It’s a top 5 issue for Amazon merchants.
You’re happily and profitably selling a wholesale product on Amazon.
Then, one day it happens…
Amazon comes in on your page and starts selling your product at a lower price.
Even worse, they won’t share the Buy Box.
Your sales come to a grinding halt. And you still have 150 units of product sitting in FBA.
Without a plan in place this scenario can turn into a brutal and financially devastating experience.
That’s why it’s important to take action, and not wait around, hoping it will change.
These 7 Steps Will Help You to Counteract a Product Sales Hijacking
And while there is no magic button you can push to wrangle your sales back from Amazon, there are steps you can take to determine your next best course of action.
1. Consider the source. If you purchased your inventory from a wholesale supplier and now Amazon is buying from them, selling this product is pretty much a done deal.
But before you give up on this product completely, call your supplier and talk to them about the situation.
Ask them if they plan to sell to Amazon long term? And whether or not they are planning to keep selling to 3rd party merchants.
Don’t be defensive or take your frustration out on the supplier. They most likely had no idea they were putting an end to your sales when they sold to Amazon.
2. Check to see how many units Amazon has in stock? 10? 100? 1000? Use the “Add to Cart” method to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with.
Of course, 25 units in stock doesn’t mean that Amazon doesn’t have another 500 on the way. But knowing what Amazon has in stock can be helpful when talking to your supplier.
It can also help you determine what you want to do with your remaining inventory.
3. Check your wholesale supplier’s website for their return policy. Some wholesale vendors may allow you to return a small quantity of unsold, in-season inventory.
Or at the very least, cancel a pending replenishment order.
This is completely up to the supplier’s discretion though.
Don’t be demanding or blame the supplier for this situation. Most vendors don’t understand the Amazon – 3rd party merchant competitive dynamic.
4. Evaluate longer-term bundling opportunities. Would this product be a good candidate long-term for bundling? If your research suggests that it might be, create some test bundles and new product page and test the bundle out. Be sure to optimize your product page and use Amazon Sponsored Product Ads to get your bundle ranked on the first page of Amazon search and get your sales off to a great start.
5. Create a short term bundle. Bundle the product with something low dollar, but compelling, quick and easy that will allow you to create a page and move this inventory out.
6. Call (not email) your supplier today and calmly explain the situation. Give them the specifics but don’t vent your frustration.
If Amazon is breaking MAP pricing, let the vendor know.
If Amazon won’t give up the Buy Box, explain to the supplier that without the ability to get the Buy Box on Amazon, you are unable to sell their products and will no longer be able to buy from them.
If you love their product, have been marketing the heck out of it, want to keep selling their product, let them know!
Things don’t always work out between Amazon and wholesale suppliers, and if the vendor decides they don’t want to sell to Amazon, you don’t want to have burned your bridges.
7. Sell it on Ebay. If there’s a market there, sell it there.
8. Wait it out for 30 days or less. If Amazon only has a small number of units in stock, you can try waiting for them to have an out-of-stock situation that will allow you to then sell out.
In order to do this, you need to have the financial wearwithal to wait them out.
Don’t wait them out for more than 30 days. You don’t want to tie up your inventory capital for too long.
And ONLY wait them out if they have a small quantity of inventory in stock OR the vendor tells you that they only sold 50 units or so to Amazon, and based on the current sales volume, that 50 units won’t last long.
If they have a lot of units in-stock or inbound (based on your conversation with the supplier) don’t wait them out.
How to Prevent Future Amazon Sales Hijackings
The only way you can prevent Amazon from hijacking your listings is to sell something they don’t sell.
Whether this is a private label product or a Wholesale/private label bundle (WPLB).
If you sell wholesale products or retail arbitrage, you have to go into it knowing that:
- At some point Amazon may come on the page
- At some point another 3rd party merchant will come on the page
I’ll take another 3rd party merchant on my page any day because I can generally out-market them, and grab the sales.
(UNLESS it’s a high-volume 3rd party merchant who is breaking MAP or undercutting MSRP and the supplier won’t/can’t do anything about it.)
If that’s the case, I’m getting out of that product.
The unfortunate truth of the wholesale game is that you are vulnerable to losing your product sales due to Amazon or other 3rd party merchant competition.
However, if you’re first to market, you can go in knowing that you’ll make money on the product for as long as you can until the competition moves in.
That can be 4 months, 8 months, and in some situations, longer.
The key is to be as proactive as possible to hedge against this Amazon hijacking situation.
And the best way to do that is through differentiation.
The differentiation model is what we teach in AMP.
Whether you’re sourcing or marketing, you need to differentiate in what you do on Amazon.
Otherwise you’ll spend all your time reacting to other sellers’ moves.
We are down to 53 seats available for AMP at a 32% discount.
Amazon is a business acceleration program.
If you’re ready to pull it all together and build a real business asset on Amazon this year, AMP will help you do that.