Back in 2016, the retail giant launched brand gating on Amazon. This policy requires merchants to get approval for selling specific products.
Amazon brand gating requires a $1500 fee per brand.
Brands must also provide manufacturer invoices, and written permission to sell products.
With this data, brand gated items are protected against potential counterfeits. Thus, brands can sell genuine products, and protect themselves from knock-off imitations.
Below, we’ll tell you how to get brand gating on Amazon to protect your brand.
Let’s dive right in!
What is Brand Gating on Amazon?
Counterfeiting on Amazon is an issue that may cause a lot of harm to sellers. They can undercut your prices, skim revenue, and harm your reputation.
That’s where Brand Gating comes in. The policy allows registered brands to stop copycats from listing knock-off items.
Amazon Brand Gating relies on ASINs to protect sellers and their products. When a counterfeiter tries to sell a gated listing, Amazon detects if the specific ASIN is gated
Why is Brand Gating on Amazon Important?
Brand gating is single-handedly the most effective way to protect your listings from hijackers.
Hijackers (particularly from China) have been a challenge for sellers and in some instances have flooded product categories. Reducing counterfeiting is a huge focus area for Amazon and they have largely simplified the process.
Previously, a seller was required to purchase the counterfeit goods to prove to Amazon how it did not match their product exactly. This got expensive for sellers that got flooded by hijackers and many gave up their listing.
The policy change provides sellers a proactive option to stop hijacking. Amazon has implemented this plan automatically to protect large brands like Nike. Individual sellers can request to have their brands gated on Amazon.
The process may take a few weeks, but there are certain steps that you can follow to give your brand the best chance of being approved.
Why Use Brand Gating on Amazon?
The retail giant is well aware of its counterfeit issues, and its harm to both customers and sellers. According to the first Amazon Brand Protection Report:
- In 2020 alone, Amazon seized over 20 million copycat items from its warehouses.
- The marketplace also blocked around 10 billion suspicious ASINS, before publishing.
Product hijackers undercut prices, and tarnish seller reputations. Even consumers are not exempt from the damage.
Red Points states that the most notorious copycat sales are:
- Sex toys – 68%
- Baby items – 43%
- Consumer electronics – 26%
- Sports apparel – 23%
In the past, merchants had to purchase the copycat items to prove they did not match with their listings. But this approach was both time-consuming and expensive.
Brand gating is one of many strategies to fight the problem. The policy change provides sellers with a proactive option to stop counterfeits.
Related content: How to Protect Your Brand on Amazon
How Do I Set Up Brand Gating on Amazon?
Amazon brand gating is an automatic feature for large vendors, such as Nike.
But that does not mean that other third-party sellers can’t become Amazon gated brands.
The process is fairly simple, though a bit time-consuming. Let’s take a look at what it takes to be an Amazon gated seller.
Amazon Brand Registry
The brand gating policy is part of Amazon Brand Registry. This program helps sellers protect their intellectual property (IP) in the marketplace.
Brand gating on Amazon is only available for registered brands. Enrollment can prove a bit lengthy, but it’s well worth the hassle.
First, you must prove your brand is eligible to join the program. Here’s how to do so:
- Own the registered trademark in USPTO. When doing so, keep note of the following data:
- Text-based marks are 1 – Typeset letter(s)/word(s)/number(s), or 4 – Standard Character Mark.
- Image-based marks include letter(s)/word(s)/number(s).
- Provide verification as the lawful trademark owner.
- Upload product images featuring the trademark name.
- Submit the categories in which your brand holds product listings.
- List the countries where items are manufactured and distributed.
- Set up an Amazon Professional Seller account.
The next step is simple. Tick the following boxes to confirm your Amazon Brand Registry account:
- Submit your corporate/legal data
- Confirm your identity via SMS/text
- Accept the program’s policies, terms and conditions
- Click on “Save”
That’s it! Amazon will confirm your registry status within 2 weeks.
Amazon requires a list of the ASINs you want to protect against counterfeits. We recommend you start with the highest-selling items, and go from there.
Once you compile the ASIN list, forward it to your Amazon representative. From then on, the marketplace will review and approve the gating of each ASIN.
You must prove to Amazon that you take an active role in fighting counterfeits. Provide a brand’s history of detecting and removing knock-off items.
So, take the time to prepare a counterfeit summary. Include all the processes you take to stop counterfeit listings. Here are some relevant actions you can submit:
- Enrollment in Amazon Brand Registry
- Use of the brand’s logo in its items and packages
- Product bundle offerings
- Enrollment in Transparency by Amazon
- Cease-and-desist letters for counterfeiters
It’s also important to provide a list of your authorized sellers to Amazon. This will prevent any disputes from your associate sellers with Amazon.
Confirmation of Approval
Check your product listings to confirm your ASINS are brand gated. Here’s how to do so:
- Login with a different seller account. But don’t create a second account for your brand, this goes against Amazon’s policies.
- Locate the ASINs you submitted for brand gating.
- Click on “Sell on Amazon” or “Sell yours.”
A warning message like this (“You need approval to list in this brand”) should pop up for Gated Products. That means the product is brand gated on Amazon.
Third-party sellers must provide authorization to sell the product. Here’s the proof Amazon expects:
- Pass seller performance checkups
- Invoice from the product manufacturer
- Written authorization to sell the product
- $1500 non-refundable fee to the parent brand
If sellers can’t confirm authorization, Amazon will remove the listings from the marketplace. This means only authorized merchants can sell specific products on Amazon.
Additional Tools to Gate Your Brand
Amazon Brand Registry comes with many benefits for enrolled merchants.
For example, sellers have access to several IP protection tools besides Amazon Brand Gating.
Counterfeit Crimes Unit
Amazon launched its Counterfeit Crime Unit in 2020. This division is dedicated to detecting counterfeiters in the marketplace on a global scale.
The unit’s goal is to identify any seller who tries to profit from selling knock-of items. Then, Amazon assists law enforcement agencies in apprehending and prosecuting these sellers.
The Counterfeit Crimes Unit encourages brands to file joint lawsuits with Amazon. Thus, both the marketplace and its sellers act together to stop counterfeiters.
Transparency by Amazon
This is a feature exclusive to the US marketplace. Transparency provides sellers with unique barcodes to label their stock.
Amazon then scans these labels to confirm product authenticity before shipment. This way, you can ensure customers will receive authentic items from authorized sellers.
If you are interested in enrolling you can apply to the program here.
Amazon Project Zero
This initiative is about seller empowerment. Project Zero gives brands the ability to eliminate copycat items from the marketplace.
The program uses three unique tools to detect counterfeit products:
- Automated Protections – Machine learning tool, set up to detect and remove knock-off items.
- Counterfeit Removal – Grants sellers with authority to eliminate flagged product listings, without contacting Amazon.
- Product Serialization – Serial code scanner that verifies product authenticity.
Brand Gating on Amazon is, hands down, the most secure barrier against counterfeits.
Yes, the process is different for each Amazon brand. Plus, approval may take from only a few weeks to 9 whole months.
That said, brand gating on Amazon is a winning safety measure for registered sellers.
When you put a stop to knock-off listings, customers feel confident in their purchases. They know that they are buying quality products from authorized sellers.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to put a halt on Amazon copycats!
Esteban Muñoz is an SEO copywriter at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.