With all the fuss surrounding brand gating and restricted brands on Amazon, is it time to repackage yourself from being a regular seller and become a brand itself?
Personally, I think that is the best way moving forward.
First of all, brand gating will just spread through the ecosystem like wildfire. If you think being a reseller is a headache now with most top brands being gated or restricted, imagine what it would be like a year from now.
Oh sorry, where are my manners. If you just happen to pass by and read this post in the hopes of opening an Amazon seller account, you must be saying “WTF is he blabbering about?”
Well if you are, let me direct you to (name of article) so that we can be both on the same page.
As I was saying, things will just get harder for ordinary resellers. And for those that want to continue to have a presence on Amazon, the best option that I see is to start your own Private Label.
What is a Private Label?
Investopedia describes it as;
“A brand placed on products that a large manufacturer has created for a smaller retailer. The smaller retailer places their own private brand label on the final good which was created by a third party manufacturer. Private branding is a cost effective way to gain access to producing a product without requiring a large manufacturing or design team.”
So basically you source products, just a you would before, but this time around sell them under a brand name that you created and registered.
But wouldn’t that be too much of a hassle with trademark, certifications, legalities and all?
True, there will be legalities and paperwork involved… lots of paperwork. But with how things are going with brand gating and restricted brands, your choices from how I see it are;
- Stay as a regular Amazon seller and try to find products that are not gated or restricted
- Stay as a regular Amazon seller and hope you don’t get your account permanently suspended for unknowingly listing a restricted product
- Just quit and find another way to earn money online
By becoming a private label, you bypass all these gating and restrictions. While at the same time, continue to make money on Amazon and have said restrictions work in your favor.
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” -Yosemite Sam
How To Become A (successful) Private Label On Amazon
Finding the right product
Many would think that this is but a simple procedure. Surprisingly, they find out it isn’t the hard way.
When you were still a reseller, of course it was just easy. You just find a product that everyone else is looking for, list it, and then wait for someone to purchase it. Now, it’s different.
Now, as a private label, YOU are now a brand. Which means, you need to relate to the product as much as your target market. And speaking of target market, you no longer have the convenience of just checking Amazon for what’s hot, place an order from a manufacturer in China and stamp your brand on it. Why, because everyone else will be doing the same thing. Add to that the fact that possibly, a huge gated brand has already the market on lock down for that specific product.
So you need to find something different. Something that would make you stand out.
Read related article: Leveraging Retail Arbitrage For Amazon FBA: Tricks To Make More Money On Amazon
No, i’m not implying that you stop everything you’re doing for a month to just brainstorm. Just ask yourself, “what product best represents ME?” Once you’ve answered that question, and came up with a name and logo, then you place an order to a manufacturer.
The right product for your newly formed brand is a fine balance between what you’re passionate about and saleability. If you are into IKEA type stuff, then search the net for unique home furnishings. If you’re into the outdoors, go look for a cocoon hammock, etc etc.
The perfect product is something that you can relate to as you will also be spending time marketing it.
Get your brand trademarked
Not only is this a requirement when doing legitimate business in every part of the world, but it is also a way to protect your brand. Remember, you’re no longer a mere reseller. And no self respecting brand would not want to trademark their name/logo/products and allow pirates get away with making money off counterfeiting them.
In order for you to register your trademark with the US Patent and Trade Office, you need to undergo 4 steps.
- Search to see if your brand name and/or logo is available
- Choose the suitable international trademark classification code for products (Take note that you will have to pay a fee for each classification you want to be registered under)
- Employ the services of a legal professional. Either ask for advice or just make them do the entire registration process (Yes, this will cost you. But then again, so is trying to apply for accreditation to sell gated products)
- For your convenience, use the Trademark Electronic Application System when filling out the trademark application form
Register with Amazon Brand Registry
The idea behind registering for Amazon’s Brand Registry program is for you to better manage your product listings on the ecosystem.
Remember the headache you went through when gated and restricted brands were implemented? Now, you’re a brand. Now, you’re the one checking to see if someone is violating gated and restriction rules.
Yes I agree. It may sound vindictive, especially since you were in that end not too long ago. But then again, you are in the business of making money and not charity right?
Now if you want to better understand how it can help protect your brand, do read our article about Amazon Brand Registry 2.0.
Use Amazon A+ Content
Think of it as product description on steroids.
By using Amazon A+ content, you can have have enhanced features when it comes to your narrative copy, charts, image content and product descriptions and even scannable texts that details all the benefits and features of your listing.
All of equates to further strengthening of your product narrative. providing buyers with greater information about your listing, as well as promote far superior customer experience compared to non A+ Content registered listings.
Make use of Amazon Sponsored Products (Amazon PPC)
Just like Google and its peers, Amazon also has its own search engine. And just like SEO for websites, getting your listing to appear on the first page of an Amazon search instantly improves your chances of getting a sale.
Now one of the key factors for Amazon search results is reviews and feedback made by buyers on products or sellers. Though this is free, and I tell you it really helps with sales, it can take time to develop and be of any value. And being a new private label, you cant just sit there and wait now can you?
So the best solution is for you to leverage Amazon Sponsored Products.
Amazon Sponsored Product is a PPC campaign within the Amazon ecosystem. And for those that are not familiar with what PPC is, it is an acronym for “Pay Per Click”.
The idea is for you to “bid & pay” for a specific keyword that best represents, or is related, to your listings.
The basics of how it works is this.:
- You use the campaign program and set an amount you’re willing to spend on a specific keyword that is related to a product you’re selling
- Once done, your listing will then be shown by Amazon in its search result whenever someone searches for the keyword you wanted to target (this bypasses all the algorithm requirements of Amazon in showing what listing will appear on the first page of its result)
- Every time someone clicks your PPC posted listing, the amount you initially funded for your campaign dwindles in exchange for you getting a possible sale. Once your campaign fund is depleted, you again infuse funds for the same keyword or look for another one
PPC campaigns, be it on Amazon, or search engines like Google, is a very lucrative way to earn sales. And with the right product description and presentation, can easily amount to a sale that can fund future campaigns.
Read related article: Amazon Sponsored Products: Other factors that you need to consider
*If you want to know more about PPC campaigns for Amazon, do send us an email and one of our Amazon PPC strategists will get back to you with the information your need.
To end, we at Sellerlift are not just here to do business. Like what I have said before, we too are Amazon sellers, and have gone through the entire process, and headache, of establishing a credible seller profile on Amazon. So basically, we know what you’re going through.
And though we as a company is geared towards selling a tool for Amazon sellers/brands to get faster and positive reviews and feedback, the regular Amazon seller in us is still rooting for your success as we somewhat see our old selves in you. So with that said, don’t hesitate to send us an email if you have questions, or just post it as a comment below.
And if you found this article helpful in any way, please share it with your contacts as it might also help them.
As always, have a great day, and see you next time.