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Dirty Tricks #1 - 4 that Rogue Sellers Use to Devastate Brand Value

by Andrew Schydlowsky (TrackStreet)        October 4, 2018

 

Hi. This is Andrew from Track Street. One of the most common questions we get from brands we work with is, how do I stop rouge, third party merchants from selling my products on sites like Amazon? Usually, when a brand owner comes to us, they're really frustrated because these sellers aren't only destroying their best relationships by driving the price down below MAP and violating resell policies, but they're also using a bunch of dirty tricks to profit from your brand while they hide from you. We thought we'd create some short videos to teach you the worst dirty tricks we see and what to do about them.

The first dirty tricks we see fall in the identity masking category, trying to hide from you. On Amazon, some rouge sellers will create new ASINs or stock ID numbers for your products so they can own the buy box on your product page without as much competition so that you don't see the violation of our resale policies. You should only have one ASIN for every UPC, but many rouge sellers will make new ASINs, add their own copy in the product description, and just like that a new product page is created. Because of the size of Amazon's catalog, it's huge, and how quickly the market changes, it's impossible to track these new ASINs and changes by hand. To catch and stop this, you really need to work with a company like Track Street to do an assessment of your entire Amazon catalog.

Track all of your products throughout the day and proactively notify you when new ASINs pop up. If you're like a lot of companies we speak to, you'll be shocked the number of product listings we find and even more surprised at how quickly and easily we can help you regain control of your brand on Amazon.

Another identity masking dirty trick is to fake one of your product's UPC codes, or make small changes to the names of your products. Many bet actors know that you might be using a brand protection platform to monitor the internet for violations, so they'll simply create a sales page with incorrect UPC and or product name to siphon off customers while hiding from your monitoring enforcement team. To catch them, you really need to look at a wider range of factors. At Track Street, we're using image recognition and we're searching for text, UPCs and more. To identify possible matches. We also keep a directory of known bad actors that share between our customers because if they're doing something bad to one brand, chances are, they're causing problems for others too.

The third dirty trick we see falls in the identity masking category, shifting into other marketplaces when you think you've solved your problems. Let's say that with the help of company like Track Street you catch a rouge reseller on Amazon red-handed, you got him. Got screenshots of them selling the products where they shouldn't be, filing your intellectual property and offering deeply discounted pricing in violation of your re-sale policies. Even if you manage to get their listing taken down on Amazon, they still have inventory to sell, and the internet is full of other marketplaces or websites where they can pop up. They can easily shift activity elsewhere, and they do because they assume that you can't be everywhere, and they're often right. Unless, you're using the right technology and processes to control and protect your markets.

We often see this when companies come to us for help. Over-focusing on a single sales location like Amazon will often lead to more problems down the road. It's important to think about the internet as an ecosystem. When you focus on just one place your problems spread elsewhere. To Ebay, Wal Mart, Jet or any other number of websites, so really you're just redistributing the problem and that ecosystem is a very dynamic one with each website and marketplace playing off the others. To really tackle it, you need to work with a company like Track Street who monitors, reports on and enforces across all of the sites your consumers can find when they're looking for your products on line, your entire internet ecosystem.

Another dirty trick we see resellers use is trying to sneak pricing changes that violate your policy at times they think you and your enforcement team are out living your non-work lives. Often, this involves changing prices early in the morning, late at night or on the weekend. To catch them, you really need to work with a platform that performs random checks, multiple times per day. At Track Street, we don't just check on your sellers during the peak hours, our platforms are working even when you're not. We turn at random intervals and if we catch a violation we'll provide proof in the form of a screen shot and even take action for you based upon your rules and processes so you can focus on the high value activities like building your brand and growing sales across your authorized reseller network.

Want to learn more dirty tricks that rogue sellers are using right now to damage brands like yours and how to stop them? Visit the link on your screen. Sign up for the video series and we'll teach them all to you. Thanks for watching our video. If you liked it, please give us a thumbs up or share it.

 

 

 

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