The holy grail among Amazon sellers is to have a hot listing with no competition. JD and I are no different. We work hard to come up with listings that make it as difficult as possible for other sellers to come in on our listings.
Having said that, there is SO MUCH misinformation and, in my opinion, absolutely awful advice about how to lessen your competition. I see it more and more on Amazon now, and it makes me nuts.
To clear it all up and to find out exactly what Amazon has to say about sellers and exclusive listings, I had Mr. Zero (aka JD) call Seller Support.
JD and I recently scored a deal with a wonderful wholesaler who agreed to allow us to be their exclusive Amazon distributor for one year. We were (and continue to be) tickled pink.
But, then I began to wonder….
Can we REALLY have other Sellers swatted on the nose if they come in on our listing?
Are you there, Amazon? It's me, Mr. Zero.
JD asked, “How can we make sure these products and our listings are exclusive to us?”
Here’s what Amazon had to say:
Your products could be eligible to have their own product detail pages (and hence customers will be able to find them through search and browse) if they meet either of the criteria below:
– Exclusive products – Products for which you have exclusive distribution rights in the USA
– Customizable & Personalized Products – Made to order products
If your products fall into one of these product types please tell us about it by following the four steps below.
1. Click “Contact Seller Support” at the bottom of any Seller Central page.
2. Click “Product Listings” then “Other product listing issues” under “What is the Problem?”
3. Enter “Customizable, Personalized and Exclusive Products” in the Ask your Question Here box
4. Provide the following information in the main body box:
– The type of products you have (exclusive, customizable, personalized, or made to order)
– Links to the products on your website that you would like reviewed.
We will review your listings to determine if they are eligible for their own product detail pages and notify you of our decision.
We're not Amazon gurus, but here's our takeaway...
We can’t just say no other seller can come in on our listing. We have to follow the rules above to make a case to Amazon that no other seller should be allowed to swim in our pool.
I’m confident that we meet the criteria for many of our listings. For others, I think Amazon would laugh at us and swat us on the nose with a rolled up Kindle if we dared to suggest we have the right to be the only seller.
So, what can you do to set yourself apart?
For starters, recognize that it’s not as easy as a lot of folks make it sound.
Yes, you can add an article you wrote about how to get the germs off a toy when you’re selling a beach ball. But, do you really think you’re adding value to Amazon’s customers? Amazon doesn’t think so. And, when you do something to come between Jeff Bezos and his beloved customer… well… let’s just say you won’t like him when he’s angry. They come first. As they should.
My suggestion, for what it’s worth, is to come up with ways to be good to Amazon’s customers by putting together product listings that solve a problem and delight a buyer, while doing your best to make sure your bundle components aren’t low hanging fruit that anyone can grab.
If someone wants to come in on your listing, make it difficult for them to duplicate, but NEVER forget that your business exists at the whim and desire of the customers. If you leave them out of the equation, you will not sustain a viable business.
I hope this helps a little. And, I hope YOU are incredibly successful.
PS: I am almost finished with a seriously GINORMOUS list of retailers and sources where you can find products not everyone is going to find. It’s not a how-to book by a wildly successful guru. It’s simply a list by a chick who is a pretty darn talented research addict and who believes when you are good to people, good things happen. (It’s me. I am that chick.)
When it’s done, it’ll cost less than my favorite Starbucks drink. BUT, if you would like it for free when I’m finished, all you need to do is leave a comment below and it’s all yours. No strings. Just a little sourcing help for my friends. 🙂