Understanding Brand Gating on Amazon: A Retailer’s Perspective
Some questions of product authenticity and unauthorized brand resellers on Amazon have recently made headlines. In response, Amazon made some aggressive changes on its marketplace to protect consumers.
Brand gating was introduced to allow brands or manufacturers to control the list of resellers of their Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) on Amazon, which in turn blocks unauthorized sellers from listing those branded goods. The Amazon consumer benefits from brand gating because they will have a higher confidence knowing their purchase came from a seller that was already approved by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
Since Day 1, Amazon has always striven to make its marketplace convenient, vast and serviceable. Its commitment to these principles has helped Amazon grow tremendously in the last decade. This growth brought high site traffic and third party sellers trying to capture fractions of the sales with proprietary products or latching on to others’ ASINs in an attempt to snag a piece of the Buy Box.
Third party sellers are normally vetted by Amazon through standard compliance requirements, but some counterfeiters occasionally still slip through the cracks and start selling. Since Amazon has been getting more pressure from brands about instances of customers receiving counterfeit products from unauthorized resellers, it has started taking a more active approach.
By 2016, Amazon had begun gating certain brands of products on its marketplace and charging a fee of $1,500 for any new seller of that brand. This implemented an extra barrier to entry to help weed out third party sellers misrepresenting a brand’s products. After it announced this change, Amazon then began to move through more brands’ requests to gate their items on Amazon. In recent news, Amazon’s Peter Faircy, VP of Amazon Marketplace, mentioned that they will be amping up their Brand Registry program to power this entire process.
If you’re selling third party via its marketplace, Amazon may notify you that a brand you sell may require certain approval to sell moving forward. You may see a message in the ChannelAdvisor platform or a notification in your Amazon Seller Central account that mentions your lack of authorization to sell a specific brand. When that happens, we recommend the following actions:
- Grab this URL and put the ASIN inside the URL in place of the “xxxxx” of the SKU that resulted in the error in the ChannelAdvisor platform or on Amazon
- Go through the approval process for each brand that requires gating.
After you complete those steps, Amazon may tell you it could take up to 7 days to receive approval. However, we’ve seen responses as soon as 48 hours in some instances.
At this time, some brands are being gated that do not require the annual $1,500 selling fee and, moving forward, Amazon should make you aware of any other fees they associate to this policy.