Even when you’re just establishing your brand, you need to set up strategies and protocols that would protect you from falling victim to unauthorized sellers. This article discusses some effective strategies towards this endeavor.
Unauthorized sellers pose a threat to your hard work. In a matter of a few days, they can ruin what may have taken you years to build. They can ruin your image in the eyes of your customers by selling them bad quality or even fake products in your brand’s name. They can offer terrible customer service or even scam your customers out of their money – money that should’ve gone towards your profits! Employing strategies towards unauthorized seller removal and prevention is a must for every brand, even the one’s just starting out.
Strategies for Active and Passive Unauthorized Seller Removal
Everyone’s heard of the phrase “prevention is better than cure” by now. But in the case of unauthorized sellers, the cure is also the preventive measure. By actively or even passively seeking out and removing unauthorized sellers regularly, fewer people will even bother trying to use your brand and products.
Passive Removal Strategies
It’s a good idea to employ passive seller removal strategies, especially when you’re still building your brand. Taking an active role in removing unauthorized sellers can take a lot of your time and effort – time and effort that you need to invest in growing your business.
Authorized Seller Programs
This strategy is inspired by the way countries like Canada and Australia deal handled their wars on drugs and prostitution: decriminalizing them and providing citizens with an avenue to indulge in a safe and regulated manner.
By offering authorized seller programs, you actually allow others the opportunity to become authorized resellers of your product. You go into a contract with your authorized resellers and iron out details regarding:
- Supply replenishment
- Customer service training
This contract is what will protect your brand. It binds the resellers to play by your rules. You’re able to profit from this agreement because these sellers directly get their supplies from you – you can be sure that their customers don’t get fake products. You can also continue to provide their customers with your brand of customer service with proper training.
Any breach of contract can be met with legal action.
From the get-go, you can leave public announcements on your website and/or your social media pages to let your customers know of any authorized resellers. You can provide a list of places, pages, or social media accounts from which your customers can buy your products. This gives your authorized resellers points for credibility and free advertisement, too!
If you don’t have any authorized resellers yet, you can still make public announcements in all your channels to inform your customers that your website is the only place they can get your authentic products and experience your brand of service. You can inform them of the risks of purchasing your products from unauthorized sellers – basically just discourage everyone from buying your products anywhere else.
When it comes to finding unauthorized sellers, you can get your customers to do the work for you by offering incentives. Post announcements to let your customers know that they can benefit from finding and reporting any unauthorized sellers claiming to sell your products.
Offer discounts or freebies for every verified report.
This will encourage your customers to help you find unauthorized sellers. This also makes them more aware of legitimate, authorized resellers if you have any.
Active Removal Strategies
When unauthorized sellers are getting out of hand, you’d want to take a more active approach when dealing with them. While active participation in the removal of unauthorized sellers from different platforms can take up your time, effort, and even money, the benefits from doing so often outweigh the inconveniences.
Manual Search and Destroy
If you want to take a more active role in handling unauthorized sellers, you can do a manual search and destroy operation.
Manually searching and handling unauthorized sellers both online and on the streets can be a laborious process. This will usually involve doing more than just a quick Google search of your brand name.
Depending on how popular your brand is, you can find dozens on eCommerce websites alone. Once you find them, you still have to go through the trouble of shutting them down.
Sure, you can send them a message and tell them to stop, but more often than not, they can simply just pop up in a different space, selling your products in another name. Taking any legal action against them is a whole different story – provided that you’re able to locate and identify the sellers’ real names.
Hiring a Service
When it comes to active unauthorized seller removal, hiring a service would be your best bet. There are a number of services that allow you to focus on your business and get rid of unauthorized sellers at the same time.
There are services that focus on removing unauthorized sellers from specific e-commerce websites like Amazon. Amazon is a particularly problematic eCommerce website when it comes it authorized sellers because 1) these sellers can hide their identity from normal viewers; 2) when taken down, the same seller can pop up and start a new account under a different name and start selling your products all over again.
Hired services that focus on Amazon is able to circumvent all these problems and identify these unauthorized sellers’ identities. They are also able to provide you with legal counseling to advise you on the best enforcement strategies you can apply to take these sellers down for good.
The best part is that it requires little to no effort on your part! The minimal fee for these services will be worth all the benefits.
Whatever strategy you decide to employ on your fight against unauthorized sellers, you shouldn’t let it distract you from building your business. As a growing brand, the best way to defend yourself from the risks that unauthorized sellers bring is by offering great quality products and providing amazing customer service. This alone can help set you apart from the rest.