Signing up as an Amazon seller is one of the best ways to earn an attractive income. However, competition is tough, and it’s essential to take steps to protect your business. In this guide, I will be answering the question: Can I sell on Amazon without Brand Registry?
The answer is yes, but not without a few risks.
As an Amazon seller, I spent years learning about the risks associated with running an online business (many times, I learned the hard way).
Some of the more common risks associated with selling on Amazon include:
- Hijacked listings that sell knock-off products
- Low-cost manufacturers selling similar products at a reduced price
- Category saturation that requires dramatic price drops to compete
Registering a trademark with Amazon’s brand registry is one of the best ways to keep your online business protected. However, just how necessary is this step?
Let’s get into it.
Amazon’s Brand Registry Explained
This exclusive program offers some clear advantages. Registered brand owners gain access to monitoring tools that protect their trademarks.
They also benefit from the following:
- Greater control over brand and product listings
- Internal assistance with incorrect listing details and IP infringement claims
- A+ Content access, which helps product listings stand out from competitors
- Increased visibility through rich media and alternative advertising options
Unfortunately, the Brand Registry program won’t completely prevent other sellers from selling your products. You also can’t white or blacklist other sellers yourself.
Amazon Brand Registry Trademark Requirements
As of 2017, anyone wanting to sign up for the Brand Registry program needs a registered trademark. US sellers would need to apply for a trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Here are the steps you would take when registering a trademark in the United States:
- Make sure your brand name and logo are unique by checking the official USPTO database.
- Select a class for your trademark. A Trademark class categorizes the types of products you’re planning to sell. Different classes attract different costs.
- Find a licensed trademark attorney to file your application.
Now you wait – some brands can wait up to a year to receive an answer from USPTO.
Luckily, Amazon has an IP Accelerator service who can help speed up the trademark process and your Brand Registry application.
Once you’ve submitted an IP Accelerator request or received your confirmation from USPTO, you should be a part of the Brand Registry program in about two weeks.
To avoid any further delays, double-check the eligibility requirements for the program.
If you’re a UK seller, you can apply for a trademark via the Intellectual Property Office. The steps are very similar in the sense that you need to search for any existing trademarks that might clash with yours.
If nobody objects to the registration, you can expect to receive your trademark within four months.
Can I Sell on Amazon Without Brand Registry – Why You Shouldn’t
Let me get into some of the reasons why I feel Brand Registry is worth it.
Better Brand Protection
If you’ve worked hard to develop your brand strategy, the last thing you want is for someone to ruin your success.
The Brand Registry program helps safeguard your products with the help of an experienced internal team.
This team assists members with reports on review manipulations and marketplace violations. They also report on listing issues and assist with IP infringement claims.
We learnt this the hard way, several years ago we made a trademark mistake with cost us well over $100,000 (Details in the video below).
Hopefull that video can help you avoid the same mistake, anyway back to the article.
Lastly, the internal Brand Registry team will also keep an eye out for and report on technical issues pertaining to your listings.
If you have any pending cases, you can monitor them from your dashboard.
If you wanted to take things up a notch, you could also register for Transparency.
This program applies transparency codes to your products, ensuring only authentic stock is shipped. Customers can also use this code to verify the authenticity of your products.
The transparency program is an extra cost, we’ve decided against it for the moment.
Access to A+ Content Manager
Formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content, A+ Content is a must-try tool, and it’s only accessible to members of the Brand Registry program.
A+ Content improves your sales by adding rich text and media to your product descriptions. Not only does this help you stand out from competitors, but it naturally boosts conversions too – if you set it up correctly that is.
Product videos are one of my favourite features of A+ Content. This feature is particularly useful if you have a product that requires explaining. It can often mean the difference between making a sale and a shopper leaving your store.
The A+ templates are customizable and easy to use, so you won’t need any customizable templates to set up an attractive storefront that stands out.
Amazon does need to approve the content before it goes live, though, which is generally a quick process.
Share Your Brand Story
Another way to engage with shoppers is to tell your brand story. Brand Registry members also have access to Amazon’s Live Creator, allowing you to live stream video stories and demonstrations.
You can even set up a live chat to answer questions directly from customers.
To get started, you will need the Amazon Live Creator app. Once you’ve selected the products you want to live stream, you can use a smartphone or external camera to start streaming.
Shoppers can discover live streams using the Amazon website or app via your product listings or storefront.
You can take a look at Amazon Live to see what other brands are currently doing.
Create a Headline Ad Campaign
Headline ads appear at the top of a page in Amazon’s search results, and as a Brand Registry member, you’re able to create and run these types of ads.
Headline ads are an ideal way to increase brand discovery and determine what messages shoppers see. Headlines ads work in a similar way to PPC ads in the sense that they’re linked to keywords, and you pay per click.
This means you have a higher chance of converting users who are already searching for your products. Once a user clicks on your ad, they’re immediately redirected to your storefront or product page.
If you’ve taken advantage of an A+ Content template, your store immediately has a more significant impact on potential customers, which should further increase conversions.
Access In-Depth Data
Lastly, as an Amazon Brand Registry member, you also have access to detailed analytics and reports that help you better understand your customers.
The more you know about your customers, the better your product and marketing-related decisions will be.
Brand Analytics gives you access to data on customer behaviour, including the search terms they’re using and which products they’re purchasing together.
As a brand owner, you now know what products to upsell and cross-sell and which keywords to use in your campaigns.
You also gain access to necessary demographic data, which you can easily export to CSV. Date like this can help guide and enhance your marketing campaigns.
Selling on Amazon as a Brand Registry Member
If you’re serious about turning your Amazon store into a lucrative business, I recommend signing up for the Brand Registry program.
There are some additional steps involved, and it does cost to register a trademark, but the extra protection and benefits are worth it – in my opinion anyway.
Once you sign up for the Brand Registry program, please make a point of using as many of the features as possible to make it work for your brand.
I would also recommend checking out the eBusiness Boss Private Label Amazon FBA Course if you want to enhance your skills as an online seller.