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Amazon Brand Protection

One of the most important topics in ecommerce is channel control. In ecommerce, channel control means a brand has complete control of their representation across all marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Target, Google Shopping, their website etc.). This includes consistent appearance and voice, consistent pricing, and a consistent product experience for all consumers. 

Brands have struggled with channel control for years, and 2020 has made accomplishing that mission even more difficult. As the number of online sellers increases at an overwhelming rate, so too does the number of rogue sellers and Minimum Advertising Price (MAP) violators.  

Why is Channel Control Important? 

Channel control is essential for protecting a brand’s bottom line, and perhaps even more importantly, their reputation. Every day, we hear from brands that are struggling to enforce their reseller policies and are seeking assistance. They frequently find rogue sellers in their listing violating MAP and it can be extremely difficult to identify the source of the rogue seller’s product 

Such situations are frustrating and time-consuming, but they must be addressed because channel control is fundamental for a brands success.  

It Affects Shopper Confidence 

When brands lack channel control, it results in inconsistent branding, inconsistent pricing, inconsistent customer service, etc., all of which can put shoppers on guard. Is the product a fake? Is the atypically low price a deal or a scam? Are they receiving reliable answers to questions about product use, appearance, and safety?   

To maintain channel control, brands must have an enforceable selling strategyMany brands have MAP policies, and some have Authorized Reseller Agreements or Exclusive Agreements. However, even among these brands, many still lack a plan for how to enforce their policies, and a policy that can’t be enforced isn’t worth anything. 

How to Remove Rogue Sellers and Counterfeits 

So, how can you enact and enforce a strategy to safeguard your brand’s channel controlMonitoring and managing thousands of sellers is certainly no small effort. At Kaspien, we recommend utilizing software and/or partnerships to make this enormous task more manageable.  

Price & Seller Tracking Software – Perispect  

If your strategy requires enforcing a MAP policy tracked across multiple listings and sellers, Perispect will save you valuable time.  

Perispect is Kaspien’s proprietary brand protection software. It empowers brands to track sellers and their pricing across 6 marketplaces and 9 countries, all in one platformWhy is that helpful?

 

Marketplaces Do Not Enforce MAP or MSRP 

Well, twenty-five years in, it’s no secret that Amazon takes a handsoff approach to enforcing MAP or MSRPAmazon’s mission to have the lowest prices available with the quickest deliveryWhen sellers price down, even if its just a few cents, they make the marketplace more attractive to shoppersOther marketplaces, such as Walmart, eBay, Wish, etc. are following Amazon’s lead as well. As a result, brands cannot rely on the marketplace to help them enforce their pricing policy; they must do that themselves.  

Perispect Empowers Sellers with Actionable Insights 

That’s where Perispect comes in. Perispect scans each marketplace, identifies the sellers in your listings as well as their listed price, and stores this information in a centralized, easy-to-read dashboard! If a rogue seller appears or a seller drops below MAP, Perispect immediately notifies you.  

As a result, you don’t have to manually monitor your brand’s listings and sellers. Even if a seller changes their name, Perispect’s seller tracking capabilities will record the name change and associate it with the previous record, so you can track a seller’s actions regardless of whether they rename themselves.  

The software also provides brands with the sellers contact information, including email, phone number, addressMerchant ID, and their seller rating, along with their total number of ratings. This enables brands to quickly assess the seller and send violation noticesThese notices are then tracked in a case management dashboard, making it easy to follow up. 

Gain Evidence to Enable Enforcement 

In Perispect, brands can easily see their channel from a brand level or by seller. At a brand level, brands will see all their listings, MAP price, number of offerings, and the lowest price. A dropdown on each listing shows the sellers, their pricing, and a screenshot of their pricing to use as evidence in the event of a pricing violation. The screenshots are stored for 2 weeks. 

How Much Does Perispect Cost? 

Perispect starts at $99/month.  

Unauthorized Seller Removal with VantageBP  

While Amazon plays a hands-off role with MAP policies, Amazon does take product infringement very seriously. As your channel grows, so too does the likelihood of counterfeit products and rogue sellers entering your listings. VantageBP can help brand’s remove these sellers. 

