It’s no secret that brand gating has become a matter of utmost importance on the Amazon marketplace. In the past several months, Amazonhas implemented new policies to wage war against counterfeiters.
On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, third-party merchants who sell various Nike ASINs received notice that the branded products are being restricted on the Amazon marketplace. In this post, we’ll take a look at why and what sellers need to know about the brand restrictions on Amazon.
Last fall, Amazon marketplace consultant Liz Adamson discussed the issue of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. Knockoff products can seriously damage a brand’s reputation. For example, if a counterfeit product is sold in lieu of an authentic product without the buyer’s knowledge, it can lead to a bad customer experience. Copycat items are often created quickly and without the attention to product design that many top brands employ, leading to counterfeit creations that are subpar. The problem is that when customers purchase these products thinking that they are from a trusted brand, that company bears the consequences.
Ensuring that sellers for branded items sold on the Amazon marketplace are authorized to sell that brand is important for consumers, merchants, manufacturers and Amazon itself. Unfortunately, many third-party sellers have been caught unawares by the ASIN restrictions. This is especially frustrating for merchants who have been working with Amazon to ensure that their storefront complies with the latest policies. Some sellers were granted permission to sell Nike items because they had been selling those products in the past; others paid fees for authorization to sell the items on the Amazon marketplace through brand ungating.
Next Steps for Nike Sellers
Merchants who sold the Nike products affected by this brand restriction received separate messages for each affected ASIN. Naturally, opening your inbox to find several of these notifications is exasperating. However, Amazon tried to work with sellers by providing advanced notice to give them time to sell affected inventory before the products became restricted.
Third-party sellers had one month from the date of the email to sell the restricted Nike ASINs on the Amazon US marketplace. On July 13, non-authorized listings for those products were taken down. In a message to sellers, Amazon stated that applications were not being accepted for selling those restricted ASINs on the US marketplace. The products could be sold in other Amazon marketplaces through Amazon Global Selling.
In November 2019, Nike stopped selling its products on Amazon. At that time, there were over 4,000 unauthorized sellers offering Nike products on Amazon.
Communication is Key
If you are selling products that are not part of your own private label brand, it’s important to maintain a strong working relationship with the brand owner/manufacturer. As the Amazon brand restrictions and brand gating policies continue to evolve, these partnerships will become even more essential.
Originally published on June 16, 2017, updated January 22, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.
We Are Virtual! But you can still send us mail: 9702 Gayton Road, Suite 230 Richmond, VA 23238 Call us: 800-757-6840