using Evernote, or you can store paper receipts at your office. Whatever you choose to do just make sure you can access receipts for your previous purchases. Bonus points if you save them digitally in a format that allows the UPC code to be searchable.
The next step is to make sure you know how to speak Amazon. How do you learn this? You simply use the same language they do when they are writing you messages.
When you reply to the message make sure you are identifying what type of complaint you are referring to (trademark vs. inauthentic issue). If you reply to an inauthentic issue and mention the word trademark in your response then Amazon will most likely not accept your response. When writing your response make sure to only include relevant information, keep it simple, and use bullet points to help them easily identify important pieces of information.
When sending the email (if responding via email) make sure you get the correct email address at Amazon. Each Policy issue has an email associated with it dedicated to handling those issues.
So to recap on how to protect yourself from Trademark issues:
- Make sure you are sourcing from an authentic supplier
- Make sure you are saving receipts that come with your order. If ordering online make sure you are saving the receipt that came with the order in the box.
- When responding to a case make sure to keep it short and sweet, and that you’re “speaking Amazon”
- If you don’t win the case the first time, then keep submitting it. I’ve won cases months later simply by not giving up.
In some cases you may decide to no longer sell the product because you reached out to the brand associated with the complaint. Some of these companies are small businesses, being ran by entrepreneurs like ourselves. Playing nice and respecting the brands wishes can be the right thing to do in some cases. That part will be up to you when the situation presents itself.
Would you like to receive a copy of the template I just used to win a Trademark Complaint? Situations like this are best handled by having a system and procedure in place when the situation presents itself. Personally, I have a template for every Policy Issue on Amazon and a Virtual Assistant that handles these cases for me as they come up. As you scale it’s important that you’re able to use your time effectively. You don’t want to spend your time going back and forth with Amazon. If you’d like to get the exact template I use for Trademark Complaints you can do so for free by going here. I just used this template a few days ago to win one. Let me know how it works!
To read more on the subject I encourage you to check out what Amazon has to say themselves. You can do that by going here.