VantageBP

VantageBP Removes Counterfeits and Unauthorized Sellers 

VantageBP is a proven ecommerce monitoring and enforcement agency that specializes in identifying rogue sellers and eliminating counterfeit products from the marketplaces. VantageBP’s rapid scanning technology quickly identifies unauthorized resellers and new products listings.  

When VantageBP discovers a violation, they send an automated seller notification requesting the seller’s information and where they obtained your products. If no response is received after 48 hours, they send a second noticeIf the seller provides an invoice, receipt, or supplier information, they will be marked as verified in VantageBP’s system. If they do not respond with adequate information, the seller is flagged as unauthorized. VantageBP then generates and files an enforcement action request with the given marketplace to expedite removal.  

What Happens if Sellers Cannot be Removed? 

If the seller provides a supplier invoice or supplier information, VantageBP cannot remove the seller from the listing, as they are following Amazon’s reseller policies. However, VantageBP will still pass along any information they gathered to you so you can inform the supplier of your reseller policies.  

Track Progress in Real-Time 

VantageBP shares a real-time dashboard with their clients showing their finding. Brands can review information by listing or by seller. By receiving the information updates in real-time, brands can have immediate conversations with suppliers, instead of waiting for weekly or monthly updates. The information gathered from the sellers is saved within the dashboard, giving you access to the evidence you need for relaying requests to suppliers. 

Why Doesn’t Kaspien Remove Rogue Sellers?  

Kaspien partners with brands in one of three ways – as their wholesale retailer, as their ecommerce agency, or as their software provider. Because Kaspien is a third-party seller, there’s a conflict of interest if we try to remove other third-party sellers. However, many of our partners request assistance in removing unauthorized sellers from their listings. That’s why we partner with VantageBP to provide this important service. 

How Much does VantageBP Cost? 

Kaspien’s partners receive a referral discount when working with VantageBPVantageBP customizes their monthly fee based on your brand’s needs, and there are no contracts locking you in. After working with VantageBP for just 4 months, one of our partners saw a 62% increase in listing control! 

Other Ways to Protect Your Brand on Amazon

While achieving and maintaining channel control may be difficult, it’s well worth the effortIn addition to Perispect and VantageBP, here are some free resources on other ways brands can safeguard their online brand integrity.  

Unauthorized sellers are one of the most pervasive challenges in online retail. These rogue sellers are often the cause of pricing violations, which can disrupt a brand’s relationships with brick and mortar accounts as well as their direct website retailers.  Unauthorized sellers can also erode brand integrity by not upholding your brand’s quality standards, not honoring product warranties, and providing subpar customer service. 

That bears the question:  How can brands protect their pricing policy and brand integrity in online marketplaces?  

There are many software-as-a-service (SaaS) programs out there designed to help with online brand protection, but we found them to be lacking in key areas; so we built our own.  

Perispect – Empowered Insights, Actionable Data 

Kaspien launched Perispect in 2015, and we’ve continued expanding and improving its capabilities ever since.  

At its core, Perispect™ is a price monitoring software. It provides insight into who is selling your product, and at what price, empowering manufacturers to take control of their brands’ online presence. By identifying who is selling your product and alerting you when your price policy has been violated, Perispect gives you the power to take action. 

By identifying who is selling your product and alerting you when your price policy has been violated, Perispect™ gives you the power to take action.

 

Key Features 

Price Monitoring 
Stay aware of the prices at which your products are being offered on marketplaces. 

Seller Tracking 
Gain complete visibility into unauthorized and counterfeit sellers so you can protect your brand. 

Historical Tracking 
Track key events regarding pricing and violation history, so you can see the full picture. 

Customized Reporting 
Access easy-to-use reports to gain actionable insights. 

Push Alerts 
Receive emailed alerts for important seller and price updates. 

Dedicated Account Manager 
Enjoy direct access to a subject matter expert for onboarding, on-going training, and SaaS product knowledge. 

Key Benefits 

Operated by Ecommerce Experts 
Perispect was designed, developed, and is operated by Kaspien, the industry leader in marketplace sales and expertise. It’s not just a SaaS product being offered by yet another software company; it’s a valuable tool operated by industry experts. 

Save Time 
Perispect saves you time by presenting data in an easytofollow format on a single screen view. You won’t have to manually audit your listings to monitor sellers and pricing.  

