Let’s talk about the infamous Amazon ERROR 5665, what it is, how it works and how to fix it for good!
The ERROR 5665 started to show up on Amazon earlier this year when sellers tried to create a new listing for a product and enter a brand name that was not registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry.
Here’s the exact ERROR 5665 message that comes up on Amazon:
Amazon must approve your brand before you can use it to list products. Brands should be registered through Brand Registry, but if your brand is not eligible for Brand Registry, you can obtain an exception by contacting Seller Support and mentioning error code 5665.
When contacting Seller Support, provide the following information:
- The brand name used when creating the listing.
- Images of the product and packaging, showing branding on either. The images can show the product and packaging held in hand, or placed on a table. The branding must be permanently affixed.
- If using inventory file templates, please also provide the Batch ID of the inventory file process report.
For more information, please review our Brand Name Policy.
So, basically, Amazon is saying that we can’t create a new listing for a product UNLESS:
We have the brand name registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry.
We contact seller support and provide images of the branded product for an exemption.
Sounds reasonable, right? So, what’s the problem?
The problem is that, usually, people want to create the listing for their product BEFORE their final order with the manufacturer has been placed.
This is common for two reasons:
1) To check if the category you plan on selling in is gated/restricted for your account;
2) To get the FNSKU barcode and integrate it into the packaging design to avoid the extra cost of using labels later on.
I have always recommended that sellers sign up to the Brand Registry as soon as possible because it opens up various promotional and advertising tools that are not available to unregistered sellers.
The problem is that getting a trademark approved takes time. Especially now, during the pandemic. The registration process can drag on for three, four or more months, even in the UK. No one has the time to wait around for that, right? Exactly! So, we have to look for an alternative.
The simplest solution is to simply contact seller support and ask for an exemption. If you choose this option, you will need to send images of the product to Seller Support. And in these images, the product must have the branding on it.
If you have the final manufacturing sample on hand, with the branding already on it, this is easy. Simply take the required images and send them to Seller Support.
If you have the final sample on hand but it doesn’t have the branding on it (as often happens), you have few options:
1) Manually re-create the branding on your own. The technique needed for this will depend on the product type, material and logo requirements, but usually, you can get this task done by a local promotional items company. They can put a decal on, use an invisible sticker, or print your logo onto your product using screen printing and other methods. You can also do some of these techniques on your own if you’re familiar with them.
If you need any advice on the best way to get this done, please leave your questions in the comments box below this post. This is the preferred, 100% “white hat” method I recommend you use.
But if you simply can’t do this, there is a more “grey hat” alternative:
2) Hire a designer on Fiverr.com to Photoshop your logo onto the product. Yes, this is not technically allowed, but if the designer does a good job, no one will be able to tell the difference.
NOTE: Do not use 3D renders of the product! Take real images of the product and packaging placed on a table, as per Amazon’s rules. Then send these images to the designer to implement the logo part.
Both of these options can work, and the success rate will highly depend on the individual who reviews your case. Amazon does say that the branding MUST be permanently affixed to the product and/or packaging, but what exactly does that mean? Can stickers work? Yes and no. I have heard mixed reports on this, but it really comes down to the individual reviewer’s personality and how they interpret the rules.
The good news is that you’re not really risking anything here—unless you send in very bad, low-quality Photoshopped images. In that case, Amazon will simply ask for more evidence or a change of branding if they don’t like something. In 99% of cases, it will be just fine, and you will be able to create the listing and get the FNSKU barcode.
What should you do if you don’t have a physical sample of the product on hand? Ask your supplier/manufacturer to take pictures of the product and proceed with the Photoshopping part (if the branding is not applied to the sample). If that’s not possible, you will have to proceed with an alternative strategy, which I will cover in a minute.
Now, if you do a search for “Amazon ERROR 5665” on Google, you will find that others have recommended putting N/A in the brand name setting and then, once you have the branded product on hand, you can contact seller support and ask them to change it to the real brand name.
This strategy works, at least partially.
Yes, you can create a listing and put N/A in the brand name setting—and yes, Amazon will accept it and allow you to create the listing. The part I don’t like is then having to contact Seller Support to ask them to change the N/A in the listing to the real brand name.
Amazon is not very keen on making such changes, and it can often take weeks or even months for something like this to be processed. And that’s only if they approve the change at all and give you the green light. Again, it will be highly dependent on the individual support member you are dealing with, and that’s NOT a good way to do business on Amazon or to plan the future of your brand.
