November 11, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 14 Comments

Can You List Your Products Under EXISTING Amazon Listings?

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Happy Friday!

It’s time for our weekly Reader’s Question post. For people new to my blog, – in these posts I give an in-depth answer to a question or problem sent in by one of my blog readers. If you would like your question to be featured in future posts, please get in touch via my help desk here.

Even if your question isn’t used for a blog post, I will still personally answer all queries within 24 hours, Mon-Fri.

Ok, with the recent release of the Amazon module for my Easy Auction Business course, I have started to receive more and more Amazon related questions.

Here’s one from Christian:

Hi Andrew,

I hope you’re well.

You’ve been of great help to me in the past and I just wanted to ask a question about selling products on Amazon.

Now I have been selling successfully on eBay for a while and want to go over and introduce my products to Amazon. All my products are non-branded generic items from China, some of which I have very little competition for and sell a lot of.

Looking at Amazon I became slightly confused as I noticed some of my products are on Amazon and have different sellers offering the exact same product, however they all have their own individual listings under a private label. They claim it’s their own brand but I see no evidence of a logo or branded packaging. As far as I know it’s the exact same product and they could even be buying the items from the same supplier I use in China.

My question is how come they all use their own listing and why don’t they piggyback off of each other? Can I not piggyback on their listing given the fact that there is no evidence of it being their own brand? If I do so I can guess they will be sending me email messages to take it off fairly quickly. Should I just do as they did and start my own private label and build up reviews slowly etc.?

Many Thanks, 

Christian

Hi Christian,

Thanks for your question.

The short answer is – YOU CAN! There’s nothing stopping you from listing the product under existing listings on Amazon AS LONG AS the product you sell is exactly the same which means it should look and function exactly the same as the one already for sale.

That’s the whole point of Amazon’s catalog system – to list the same products under one listing, to make the buying process easier for buyers and remove duplicate listings from search results, and that’s the major difference between Amazon and eBay, where each sellers gets a unique listing, even if there are a hundred other sellers with the exact same product.

Now, you ask why other sellers are creating their own listings for the item, under their own brand… Because they don’t want to sell under a listing where other sellers are competing for the Buy Box. With listings like these, you lose ANY advantage over competitors and are basically competing on price alone. No one likes to do this – price wars on Amazon are the last thing you want as unlike on eBay, there is not much else to stand out with.

On eBay you have your own listing, your own description etc. but on Amazon people just see a product and then a list of competing sellers. It’s an easy choice really to go with the lowest price, correct?

The only way you can sometimes create an advantage for yourself is by offering international shipping options to countries that other sellers don’t post to but in general, it all comes down to the lowest price offer “milking” that listing and getting the majority of sales.

So, what’s the solution?

Just like other sellers, you want to list your item under your own listing so that you control the listing and don’t have to compete on price alone.

BUT just like on eBay, Amazon also has a duplicate listing policy which clearly states that you CAN’T create new listings for products that are ALREADY LISTED on Amazon’s catalog.

However, you and I know that many sellers breach this rule as just like in your example – all those sellers are essentially selling the same item, just under a different brand name. With automated systems it’s not that easy to detect such duplicate listings so unless they get reported, many sellers get away with this.

But to be 100% safe and to:

  • Avoid the risk of Amazon taking your listing down due to Duplicate Listing policy violations;
  • Avoid the risk of OTHER sellers listing items under your listing.

You need to BRAND your item!

This means coming up with a brand name, creating a logo (if you haven’t done so already) and applying your logo to the product itself, or at least the packaging.

This way you’re 100% protected from other people selling under your listing as they WON’T have the exact same item e.g. – their items won’t be branded with your logo.

This strategy really is best for long term success on Amazon, period. You get your own listing and a unique product that no one else is selling and of course further advantages such as increased buyer perception of buying a BRANDED item instead of an un-branded one.

As for the branding process itself – you haven’t mentioned what product you’re selling, but with most products you can ask manufacturers to brand the item directly (put your logo on the product) and ideally brand the packaging too. You won’t have to do anything really – just give your supplier the artwork and you’ll receive branded products straight from China.

If the supplier does not offer such branding services OR your order quantities are too small, you can often find a way around this problem by branding products on your own! I have a very good guide on this process here:

https://andrewminalto.com/product-branding-guide/

https://andrewminalto.com/custom-branding/

You’ll of course want to take new product pictures which show off your logo and branding.

This way no one else can sell products under your listing.

The moment you create a logo, you own the copyright to it so other sellers can’t use it without your approval BUT to even further secure your IP rights, make sure to register your logo as a trademark so you can easily take legal action in case someone does start copying your products in the future.

