Amazon Roundtable: How Amazon-Specific Packaging Helps Brand Protection on Amazon
The team at our brand protection law firm met virtually to discuss the topic of Amazon-specific packaging.
According to CJ Rosenbaum:
“Amazon considers itself to be extremely unique, the best online retailer in the world, and Amazon likes things that are Amazon-specific. Therefore, by creating Amazon-specific packaging, brands and private label sellers are able to feed right into Amazon’s gigantic ego, which actually helps with brand protection tremendously.”
Amazon prefers to see their own packaging on products sold on their platform.
This tells Amazon that their programs are being implemented and that sellers are cooperating with their rules and policies. There are benefits of using Amazon packaging from a brand protection point of view, because having specific packaging just for Amazon, that only your products can have, helps eliminate unauthorized sellers.
As the manufacturer of your own goods, or as a private label seller, if you have unique Amazon packaging, you’re able to make sure that no one else can match your product listing details.
This protects you even if you sell the same product in stores, which someone buys, and then attempts to conduct retail arbitrage, joining your listing. What they’re buying in the store wouldn’t be the same as the packaging the consumer receives when buying on Amazon, which qualifies as trademark infringement.
Therefore, Amazon-specific packaging helps sellers make trademark complaints when unauthorized sellers join their listings.
The consumer expects to receive exactly what they’ve purchased on Amazon. If trademark infringement did occur, you would be able to point out to Amazon that the product hijacker is not delivering to the consumer what the consumer expects. That difference is very important to Amazon. Even if the exact same product inside the box was being sold, if brand protection is in place with specific packaging, this protects your brand’s sales, and it works.
Another benefit of utilizing Amazon specific packaging, is that if a seller joins your listing, you’re going to wonder where they got the product from, because you don’t think they got it from you. So, if we were hired to monitor a brand for a seller, the first thing we would do is order a test buy, while simultaneously sending out our first cease-and-desist letter.
The cease and desist letter would be polite and say something like, “We think you may be violating our client’s trademark,” and we ask them to provide some invoices so that we can verify where they sourced their products. Hopefully, we’ll get a positive response and we can point the seller in the right direction without having to file a complaint. But if not, our test buy will likely confirm that the product doesn’t match the listing details. Then we can use that test buy to form a request to Amazon to remove the seller from our client’s listing.
In terms of what Amazon specific packaging requires, each product has its own packaging details. They aren’t necessarily so strict in terms of what they demand, but what they do accept and what they find very persuasive is packaging designed specifically for Amazon’s consumers.