How (and why) to Register Your Brand on Amazon
By: Skip McGrath
If you have been selling on Amazon for a while, then you may know there are several brands selling on Amazon that are restricted to new sellers. But, what many sellers do not know is, if you are the manufacturer or exclusive seller of a brand on Amazon, you can register that brand to your account.
Registering a brand gives you several advantages. The main one is that you can use key product attributes instead of UPC and EAN code numbers to list your products. Some of these include:
- Manufacturer part number
- Style number
- Model number
- Catalog number
The benefit of this is that registering your brand with Amazon gives you increased control over your products’ titles, details, images, and other attributes. This makes it very difficult, and sometimes impossible, for other sellers to also sell that brand under the same listing -essentially giving you almost total control over that brand on Amazon.com.
It is important to note that the list of key attributes you can list is different for each product category. To see the list and to read all the rules and instructions, log into Seller Central and use this link.
Who is eligible to register a brand?
Amazon states the following categories of sellers can apply for brand registry on Amazon:
- Traditional manufacturers
- Private label brand owners
- Producers of branded white label products
- Distributors that have received written authorization to own a brand’s content on Amazon
- Creators of custom or handmade products
That last one is very interesting because Amazon recently launched a marketplace for the sale of handcrafted goods called Handmade at Amazon. This may attract sellers of handmade goods who now sell on eBay and/or Etsy.
It is also important to note that the two following types of sellers are not eligible to register a brand on Amazon:
- Sellers of Books, Media, Video, DVD (BMVD) products.
- Sellers of used products and products in the Entertainment Collectibles and Sports Collectibles categories.
If you want to learn more about registering your brand with Amazon, there is a module on that subject at Amazon Seller University (requires Amazon Seller login).
If you are a private label seller, it is important to know that you must own, and register, the trademark in order to register your brand on Amazon. Until mid 2017, Amazon did not require private label brands to be Trademarked and registered -but now they do.
Applying for, and registering a trademark, is an expensive (up to $600 including government filing fees) and time consuming (usually 6, but can be up to 9 months) operation, therefore my approach to private label is to test a brand and product first to make sure it sells before going to the trouble to register a trademark.
In the past, during that time anyone who could source the same product could sell on my listing. Even though, you must register your trademark to register as the brand holder on Amazon, you can still use a brand name on Amazon (or eBay, your website, etc.). There are no policies against that -and it is completely legal as long as no one else is using that brand name.
So here is my suggestion. If you find a generic product, list and sell it under your own (unregistered) brand name. If someone parks on your listing, there isn’t much you can do as long as they are delivering the exact same product in the same packaging. If the item sells, then you may want to look into trademarking and registering that brand.