Hope this helps Christian!

Thanks,
Andrew


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14 Comments
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  1. Hello! What happens when an existing listing has poor photos or description and I would like to invest in a better listing but can not dublicate the existing one? Is there any way amazon rewards me for trying to make the listing better? Can I make the existing listing better? Or if the then listing exists everybody has to follow the poor listing initially created? I am talking for a cream product which can be sold by any pharmacy.. If the first one that uploads inserts a poor description and one bad photo how can I sell the same product with better photos and better description?

    Thank you!

    1. Glenn Reece

      Hi John,

      I am an FBA seller with a registered brand and I have been playing around/testing many of my theories along the lines of that you described. If a listing is unbranded anyone can edit that listing. They can change the photos, description, product details – ANYTHING. They need to be a seller on that listing however… My first ever product was in this format and as it was selling very well, it fairly quickly attracted piggy backers. They would edit my description regularly and had access to changing photos if they liked… to directly answer you’re question; improving a listing is a waste of your effort. 1. If its selling great without any changes, why waste effort on improving something that can be edited by any seller you are competing with? Put time and effort into YOUR listing and brand it. Once a listing is branded, ONLY YOU can make changes, and if you have put your image on the product and/or packaging you will not legally have competition. Some may try but they will be liable to a lawsuit from you and also amazon should remove fairly promptly. Hope that helps!

      Regards
      Glenn

      1. Andrew Minalto

        Can’t agree more. Your own BRAND is the ONLY way to go!

  2. I’ve recently set up an amazon fba account and when I’ve added my product its listed under another sellers account and the barcodes that amazon have sent me are that other sellers name. Is this right or have I done something wrong here?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi David,

      It sounds like you have listed it under an existing listing/EAN number?

      Is your product 100% unique to you OR other people also sell the product?

      If it’s your unique product, with your own Brand etc., you should have created your own unique listing, provide your own EAN code etc.

      But if it’s not your product, then you will have to sell it under the existing listing as Amazon only allows ONE listing for each unique product (everyone lists their offer under the same listing).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  3. I have received several threatening emails telling me to remove my offers from other listings. Although we are selling the same products and buying them from the same places they claim I cannot list under their listing. If this is the case why does Amazon want you to piggyback?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kelley,

      IF the product is exactly the same, you’re allowed to sell the item under the existing listing. IN fact, Amazon WANTS you to sell it under the existing listing.

      Sellers are angry of course as they don’t want any competition, but they have no rights to ban you from selling under the existing listing (unless there are other brand/patent/IP issues involved).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  4. Hi Andrew, what if the listing has a brand but it hasn’t been applied to the product or packaging in any of the photos?

    Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jamie,

      In cases like those Amazon usually allows other sellers to list under the listing, at least for a while.

      As long as the product is the same, they won’t do anything about it.

      Andrew

  5. Hi Andrew.
    When more than one seller under the same listing. Who is the one showed first she search for the item? Does it depend on the price? Prime?
    I created my own listing and I got other sellers selling under my listing.. and some times I can see they are shown first even though is my listing.. why is that?
    Many thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, mostly the combination of lowest price and Prime availability is what determines who gets the Buy Box.

      Sometimes no one gets it and all offers are listed on the 2nd page.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  6. Hi Andrew – If I sell a product that is already on Amazon (just one seller is already selling it, and they have their brand ON the product) ..Can I also sell the exact same product with my own brand/logo ON the product ..I’ll do my own photos, words etc – So presumably I would get my own listing and this is all above board with Amazon UK?
    Thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, of course Ben!

      If you sell your own BRANDED version of the product, you will create your own listing as the product will look different to what’s already selling on Amazon.

      Andrew

  7. Hi Guys,

    “This means coming up with a brand name, creating a logo (if you haven’t done so already) and applying your logo to the product itself, or at least the packaging.”

    As a regular user of the Amazon forums, I can say you definitely have to brand your product, not just the packaging.

    Even then, you’ll see countless cases where Amazon will not step in most times and protect your brand when it comes down to it, the only way is to protect it yourself and that can be very costly if you go down that route.

    You need to be very careful with branding generic products on Amazon. I suspect Christian’s main reasoning by *wanting* to piggyback on an existing listing is that he wants to sell straight away and enjoy the ranking an existing product benefits from, as you’ll know, creating your new listings means a lot of effort and ad campaigns to get your product seen.

    A second consideration, once you are happy that the product is indeed exactly the same (get a test purchase!) is that you could skip the other sellers by going with FBA, if the product size/weight/price dictates it’s worthwhile. You’ll then enjoy more sales, higher price, and less work 🙂

    Paul

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