Let’s be real for a moment: the N/A setting should only be used if you sell unbranded goods. In that case, you won’t need the brand setting, you won’t register with the Brand Registry, and you won’t use the Amazon Stores functionality and advertising tools available to brand-registered sellers. That’s why the N/A option is available. It’s NOT there to help you trick the system!
So, use the N/A method at your own risk. Personally, I do not recommend it.
But there’s another method you can use to fix an ERROR 5665 on Amazon—a method that won’t require you to have branded samples on hand and a method that does not require you to trick Amazon’s system. I’m talking about….
The Alternative ERROR 5665 Fix!
It’s very simple, and I haven’t seen many people suggest this online. Instead of relying on FNSKU barcodes, change your account barcode preference to the MANUFACTURER’S BARCODE!
This basically allows you to use the stickerless inventory option, which means EAN barcodes will be used by Amazon instead of FNSKU barcodes.
With this setting, you don’t have to worry about FNSKU barcodes anymore, and the best part is that you can create your new listing any time you want!
You will have the EAN code on hand from the day you join the GS1. This code won’t change, and you can safely integrate it into your packaging design, knowing that the same barcode will be used by Amazon and any future retail customers you may have.
Quick tip! To convert your EAN number into an actual barcode, you can use this FREE online service:
So, with this method, you don’t have to worry about the FNSKU barcode.
But what about the risk of listing in a restricted category?
There’s an easy fix to that! Simply create a dummy listing in the category you plan on selling in and use N/A in the brand name setting. This way, you will be able to test if Amazon will allow you to create a listing in that category or not. Simple!
“Ok, this all sounds great, Andrew, but are there any downsides or potential risks with this strategy?”
Yes, there are few downsides:
1) There’s a small chance that by the time your items/samples arrive, Amazon will have changed the rules and you won’t be able to create a listing in your chosen category.
In other words, it could become a restricted category. Depending on how “risky” the category is, the chances of this happening range from zero to medium. This isn’t the end of the world. You can still proceed with the product. Amazon will simply ask you for some proof in the form of invoices, certificates (if any apply to that product), etc. Again, you have to evaluate the category. If it’s a high-risk category, I would probably want to have a FINAL/REAL listing created before placing an order with the supplier.
2) Stickerless inventory means that inventory from all sellers of this item will be mixed together at Amazon’s warehouses.
With FNSKU codes, each seller’s stock is kept separate, but with stickerless inventory, Amazon can’t track which stock unit belongs to which seller, as all units will have the exact same barcode: the EAN code for the item.
Now, this may sound scary, but for private label sellers, it really isn’t. You will be the only seller of your items (unless you do wholesale), so the only inventory Amazon will have for that item will come from you. There’s nothing to mix it together with.
I have been using stickerless inventory from day one in my Amazon business and haven’t experienced any problems, even after selling tens of thousands of products. I also really like that I can use the same product/packaging on Amazon as I do for retail stores.
If you’re using this method, you will have to have GS1 membership and use genuine EAN codes issued to your account. I would NOT recommend risking the future of your listings and brand by using cheap codes bought from re-sellers.
Amazon clearly states that we have to use GS1 codes that are registered in the name of our company, so please be warned. If you’re using re-seller codes, your listings and account may be at risk.
If you absolutely don’t want to use EAN codes, you can get a GTIN exemption by following this guide.
There’s now even a simple and automated ONLINE TOOL that will grant or deny a GTIN exemption.
If you go with this option, you first need to get a brand name exemption from Amazon. Only then can you apply for the GTIN exemption. If you are following this strategy, you will need to have the branded sample on the hand or use the “grey hat” Photoshopping method described earlier.
And that’s about it. I hope you can now see that there’s no need to worry much about Amazon’s ERROR 5665. There are multiple ways you can fix the issue and continue with your Amazon selling journey.
If you ask me, I would personally always recommend going through the Brand Registry process. It gives you a HUGE advantage on Amazon (A+ Content, Stores, video ads, etc.)
But if you can’t do it at the time of listing creation, either ask for brand exemption OR use the EAN/stickerless inventory method.
The last option, which I don’t recommend, is to put N/A in the brand name setting in the hopes of being able to change it later on.
As any seasonal Amazon seller will know, the less you need to deal with Seller Support, the better! 🙂 This method relies heavily on the hope that Amazon will quickly and easily change your brand name for the listing in the future, which I don’t think is a good bet to make.
If you have any questions about the ideas covered in this post, please leave your comments below. I will personally answer all of them within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
And if you’re looking for a more detailed guide on how to start a successful Amazon FBA business, take a look at my Amazon Sharks video course here. In more than 20+ hours of videos, I share my own business examples and guide you through the whole Amazon FBA business journey from A to Z!
Thanks for reading. Until next time!