Know Your Sellers 
Perispect has a robust database of sellers that includes actual business name, address, phone number, email addresses, and websites. You will be notified when a seller changes their name on Amazon and when new sellers enter your listings. 

MAP Enforcement Aids 
Perispect will alert you when a MAP violation occurs. It also comes with email tools and templates designed to help you enforce your pricing policy, including Cease & Desist notices and MAP Policy Violation notices. 

Perispect is currently available in Amazon (US, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan), Google Shopping (US, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan), and eBay.  

Get Perispect 

If you want to use Perispect to safeguard your brand’s online representation, you can sign up for a free trial. If you’re a current Kaspien partner, contact your account manager to discuss using Perispect 

You can also contact our Perispect team directly at  or call 509.928.0344.  

Recently, vendors using our proprietary software application Perispect to track sellers and pricing across online marketplaces have been spotting Amazon sellers advertising their products below MAP pricing. Many vendors do not realize that some of these sellers may be “scam sellers” who have many products in their Amazon inventory but do not ship anything to customers when they order and pay for products.

Here are 3 ways to spot a likely scam seller on the Amazon Marketplace:

  1. “Just Launched” sellers with more than 200 products in their inventory

Sellers who have “just launched” in their profiles are starting out on Amazon with some inventory and are looking to be a part of the growing ecommerce market. However, some scam sellers will open up fake accounts on a daily basis with a huge amount of items in their inventory. If these items are not Fulfilled by Amazon (in other words, not an Amazon FBA Seller), then the seller oversees shipping the products to the customer. Customers and vendors should look out for these kinds of sellers, as they may never ship the products they say they have on Amazon.

  1. Amazon 3rd Party Sellers with “shady” names

Perispect (our proprietary SaaS offering for channel monitoring) combs through a large number of sellers looking for contact and shipping information. Sometimes, the seller name can set off red flags. For example:

“!NOTE: Contact us prior to ordering>> SmartBuyPoint[at]GMAIL.COM!!”

“%BRAND NEW!!!%Mesmeric Fair% Please Contact me before buy → claudia66@reaagan.com”

“.BEFORE ORDER CONTACT: CLAYTON. 14D (at)GMAIL COM”

These are some examples of fraudulent sellers. The seller name contains contact information, like an email address, that is poorly formatted. The seller asks that the customer contact the seller prior to ordering. Customers and vendors should not contact these sellers because they will most likely attempt to scam them.

  1. Sellers with poor customer reviews

Scam sellers can be identified simply by looking at what other customers have written on the seller review portion of the information page on Amazon. Scam sellers will most likely have all negative reviews noting that products have not been delivered, and they are unable to contact the seller for further comment.

>>Best practiceKnow your sellers.

When you know who is authorized to sell your products on Amazon, it’s easy to spot rogue and scammer sellers and avoid being the victim of an Amazon Scam. This is more manageable when you have a limited number of authorized sellers.

Stay Up-to-Date with Amazon Services 

We have a growing library of resources about Amazon services, including other blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts, and more. Subscribe to our weekly blog to never miss a beat! 


If you are planning on selling your own products on the Amazon marketplace, then you better have a system in place for tracking Amazon merchants. Having an unknown merchant or seller pop up in your Amazon product listing is a common frustration that most brand owners will experience. These one-off Amazon sellers can negatively impact your product by altering the content of the listing, undercutting prices of authorized sellers and providing poor customer service that can lead to negative reviews on the listing. So what can be done to keep these unwanted merchants away? The solution is simple: communicate regularly and practice vigilance.

Manually Track Amazon Merchants

Let your distributors and authorized sellers know who is permitted to sell your products online. Authorized sellers want to maintain a good listing as much as you do, so they can be a great lookout for anything unusual and will let you know if anyone uninvited shows up to the party. Being vigilant of your brand is also very important. By monitoring your product listings, you will know if your product information is up-to-date as well as to help you keep track of any duplicate listings and counterfeit products that sometimes show up with unwanted sellers. Having a reliable merchant tracking software can save you time by scouring Amazon to see who is selling your products and at what price.

While it may be difficult to gather and maintain up-to-date information on your sellers without a seller tracking tool, there is a way to manually check Amazon for sellers.

