Dirty tricks are a daily occurrence on Amazon. Without you even knowing it, competitors can be damaging your sales along with your well-earned reputation.
They can do this by hijacking your listings. They can take over the Buy Box, post negative reviews, and even downvote your existing positive reviews. There are numerous ways that competitors can sabotage your business. These tactics can result in a significant drop in earnings, and even lead to a full account suspension.
You can’t stop competitors from trying to undermine your success. But what you can do is monitor your listings, take note of any unexpected changes, and have the right tools to fight back as quickly and effectively as possible. This is where AMZAlert comes in.
What exactly does AMZAlert do?
AMZAlert notifies you of unauthorized and unexpected changes to your Amazon listings. It responds to common issues like listing hijacking and piggybacking, review manipulation and numerous other threats.
For example, if a competitor changes your listing title, images or category, or you lose the Buy Box, you’ll know about it fast. AMZAlert checks for changes every 15 minutes and sends notifications via text message or email.
However, it goes beyond just monitoring your listings. AMZAlert can also take action automatically. For example, if you are the only business selling your product, and a competitor starts selling on your listing, then their product cannot be the genuine item. In this case, a cease and desist notice can be sent to them automatically, even while you sleep.
Where did AMZAlert come from?
The story starts in 2013, when Amazon seller Steve Eilers was selling private label nutritional products on Amazon. He was successful, making up to 1,000 sales a day. But then, as many other sellers have experienced, Steve was targeted by competitors who were willing to use some very underhand tactics.
There was a dramatic fall in sales, with no obvious explanation. In order to get a clearer picture, Steve started checking his Amazon listings throughout the day and then even in the nighttime. When he did, he found that competitors were constantly targeting his listings during the middle of the night.
With over 30 listings on Amazon, monitoring them day and night wasn’t feasible. This led to the creation of AMZAlert. To begin with, the software was used exclusively in Steve’s own business. By proactively monitoring his listings, and taking quick action against black-hat competitors, Steve was able to double the sales of the business in about 45 days.
Just as importantly, a lot of time was saved and stress levels came back down to earth. Steve soon realized how beneficial the software could be to other Amazon sellers experiencing the same problems.
Is AMZAlert just for private label sellers?
The software was launched with private label sellers in mind, but it’s also suited to bigger brands, retailers and wholesalers. Some arbitrage sellers use AMZAlert as well, and are benefiting from the price monitoring feature.
Any business who has a reason to closely monitor Amazon listings can benefit from AMZAlert. It’s not even restricted to monitoring products that you sell on Amazon yourself. It can also monitor your competitors or distributors, for example.
What kind of changes can AMZAlert detect?
AMZAlert can monitor listings for many different changes, such as:
- Title, image and category changes
- New negative reviews, or negative reviews appearing as top rated
- Average product rating changes
- Reviews being deleted
- Product suppression or suspension
- A new seller on the listing, or a new seller winning the Buy Box
- Best Seller badge changes
- Search ranking changes
- Price changes and MAP violations
There are many other changes AMZAlert can detect. Users can choose exactly which ASINs to monitor and the type of changes they want to know about. When a change is detected, an alert is triggered and sent within minutes via text or email.
What can I do if I am being targeted?
There are two actions that AMZAlert can take automatically:
- Automatic cease and desist messages
- Automatic comments on negative reviews
Other automated actions will be added soon – more on that below.
AMZAlert’s cease and desist notices can be configured to your needs. A typical scenario for private label sellers and direct-to-consumer brands, is if a new seller comes onto your listing. For those with authorized distributors, you can whitelist sellers to prevent them being sent unnecessary warnings.
The automated cease and desist notices use attorney-approved language, and are sent from independent AMZAlert Amazon accounts. To date, they have had an 80% success rate.
When they don’t succeed, or in scenarios when a cease and desist notice isn’t the right course of action, AMZAlert’s support team can help you decide on the right thing to do, such as reporting abuse to Amazon.
Doesn’t Brand Registry protect against all this?
Amazon’s Brand Registry program is a good concept, but it isn’t easy to access and doesn’t offer complete protection. Brand Registry enrollment requires a registered trademark, and even when enrolled it doesn’t stop others from selling your product. It provides greater control over listing content, but it doesn’t make it impossible for others to change your listing.
Another problem is Brand Registry fraud, where a competitor or other “bad actor” can enroll for a brand which they do not represent. They can then push sellers off their own listings. Unfortunately Amazon does little to verify the identity of Brand Registry applicants.
Amazon’s recently introduced Transparency program, designed to help track inventory and help identify counterfeit items, has similar problems. Like Brand Registry, competitors can enroll and get genuine listings removed.
So these programs can offer some protection, when they are used correctly, but there’s a long way to go before listing abuse becomes a thing of the past.
Which Amazon marketplaces does AMZAlert work with?
Currently, AMZAlert is available to sellers in the United States. It works with listings that were created through Seller Central, Vendor Central or Vendor Express.
In the next six to eight weeks there are plans to add support for Canada and all of Amazon’s European marketplaces – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
In the next few months, AMZAlert is due to be launched to Amazon’s Asian marketplaces.
What else is in the future for AMZAlert?
AMZAlert is also working on more automated actions. Pricing changes, for example, will be addressed with an automated repricing feature. This will be particularly welcomed by resellers and arbitrage sellers.
Another feature in the pipeline is review text analysis. Dirty competitors will stuff keywords like “unsafe” and “counterfeit” in product reviews to trigger Amazon’s automated listing suppression system. The new feature will help alert sellers to these kind of manipulative reviews, even if they are not negative.
AMZAlert is working on other areas, such as taking action against review upvote/downvote manipulation, and is always open to fresh ideas from its users.
What’s the process for getting started with AMZAlert?
AMZAlert has a 10-day free trial. To get started, simply go to the sign-up page, provide some basic information, and select the free trial.
Once registered, the software is easy to set up. You just enter the ASINs you’d like to monitor, adjust the settings to meet your needs, and let AMZAlert do the rest of the work.
After the free trial, several subscription options are offered. For example:
- The Hijackers Only package protects 25 ASINs for $35 per month
- The Start-Up package protects 50 ASINs against certain changes for $80 per month
- The Elite package protects 200 ASINs against all the listing changes detected by AMZAlert, and can send automated cease and desist messages, for $200 per month
AMZAlert was created through necessity. Since its first launch as in-house software for one seller, it has gone on to help hundreds of Amazon sellers under attack from scammers and black-hat competitors.
Some sellers don’t even know they are under attack, they just see their sales dropping like a lead balloon. With AMZAlert, any attack against your listings will be picked up within minutes.
Take AMZAlert’s 10-day free trial and start protecting your listings
This post was sponsored by AMZAlert.
Not really sure what the true benefit of the product really is.
Seems to me it's a question of, as private label seller, at what point can a hijacker wrestle the buy box off of you enough to then be able to manipulate the listing details?