I feel I need to clear out some question marks about the Amazon brand approval process, and what getting “automatic approval based on your performance history” really means. Surprisingly, getting ungated in a brand on Amazon, does not mean you are allowed to sell that brand. Let me explain this further..
What Does Automatic Brand Approval On Amazon Really Mean?
Do not assume what I did, which was that getting the “automatic brand approval based on your performance history” means that you are good to go and allowed to sell that particular brand on Amazon. This was the biggest mistake I have done as a relatively new Amazon seller, and what got me into a three month long process of appealing a trademark infringement case.
At first, we could not understand what we had done wrong, since we went through Amazon’s brand approval process, and got the message:
“Congratulations! You are automatically approved to sell based on your performance history”.
When we listed the ASIN (product) of this brand in seller central, it also said: “Sell yours”. There were no listing limitations, like you normally see, when you are not allowed to sell on a listing.
Great, we thought.
Actually, it was bad. Very BAD!
Do Not Risk Selling From The Automatic Approval Without Correct Documentation
We listed the product, but about a week later, we were hit with a trademark infringement complaint from the brand rights owner and Amazon threatened to close our us down.
Even worse was that in order to solve the situation we had to go back to the brand rights owner, who issued the complaint, and apologize and get them to send in a retraction of the complaint. The irony was that we never sold anything on this ASIN, but still got into all this trouble.
Because Amazon is still not clear on their trademark infringement policy, but needs to cover their a.. from a potential lawsuit, this is the only option if you want to get your complaint withdrawn.
You also have to send in an appeal to Amazon with a plan of action on how you will prevent this from ever happening again. Note, that it may seem rather simple, but in reality we had to send in twelve appeals and BEG the brand rights owner to send in the retraction.
A three months long and dreadful process with lots of frustration. It is almost impossible to get to speak with anybody on the seller performance or dispute departments on Amazon. They just refer you to send a message to [email protected] or [email protected]. However, you get the same automatic email response back every time you ask a question or are trying to appeal.
Amazon hides away from dealing with difficult situations with not accepting phone calls to any of these departments. How such a big organization can have this bad seller support and still function is a miracle.
The process of having to beg your competitor that really wants to keep you off the listing, and not especially eager to help, is so contradictory. Basically, the brand rights owner has the power to get your whole Amazon account suspended, and your business destroyed, if he/she/they really wish to.
The Meaning Of Automatic Approval Based On Performance History On Amazon
Anyhow, I found a good explanation from an experienced Amazon seller in the seller central forum about the automatic brand approval process, and what it really means:
“Amazon has made it easier for established sellers to get ungated for most brands, but that doesn’t mean you are an authorized reseller of that brand. Just as an example, let’s use Nike. There are many sellers who purchase Nike shoes at discount outlet stores and resell them on Amazon for profit. They were ungated via the automatic approval. Many of those same sellers have been suspended for selling the Nike brand. When Amazon asks them for copies of their invoices from Nike or their authorized distributor and they send their Ross and Nike Outlet receipts, Amazon tells them to take a hike”.
In other words…you still need to have legit proof of invoice from an authorized supplier/distributor to be able to sell the specific brand. Amazon just made the process of applying to sell brands a bit easier and faster for established sellers, hence why they sometimes approve you automatically. You have to have a perfect account health to get automatic approval though.
Getting Ungated In A Brand Does Not Mean That You Can Sell That Brand Without Proof Of Invoice From An Authorized Supplier
Amazon Itself Has No Comments
I have tried to get Amazon to answer what the automatic brand approval means exactly, but they refuse to give me an answer. Why doesn’t Amazon offer to clear this out with stating the specifics? Are they confused themselves or are they just ignoring us inexperienced sellers?
I do think that the automatic brand approval is confusing, and Amazon should offer an explanation of what it really means. I know that I am far from the only one, who have made this mistake of believing it was an okay to sell after the automatic approval.
If you want to know more about trademark and counterfeit infringement, you can check out my prior article:
⇒ The Confusion About Trademark And Counterfeit Infringement Is A Hot Topic For Amazon Sellers – What Is The Deal With It?
Also, If you want to know more about Amazon’s brand approval process, I am offering a brief tutorial in this article:
Thank you for reading this article, and please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below with any questions or feedback you may have. I hope this article will help you avoiding my mistake. If so, it has served its purpose.
About The Author
My name is Stina Pettersson. I am the founder of The Future Is Your Creation and Get Happy e-Deals. I am the author of the articles on this site. Originally from Sweden, but love the warm weather in Florida, where I now reside.
I help people create the life they desire, whether it is to earn a full-time income online, and work from home, or increase their spirituality. I am especially fond of helping people interested in eCommerce – Amazon FBA, Dropshipping and Online Retail to get started, and make a good living from home.
I also love to share about my spiritual awakening and contact with the spirit and extraterrestrial world.
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