  • Navigate to your brand storefront page and scroll down until you find the refined search box on the left side of the page. Here you will see all departments that your brand is listed under.
  • Clicking into any department will redirect you to a new page with additional search refinements.
  • Looking through the options, you will find a seller section function towards the bottom of the search bar. You can click on “See more” to view the full list of Amazon sellers that are currently selling your products. (Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of sellers but rather a list specific to one category.)
  • To gather a list of all sellers you must perform a refined search for all departments that your product is listed under. This process is worthwhile but also time-consuming.

Amazon Merchant Tracking Software

For brands that don’t have the time or resources to track sellers manually, utilizing seller and price monitoring software can be very helpful. Software like Perispect tracks sellers, monitors pricing, and provides actionable data in easy-to-digest formats. Whether you decide to monitor your listings manually or utilize a tool to do it for you, tracking merchants and pricing is a vital part of your brand strategy.

Stay Up-to-Date with Amazon Services 

We have a growing library of resources about Amazon services, including other blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts, and more. Subscribe to our weekly blog to never miss a beat! 


Creating and enforcing a Minimum Advertising Price (MAP) Policy helps protect brand image and ensure that authorized retailers are able to compete fairly.

Here are 5 steps to successfully implement a new MAP policy:

1. Determine your threshold

What is the lowest price that you would like your products to be advertised at? This might be a percentage under your MSRP or it could vary among your products. This is NOT the lowest price that your product can be sold at. This still allows retailers to offer discounts once products are “in the cart.”

2. Develop your policy

Draft a MAP policy that outlines your new policy and the actions you will take if authorized retailers violate it. Make your expectations clear. To play it safe, have a lawyer review your policy to ensure that is compliant with state and federal law.

3. Distribute your policy

Send your new policy and MAP pricing to your authorized sellers.

4. Monitor your pricing

Identify which sellers uphold your MAP policy and which sellers drop their prices first. Pro tip: Perispect can help with price monitoring and case management.

5. Notify violators

Let sellers know that you’re aware of the price violation and follow any actions outlined in your policy. Keep track of violations so you can identify repeat violators.

 

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, or “MSRP”

The price a product should be sold for, recommended by the manufacturer.

The price is supposed to reflect all the costs that happened during the manufacturing process, including retailer markup. MSRP is not necessarily the price that retailers use or that consumers pay for. Some retailers sell below MSRP to reasonably reduce their inventory.

 

Minimum Advertised Price, or “MAP”

The lowest price a reseller can advertise a partner’s products.

It is a way to protect brand image, and it levels the playing field between online sellers and brick and mortar stores. A MAP policy can reduce consumers going to a brick and mortar store to find a product but ultimately purchase the product online – a practice known as “showrooming.”

 

Maintaining a MAP policy is a great way for companies to maintain their brand integrity online. If you are interested in learning more about the prices your products are being sold at, get started with a free trial with Perispect today! Contact .

 

You spend a lot of time creating your brand. After all, your brand tells your company story. Through your logo, website, social media and advertising strategies, you craft the vision for customers and provide added value to your products. A significant component of your branding is product pricing. Your MSRP conveys product value to customers. A high price can indicate quality, exclusivity, and craftsmanship. A low price may indicate a bargain and accessibility. Whatever factors go into determining product price, you expect that price to be honored by retailers.

Often, traditional brick and mortar retailers do honor your pricing. But online, it’s a different story. Many product manufacturers discover that their products are being significantly underpriced on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. This poses a threat to traditional retailers, whose customers are checking out the product in the store but making the purchase online, a practice called showrooming.

Additionally and perhaps more importantly, the under-pricing of your products online can lead to customers devaluing your products. If the MSRP is $50 but on Amazon, the product is $35, why would the customer pay more? Soon, the customer starts to believe that the product is worth $35, and not the MSRP value assigned.

The product price, which once demonstrated product worth, now devalues your brand.

How does this happen? Usually, this occurs when unauthorized or “rogue” sellers obtain your product, often from distributors. The Amazon marketplace is competitive. To gain sales, sellers will often start a “race to the bottom” with price. One seller drops and the rest soon follow.

To understand why a seller would lower price and decrease their margin, check out our next blog post Demystifying the Buy Box.