Why The Wrong Packs Could Cost You a Bundle

Blogs | March 16, 2021

When it comes to bundles and multi-packs, every marketplace has its own set of rules determining what’s a violation and what’s not. The eCom playbook is clear that profitability often starts around $12-$14/purchase once shipping and advertising costs are considered. So, if your assortment has a glaring hole at this price point – you’re opening yourself up for enterprising third parties. 

A 3P that packages similar items or multiple items together can misrepresent a product, confuse consumers, and take sales away from your brand’s authorized sales. But… if a shopper actually converts, that product may have some intrinsic value around saving money/time, could be a better package/solution, or inspire through discovery/variety — all potential growth drivers for the brand itself making this product 1P. 

Keep reading to better understand bundle-pack and multi-pack policies for Amazon, eBay, and Walmart and learn some watch-outs for your brand. 

Quick Definition – What’s a Bundle Pack? 

A bundle pack is a listing that consists of multiple single items that can each be identified by a unique ASIN/UPC and are sold together as a single offering. 

Quick Definition – What’s a Multi-Pack?

A listing that consists of multiple quantities of the same product – also known as a bulk pack. Amazon’s policy is that only multi-packs created by the brand owner are permitted for sale.

Why are Bundles & Packs So Common on the Marketplace?
* They promote the purchase of similar products.
* They increase the selling price (more profitable).
* They promote a “need-state” causing consumers to think they need to buy additional related products. 

Amazon’s Bundle Policy: 
Sellers are allowed to create non-manufacturer created bundles, but must adhere to the following regulations:
* Bundles must consist of highly complementary items.
* Bundles must consist of single items that can be identified by a unique UPC and are sold together as a single offering.
* Bundles must be listed in one category — if the items in a bundle are from multiple categories, the bundle is to be listed in the category of the highest-priced item.
* Bundles must be identified by their own unique UPC, and not of a UPC of one of the single items in the bundle.
* Bundles may NOT include generic products as it may mislead a customer into thinking the generic product belongs to the same brand as one of the branded items in the bundle.
* Bundles may consist of multiple brands and should be branded according to the highest-priced item in the bundle.

eBay’s Bundle Policy:
Bundles are packages that contain a base product plus additional items or accessories.
* The title for a bundled product should list the base product in the bundle.
* The title for a bundled product should list all the main items in the bundle that are in addition to the base product.
* All items being offered must be present in the listing title.
* Images of bundles should include all products present in the listing. 

Walmart’s Bundle Policy:
* A bundle pack consists of multiple items combined by partners but not made by the manufacturer.
* The seller is only able to list items in a group if they have a unique Product ID that applies to the entire group.

Violations include: 
* If a listing uses Intellectual Property without permission (includes brand name, logos, photos, etc.)
* If a listing altars the brand’s original photos in any way.
* If a listing includes generic products along with branded products.

Variation Violation:
* Sellers cannot create their own quantities of items that do not exist (ex: cannot create a 6 pack from two 3 packs).
* The items in the pack must be manufacturer-created. Consumers wanting more than 1 of the authorized pack should be using the quantity selector. 

Additional Watch-Outs: 
* If the photo in the listing shows a branded product but the company name does not match the product or is misleading.
* The product is not as described.
* The product is out of its original packaging.
* If the product is out of its packaging but still listed as “new”.
* The product is loose in a box with several other items from unassociated brands.

What is NOT a Violation?

Authorized Bundles are:
* Identified by a unique UPC
* Include highly complimentary items
* Do not include any generic products

We recently discovered several multi-packs on the marketplace for one of our clients, a leading pocket knife company. The client’s product was being sold with a cleaning cloth and a pouch and each item appeared to be associated with the brand. In this case, it would be up to the client to determine if they wanted to report this as an unauthorized bundle or not since it included more than one product but both are manufactured by the same brand. It’s also important to note that in this case, the seller was authorized to sell the main product but not the extra items in the pack. 

Categories Most Susceptible to Violations: 
* Food & consumables
* Health & beauty products
* Home & hardware products
* Consumer electronics 

More Client Success Examples: 
* A manufacturer of prominent headphones. We noticed the client’s product was being sold with an un-branded USB power cube. We also noticed that the product was being sold by an unauthorized 3P seller. Our team reported the listing to Brand Registry where it was promptly removed.
* A popular vacuum bag company. We noticed that unauthorized sellers were not properly representing the brand on several Amazon listings. For example, one 3P seller was showing a picture of one vacuum bag in the listing but mentioning 3 bags and 5 free branded belts in the description. All items in a bundle must be shown in the listing photos. Because this did not happen, it is a violation of Amazon’s policy and misrepresents the offer. Our team reported the discrepancy to Brand Registry and it was swiftly removed. 

Additional Resources: Click HERE to download our Bundle Packs & Multi-Packs Overview.

POTOO would be happy to support your team in finding and removing unauthorized Bundle Packs and Multi-Packs that may be misrepresenting your brand online. Reach out to us HERE to discuss your brand’s needs with one of our eCommerce experts today!

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