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Fri Feb 20 2015 10:03:22

Brand Wins Case Involving Hijacked Amazon ASINs

By: Ina Steiner

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There are countless threads on industry discussion boards about the problem of sellers going into Amazon's catalog and changing product pages (aka ASINs) and introducing mistakes, intentional or otherwise.

In this thread on the Amazon boards, for example, sellers discussed the problem of competitors taking over their brands' ASINs.

This week comes the news from the Drum that UK manufacturer Kingfisher won a case against a company that the court found guilty of "piggybacking on the brand's reputation to sell own-brand products on sites such as Amazon and eBay" was awarded 80,000 pounds.

Kingfisher's lawyer explained to the newspaper how the competitor allegedly took advantage of Amazon ASINs to advertise its own products to "take advantage of the superior ranking and pulling power of that brand."

Amazon's product catalog has long been its strength, but cases like this reflect the challenge of keeping it clean. In the recently published Sellers Choice Awards, online sellers had plenty of complaints about errors introduced on Amazon product pages.



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by: Eric Saeger This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 20 11:26:29 2015

The copycats were nuts to do that. If they were just going to job out manufacturing to China, just start your own brand -- maybe try different forms of distribution while you're at it, instead of just online marketplaces, right?  You know, Big Lots and whatnot.

Meantime, I don't know why on earth a reseller would want to mess around with a brand-owner's listing, unless, as you alluded, it was sabotage.  Maybe the reseller thought the info was pertinent, and trying to launch a new listing was too much hassle (isn't it always? We run into dupe UPCs on many collector-centric products, and there's no workaround given Amazon's too-tight programming, so the items go to eBay or whatever. Their loss.).  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Fri Feb 20 13:33:42 2015

LOL.

I had a job listing items from Chinatown on Amazon. The employer was cheating me with the "Independent Contractor" scam. I just took the number off something and kept adding one, or 86 until it worked.

Gee, I feel just terrible about it now. Not.

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by: pearlymae This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 23 07:31:05 2015

THE WAY AMAZON HAS SET UP IT'S "MARKETPLACE"  ENCOURAGES THIS KIND OF DOG-EAT-DOG SELLER ACTIVITY.
IN OTHER WORDS IT ALL AMAZON'S FAULT.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 23 10:39:19 2015

>>I had a job listing items from Chinatown on Amazon. The employer was cheating me with the "Independent Contractor" scam. I just took the number off something and kept adding one, or 86 until it worked.

Gee, I feel just terrible about it now. Not. <<

@ Ed Gladfly - You do realize that doing that is a disservice to samll sellers that needs to use a correct UPC/ASIN to make a new listing? I have frequently run into all sorts of numbers that have been pulled out of someone's random hat and not been able to list an item. So I have to write CSR and request that they fix things. I consistently get one of three answers. Only one will work, but it means when someone tags along onto a Simplicity UPC for say a pair of shoes, or headphones (which I have run into) I can't list the REAL Simplicity product that should be listed there.

And no I don't see this as Amazon's fault if companies are purposefully using wrong numbers such as Ed was doing. It is frustrating. I work hard to be sure that every Catalog Product page that I make is complete with all necessary information. Which means I'm doing a favor to all of my competition. But if someone has already gotten those code numbers, then none of use can list our items. However I think that the CSR are starting to recognize me and my emails to fix pages, which means the products listed under those codes incorrectly all disappear. :)

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by: tmooreseller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 23 14:07:52 2015

One of the many reasons I don't use Amazon for anything. It's a lose-lose situation, where Amazon is the only entity which profits on the work of the sellers and refuses to recognize that it's the customers who keep it going. And that's us sellers, too. People always forget that the sellers are also its customers. So the best thing to do to cure its ills is to not deal with Amazon. Try selling from your own site and you'll save yourself the headache.

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by: AC_in_Mich This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 23 17:40:01 2015

And then there are the times when you search by a model # on Amazon and four or five different results come up. And with all sorts of prices!  I've even listed some in two different, just in the hopes of getting a sale!  And, it seems as though the market for buying UPC codes off of ebay relatively cheap will only hasten these problems

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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 26 00:58:52 2015

Amazon sucks in this respect. You can look up a branded product, and find all sorts of knockoffs being sold on the same page, as if they are the same. No, they are not the same, the name brand is the name brand.

I found this in expensive projector lamps. There were listings on amazon that said ''by Panasonic'' and all the items on the page were either marked OEM Equivalent, (knockoffs), or unmarked as to brand.

If you wanted a Panasonic brand lamp there was no way to identify it on Amazon. I complained to Amazon about it, but they didn't seem to understand the complaint. They actually considered cheap Chinese fakes to be the same as an OEM brand product.  Ridiculous!

I ended up buying a knockoff really cheap on ebay.  It worked out OK, but I'd have preferred a real OEM product.  

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by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 14 19:45:43 2015

Over the years I have listed a lot of first edition books on Amazon, and for a lot of these I created the ASIN where none existed for that first edition. Along came the print-on-demand publishers and the reprint publishers who hijacked these listings that I spent so much time creating. They change the listing to their recent reprint info. Sadly Amazon let this happen.



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