Use our free tool to get a summary of third-party sellers of your products and better protect your eCommerce sales
The threat from Amazon third-party sellers is almost always bigger than you think. You’ll have indications: negative reviews on your branded products, dishonest pricing below MAP or even Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), noise from your channel, old marketing assets showing up on product detail pages, rogue listings taking the valuable real estate above the fold, growing percentage of Lost Buy Box, etc.
You know these are indications of lost sales and your overall brand value. But by how much?
How big is the third-party seller problem? How many third-party merchants are exploiting your brand on Amazon? How much are they selling? Is it a temporary or long-term issue?
Step 1: Get a “Falkon’s Eye” view of third-party merchants selling your brand on Amazon
HORUS is our AI and automation technology named after the Egyptian Falcon God of Protection. We’re opening up some of HORUS’s data analysis technology so that you can get valuable information about what is being sold on Amazon by third-party sellers, who those sellers are and how much inventory they are disclosing.
It’s very simple to use. Upload a .csv or .xls file with a list of ASINs and wait for the results. In addition to the ASINs you provide, the HORUS tool will capture variations tied to those ASINs and a number of rogue ASINs. After a very short time, a summary will appear that includes the number of sellers, listings, reported inventory, and estimated annual impact. None of your information is required to see those results.
For a file with detail at the seller and ASIN level, you can provide your email address and receive a report from which you can play with the data and extract more insights.
Step 2: Gain insights into the type of third-party sellers of your brand’s products
You can learn a lot from this snapshot. A few things first:
You must assume that sellers are rational and will act in their self-interest. If something seems small or absurd, assume the opposite.
There are general rules of thumb and exceptions to those rules. Weigh both of those as you analyze the data.
Here are a few clues you can gather after getting detailed data.
Profile of ASINs
Rogue ASINs are evidence of sales leakage that are too often dismissed. If there are a large number of rogue ASINs and/or sellers on them and/or those rogue ASINs are achieving sufficient rankings, you are losing more than just Buy Box share.
Profile of third-party sellers on Amazon
Investigate the size and profile of third-party sellers. A fast way to explore a third-party merchant’s footprint is to navigate to the seller’s storefront using sellerratings.com. This site will also show you how positively (or negatively) consumers are rating their experiences with those third-party sellers.
If you have a small number of third-party sellers making up most of your listings and/or claiming a large share of inventory and if the sellers have large storefronts, you may have a major leakage somewhere that may be slowed through tightening distribution agreements.
If you have a small number of third-party sellers making up most of your listings and/or claiming a large share of inventory and if the sellers have small to medium sized storefronts, the leakage is not easily discovered and difficult to plug. You’ll need a direct path to keep your consumers safe from potentially poor Amazon experiences.
If a majority of the sellers are new, you may be experiencing the first wave of international sellers exploring, or worse, beginning a sales assault on your brand’s products. It’s an emergency that must be stopped as soon as possible.
Pricing behaviors of third-party sellers on Amazon
At a glance, you can see if pricing between listings are varying by a few cents. If this is the case, third-party sellers are automatically adjusting pricing. It may signal distributors in your supply chain are sneaking onto Amazon. It may also indicate sellers are holding onto low cost inventory and are willing to engage other sellers in a race to the bottom. Continue to use our tool and track behavior over time to determine which of these might be the case.
If one seller’s pricing is significantly below the other sellers, it signals access to inventory at a severe discount such as product liquidators, distressed inventory, stolen merchandise or even counterfeit products.
A note on inventory
Third-party sellers report inventory in order to game Amazon’s Buy Box algorithms. If the listing is “Fulfilled by Amazon” (FBA) then the inventory reported is accurate, at least the inventory that is being held in Amazon warehouses. If the listing is “Fulfilled by Merchant” (FBM) then watch carefully. If a seller is pricing low and perpetually claiming only a few units, that third-party merchant may have the most negative impact on your brand.
Step 3: Protect your consumers and your eCommerce sales from illegitimate third-party sellers
The negative impact to brand value is typically more significant than brands realize. In addition to lost sales, negative consumer brand experiences far exceed the number of comments on a listing. In a recent consumer experience audit we did for one of our brands, over 75% of the products we received had issues: damaged product, wrong product, product that is different than what was described on the product detail page, etc.
The fastest path to stopping illegitimate sellers from harming your brand value is through Amazon’s seller rules, utilizing its platform for communicating with sellers and accessing the ways Amazon provides brands to report bad behavior. Check out our free ebook to discover six steps you can take to better protect your brand.
The critical question is: do you have the time and resources to stop illegitimate sellers?
Focus on offense, let us provide the defense!
You are an expert at driving your brand value and growing your sales. Stay focused on that and count on us to clear the path to accomplish what you do best.
HORUS, our AI and automation system is the fastest, most effective and most efficient solution in the marketplace. It sees every tactic deployed by these rogue sellers and knows what to do about it. We regularly solve 50% of the problem in the first two weeks of engagement and we achieve 85% to 95% successful eviction rates for our brands long-term.
To get a more comprehensive look at the third-party merchants selling your brand’s products, to provide feedback on the HORUS tool or to put us to work, contact us at email@example.com or call us at 650-275-4729.