Amazon is one of the most successful retailers in America, but it doesn’t allow many sellers to sell on its platform. Sellers have to register their brand with Amazon’s registry before they can post anything for sale. But what happens when brands aren’t able to afford the registration fees? Can you still sell successfully without a registered brand?
If you are looking to sell something on Amazon without having a registered brand, there is an option. It is important that you know what this option entails.
One of the first and most crucial things to ask if you want to sell items on Amazon is if you may sell without joining the brand register.
Yes, you surely can, is the short and plain answer.
However, things are seldom as straightforward as the short, sweet response suggests. Trying to sell on Amazon without joining the brand registration has challenges and implications.
Let’s break this down now.
What is the Amazon Brand Registry, and how does it work?
It’s a program that allows Amazon to identify brand owners. While almost anybody may sell items from any brand, the brand registration is your protection against someone else replicating your brand and selling it as yours without paying you a dime.
The brand register is a group to which you may report any instances of intellectual property violation. If you’re Nike and someone claims to be selling Nike running shoes for half the price, you should contact the brand registry, which may assist you in catching the imposters.
If you’re a tiny creative agency and you develop a viral cartoon character, entering the brand register implies that only you and/or others who pay you money may sell products with the character on it.
That means you can shrug off all the would-be followers of your bandwagon and be paid fairly – while also managing the branding and marketing of your character to some level.
Isn’t it cool? Where did you get that idea?
Simply put, it stemmed from Amazon being sued many times by corporations whose names had been tarnished by scalpers selling counterfeit items on the marketplace.
This was excellent in principle, but it also signaled a change in reporting responsibilities: it’s no longer up to Amazon to monitor who attempts to sell what. If you’re the owner of a brand, it’s up to you to recognize imposters, want tobes, scammers, and brand thieves.
Because your day didn’t seem to be nearly full enough.
On the plus side, being in the brand register means you’re… umm… identifiable as the brand. Only the persons you designate as official resellers appear on the list.
That makes it simple for the brand registry to enforce something called Standards for Brands Selling in the Amazon Store if you report infringements to them.
That means they may prevent would-be sellers from selling things on Amazon Marketplace, which is considerably more prominent, and instead send them to Amazon Retail, where they can sell as a vendor.
The downside of selling on Amazon without joining the brand registry is that a) other individuals might take that prime selling location as the brand (albeit some substantial checks are conducted), but more importantly, b) you won’t have control over the process and won’t be able to raise concerns of imposter-sellers.
You are not recognized as having the capacity to initiate an action under the Standards for Brands Selling in the Amazon Store if you are not registered as the brand.
So, even if you’re the actual brand owner, you’re as good as Joe Blow off the street when it comes to blocking others from using your brand to sell knockoffs.
Yes, you may sell on Amazon without registering your brand. There’s arguably no reason not to join the brand register if you own the brand.
Accreditation as a brand normally takes around 24 hours and is completely free. As a registered brand, you now have access to a slew of new features that weren’t available before the update to the brand registration 2.0.
Like what, exactly?
The Brand Registry 2.0’s Advantages
Control over the content of your listings, for example. As a brand monitoring tool, you can keep track of what’s going on with your brand on the Amazon Marketplace. Such as the option to add official agents who have access to the brand registry’s tools.
In addition, you’ll get access to an internal staff that can assist you monitor and mitigate the consequences of IP infringement, erroneous listings, and other issues.
Of course, if you’re not the brand owner and want to sell branded items on Amazon without joining the brand registration or becoming authorized as a legal seller by the people who do own the brand, you may – but only as a vendor on Amazon Retail, not as an official supplier on the Amazon Marketplace.
Let’s pretend for a second that you’re a gray market vendor with counterfeit goods to sell.
You’re pretty much safe if the nominal owner of the brand you’re ripping off hasn’t joined the brand register – until and until they do and you’re slammed with all the IP infringement accusations.
Could you get there before the actual brand-owner and join the brand registry?
It’s a lot more difficult than you may think. How come?
Because nobody in this equation is foolish. A brand owner must be able to prove three things when joining or attempting to join the brand register.
- They have an active and registered trademark in that nation, and it appears on the product or its packaging. Of course, the trademark on the goods or package is laughably trivial to forge, but can you show you own it? If you don’t own it, here is where things become complicated; but, for those who do, it should be rather simple.
- They may confirm their ownership of the rights by contacting the public contact indicated on their trademark registration. Mm-hmm. Isn’t there a trademark registration? See ya.
- They have an Amazon account with either Seller Central or Vendor Central.
And if you’re preparing to file a trademark application for a brand, keep in mind that it must be a text-based trademark, or an image with a textual element.
You attempt to trademark the Nike swoosh on a prominent running shoe brand? Congratulations, you may get as many pairs of Nikes as you like — no one will assume you own Nike.
So, what are our conclusions? Can you sell on Amazon without registering your brand? Yes, you may – as a seller – without owning a brand. That comes with its own set of challenges, but if you don’t already have a brand, it’s your best bet.
Yes, you may sell on Amazon without joining the brand registration if you own a brand. Ultimately, the issue is why you would want to.
If you have specific answers to that question that pertain to your situation, then go ahead and sell without joining the brand register.
If you’re not joining the brand register for personal or commercial reasons, we’d suggest you’re probably wasting your time.
Joining the brand register comes with a slew of benefits, including the possibility to have cases of IP infringement investigated and prosecuted.
Is it going to cost you anything? No.
Is it a hassle to complete?
Let’s have a peek, shall we?
How to Become a Member of the Brand Registry
What are the requirements for joining the brand registry?
Obviously, go to the Amazon website and enroll by clicking the button. It will prompt you to enroll in a nation; choose the United States. If you wish to enroll in many nations, you’ll have to enroll in each one individually, which might be a pain.
Remember that there are three primary requirements for joining the brand registry:
- You must have an active and registered trademark for the items you intend to sell, and it must be active in (for example) the United States.
- That the public contact provided on your trademark registration can certify that you control the rights.
- You must also have an Amazon Seller Central or Vendor Central account.
You’ll technically need the following to prove these three points:
- A photograph or photographs of the brand emblem.
- Images of items or packaging that clearly show the branding.
- A list of product categories in which the brand should appear. After all, this is Amazon, the world’s biggest electronic warehouse. Your brand might be permanently lost in an electronic void if you don’t properly categorize it.
- Also included is a list of the countries where your brand’s goods are manufactured and distributed.
Yes, if you were enrolled in the original version of the brand registry, you will need to re-enrol in the brand registry 2.0, since the degree to which the brand registry and its services changed during the upgrade made it unsuitable for purpose to simply transfer registrations over.
Is That a Lot of Work?
Yes, gathering all of the required documentation is a nuisance – particularly if your firm has never had a trademark or hasn’t stamped that trademark on either the items or the container.
If that’s the case, and trademarking and branding your items and packaging takes a lot of time and money, joining the brand register now can be too much effort.
Yes, you can still trade on Amazon, but with substantially less visibility and the capacity to present your items in front of individuals who wish to purchase them directly and automatically.
However, if your items and packaging already bear your trademark and brand, joining the brand registration should be quite simple – in which case, you lose very little and perhaps earn a lot.
Yes, you can sell on Amazon without having to register for a brand registry. This is because the Amazon platform has no restrictions on private label products. Reference: private label without brand registry.
Frequently Asked Questions
- amazon brand registry requirements
- how to remove a brand from amazon brand registry
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- how to check if a brand is registered on amazon