Nike Branded Products Restricted on Amazon
by Becky Trowbridge, on June 16, 2017
It’s no secret that brand gating has become a matter of utmost importance on the Amazon marketplace. In the past several months, Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) has 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 restricted products.
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 unaware 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 sell the Nike products affected by Amazon’s newest restrictions received separate messages for each affected ASIN on Tuesday, June 13. Naturally, opening your inbox to find several of these notifications is exasperating. However, Amazon is trying to work with sellers by providing advanced notice to give them time to sell affected inventory before the products become restricted.
Third-party sellers have one month from the date of the email (so until July 13, 2017) to sell the restricted Nike ASINs on the Amazon US marketplace. On July 13, non-authorized listings for those products will be taken down. In the message to sellers, Amazon stated that applications are not being received for selling these ASINs on the US marketplace. The products can be sold in other Amazon marketplaces through Amazon Global Selling. As of June 13, 2017, Nike products affected by this restriction cannot be shipped to Amazon fulfillment centers. Remaining inventory that is already at Amazon fulfillment centers may be sold until July 13, 2017. After that date, sellers must create a Removal Order to return or dispose of the remaining FBA inventory. Fees related to removal or disposal of affected FBA items will be reimbursed by Amazon for removal orders placed between June 13-August 12, 2017.
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 gating policies continue to evolve, these partnerships will become even more essential.
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