What is an Amazon Piggyback Listing?

Amazon is a marketplace of opportunities, be it for consumers, advertisers, or even aspiring sellers. Its unique algorithm and one-of-a-kind marketing interface have laid down several opportunities that have enabled many sellers to excel and scale faster. One such opportunity is the concept of piggybacking on Amazon. A boon and a bane to sellers, Amazon piggybacking could really benefit some if used smartly and kick-start their Amazon seller journey without much hassle. 

What is Amazon Piggybacking?

Amazon Piggybacking is becoming an ‘additional seller’ on the Amazon Marketplace. This happens when additional sellers try to capitalize on the original seller’s efforts and use their product listing to sell their own products. These additional sellers are listed under a different option from other sellers by Amazon.

Although piggybacking is not advisable, here’s a brief overview of how it helps sellers. For starters, it allows sellers to save a lot of time and money that would be involved in setting up a new listing from scratch. But on a strategic front, piggybacking also helps sellers understand the potential demand for their product before they can step into the real game. 

Sounds interesting, right? Basically, with piggybacking, you can easily try out a niche category without investing much and gain the advantage of understanding the consumer behaviors and their buying patterns much more closely with minimal efforts. 

However, there is a flip side to this as well. While piggybacking might seem like an excellent and smart move, it still has a lot of cons. It is not easy to get conversions initially when you piggyback. You’ll only get a chance at conversion if buyers look for the other seller’s page on the product page. This reduces the chances of getting sales to keep your business booming. When you piggyback, you have to cut down costs to attract customers, this can put a hole in your pocket. 

For when a seller piggybacks efficiently, the seller who is the actual owner of the product page feels threatened. The piggy backer can steal the buy box due to their lower prices; this is often referred to as hijacking. The piggy backer targets buyers who solely look for price benefits rather than seller credibility to steal the buy box. Being hijacked is not the only concern; piggy backers can also sell counterfeit products. Selling fake or copied products is illegal and can also damage your brand reputation in the long run. 

So, do you think piggybacking is ethical? Should you allow or engage in piggybacking to have an easy setup? Is the risk worth taking? Well, that’s a conundrum for you to settle. But here, we will help you decide better with our tips on piggybacking and how you can cope with it as a seller on both sides of the piggy. 

Is piggybacking a fair business practice?

When the piggybacker uses the ASINs to sell counterfeit goods or knockoffs of branded products, it’s damaging. In this scenario, the listing can be used to manipulate brand reputation. These practices can undermine the authenticity of the entire Amazon Marketplace. Amazon can also get you blacklisted for selling fakes or carrying malpractices that are illegal. 

However, in certain scenarios, piggybacking is a clever move. Like in one of the following situations: 

  • When you want to offer a product at a competitive price as compared to other sellers in the market.
  • When the product is available to you at a very discounted rate (even temporarily, such as manufacturer flash sale or clearance sale) and you are authorized to resell it.
  • When the brand is selling the product already on Amazon at a competitive price, you are an authorized reseller of the product (here, undercutting on price is rarely possible, but you get sales if the brand runs out of inventory or if there is a sudden rise in demand).

In these scenarios, piggybacking can turn into a smart business decision and can be used to get a competitive advantage. 

Setting up a piggyback listing isn’t a time-consuming task. Once you have decided on the listing, the ASIN you are going to use, and have procured the product, you are almost done. You just need to add the product to your seller account, choose the listing, and set your prices. However, here are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to ensure that it doesn’t go sideways, and you are on the right side of the frame.  

Things to keep in mind while setting up a piggyback listing

Piggybacking is a gamble. To drive this gamble to your favor, you must be very vigilant, intelligent, and proactively aware of any changes in the market. Here are a few tips that can help you set up a better piggybacking listing and gain out of it. 

  • Make sure there are no copyrights or infringement of intellectual property involved.
  • Ensure the product is in good demand, is popular, and promises sustained sales in the future.
  • Calculate the cost of procurement, storage costs, the price it can be sold at, and profits from the sale to see if it makes business sense to do the piggybacking.
  • Ensure the product being sold is accurate and as per the description of the product mentioned in the ASIN; this will help prevent the customer from having a false or negative impression of your product.
  • If profits are substantial and consistent, it is always better to be a reseller from the manufacturer. This can help in better overall visibility in the long run. 

If all things go well, with proper availability and price monitoring, your carefully set piggyback listing would have the capability to win the buy box. 

Now, let’s see, what if you’re a victim of piggybacking. When you are being piggybacked upon, you get direct competitors with very competitive prices. They can harm your sales considerably and even take the buy box away from you. If indulged in selling counterfeit goods, a piggy backer would even damage your reputation and brand value, leading you to lose your customers entirely. 

Ways to resolve a piggybacking issue

Being piggybacked upon can rarely be of advantage. It comes with many problems in the long run. You must keep a watchful eye on your listings and piggy backers. Here are some ways which can help you resolve your piggybacking issue. 

Constantly monitor your listings: Keep an eye out for other sellers trying to claim to be selling your brand. Always check your sales volume; if there is a sudden dip, ensure the possibility of piggybacking and take action. Lastly, regularly check if your brand has the buy box. 

Registering your brand with Amazon: Registered brands can raise concerns if resellers are selling the product at an unacceptably lower price or as cheap knockoffs. Such listings are quickly taken out of the equation by Amazon through their complaint handling mechanism that always favors the registered brands.

Display features of your brand clearly in the images: A clear display of the brand logo can help the customer distinguish the product clearly from counterfeit products. Also, watermarking the images used for display will help you keep fake and piggy backers away. 

Ensure references to warranty: Clearly state that warranty will only be valid for purchase from you as a seller for your branded product and will not be valid for other sellers or resellers.

Brand Gating: Amazon allows private labels to gate their brands to protect them from counterfeits and third-party sellers. However, several hurdles are to be passed for the same, such as registering your product, having a trademark, setting up a website, and other features that support you to become a legitimate brand on Amazon. But, once this is done, complaints can be filed with Amazon with third-party sellers and counterfeits, and strict actions will be taken against the same.

All these pointers will help you prevent your listing from being hijacked. Although, what if you have already lost your buy box to your piggy backer? Don’t lose hope; you can still repossess it. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you do exactly that. 

What to do if the listing is already hijacked?

Losing your buy box button from your listing could be a major setback for your sales, but there are always ways to regain them in no time. Here are some tips on how you can regain your buy box easily without much waiting: 

  • If your product is not registered or gated on Amazon, bring it to the attention of Amazon’s support team and contact the sellers/third party selling the counterfeit product or product with a lower price and request them to take down the listings from the website.
  • If the product is registered and gated, then contact Amazon seller central and file an infringement complaint. You can use a product purchased from the same counterfeit seller as evidence to support your claim. Amazon will take action to suspend the hijackers and piggy backers, restoring your buy box immediately. 
  • Temporarily lower the prices to get back your buy box even if it means lower profits. This will also prevent the hijacking of the listings by other unauthorized sellers. 

Conclusion

Piggybacked upon is like being leeched upon. You must closely monitor your listings and keep a check on additional sellers claiming to sell the same product. You can also prevent piggybackers who sell legitimate products by getting your brand registered with Amazon and creating your own store. For piggybackers selling counterfeit products, our flagship product Sellos is a one-stop solution. It will let you sleep peacefully while checking the buy box regularly and keeping all piggybackers at bay. In addition to monitoring your listings for piggybackers and hijackers, with Sellos, we offer a whole host of services to make sure your Amazon Seller account blooms, promising returns. This way, you can sell your products on your own turf and be amazingly good at it as well. 

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