"Our products are consistently threatened by counterfeiters. They are driving down prices and hurting our reputation."
What is Brand Gating On Amazon?
Amazon offers brand gating to manufacturers and authorized resellers to retain control over their brands and labels. Brand gating is a process in which third-party sellers wishing to sell a branded product need to apply and fulfill certain criteria set up by Amazon.
In simple words, in order to minimize counterfeit activity on Amazon, you can enroll in Brand Gating to help block unauthorized sellers from listing certain ASINs. So, all other sellers will be blocked from listing the products on Amazon. To sell, you’ll need permission from the brand itself.
When counterfeit products exist and consumers purchase them, those consumers are unknowingly aiding in brand erosion, driving down the brand’s hard-earned equity. By asking Amazon to have your brand gated, you protect your brand not only from the potential loss of sales due to third parties leeching them off your share but also from the loss of brand trust thanks to sub-par counterfeits reaching your customers.
And what Amazon does, is to remove those selling counterfeit items under the same ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) as the real item and disassociate them from the real brand. There are also gated categories and ASINs within Amazon. If you are a long-standing Amazon seller, it is easier to sell these items because you have a good standing with Amazon central.
Is Your Brand Eligible to be Gated on Amazon?
The first important step is to have already enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry. If you have not already done this for your brand, you’ll need to go through those steps before requesting to have your brand gated on Amazon. You also need to know if you have experienced any counterfeit activity with your products.
Once you are part of the registry,
Amazon will go through a verification process to ensure that you have the proper trademarks and qualifications.
You will need to provide:
1. The registered trademark for every Amazon marketplace that you wish to sell on.
(Registering with USPTO is important to prove your sincerity for compliance.)
2. ASINs that you want to be gated
3. Ways you have handled issues surrounding counterfeit versions of your items.
Amazon may want a detailed explanation of how you have attempted to thwart counterfeiters from your brand, as this is the goal of Amazon’s Brand Gating.
How to verify if your ASINs are Brand Gated?
- You can check this using a different seller account. Keep in mind that, you cannot have 2 seller accounts for the same Brand. (Amazon’s policy does not allow you to do that.)
- After logging in, you can look for the products you have requested to be gated and click on “Sell On Amazon” or “Sell yours” buttons.
- If the product is gated by Amazon, it would give a warning message, “You need the approval to list in this brand.”
There is an approval button below to ask for approval from the brand.
How to get Brand Gated ASINs approved for reselling?
Resellers, distributors, authorized sellers etc. have to go through the approval process before being able to sell the products of the Brand. After clicking on the Approval button on the gated ASINs page, they need to follow some steps:
- Approval on the basis of performance on Amazon.
- Fees payment.
- Send Amazon the invoices from Manufacturers.
- Provide a proof of authorization from the Brands in order to sell their products.
How to provide proof of mitigation against the counterfeit risk?
Amazon always prioritizes those who have been dealing with counterfeits and have a detailed process report on how they have been doing it.
Make sure that you have a detailed summary of the process you have followed to stave off the counterfeiters.
(Send all these details to Amazon along with your Seller ID.)
How long does it take to get a brand gated on Amazon?
After you’ve generated a request and provided Amazon with all the information to have your brand gated on Amazon, it takes up to 5 weeks for Amazon to gate your brand completely.
An easy way to verify if your products have been gated already is, to check the product listing manually.
Check if “Sell on Amazon” underneath the Buy Box and “Other Sellers on Amazon” box is visible.
Amazon Gated Categories
Amazon has gated a variety of brands, categories, and subcategories other than ASINs that are restricted.
According to Amazon Seller Central, there are a few categories that require approval to sell, but within those categories, there are massive amounts of items which can then be sold. The categories are as follows:
There could be some instances when you are approved for a category but then you don’t have approval for certain subcategories. Amazon does not provide any list of every single category, subcategory, and ASIN that is gated. The way to find the restricted items is by simply trying to sell it and Amazon will show you if it is restricted to your seller account or not.
There are also products that require approval that are not within specific categories. You would be required to have approval for these items:
Software (approval required for some products)
1. While picking the ASINs to be gated, try picking the ASINs that are highly profitable and have had a counterfeiting history.
2. Check your trademark registration status here.
3. You can request to sell a brand-gated product by clicking on the button at the bottom of a product detail page.
4. It is a good practice to provide Amazon with the list resellers that you have approved to sell your Brand’s products to. This prevents any conflicts that might arise after your brand has been gated.
5. Don’t try to list your “new” items as “used” or “collectible” to try to get around brand gating.
6. You can speed up the usual gating process (up to 5 weeks) by giving Amazon the list of your most important products that you wanna protect in priority.
7. Don’t try to list restricted brands without authorization by omitting the brand name from the listing.
8. If you are denied an approval to resell, you are able to reapply every few months, and ideally, during that time, your seller rating may likely improve.
9. Don’t bundle restricted brands with non-restricted brands to try to get around brand gating.
The best way to protect brands and products in the Amazon Marketplace is by means of monitoring services such as DataHawk. With a DataHawk's daily alerts, sellers on Amazon can be notified if their listings are being hijacked. Learn more about it here.