Staying in the Driver’s Seat With Your Authorized Sellers

Blogs | May 27, 2021

The Client: 
The client is a global manufacturer of consumer and commercial goods. Its product catalog includes a popular line of baby gear, made up of car seats, high chairs, strollers, and stroller accessories. The products range in price from $20-$800. The focus of this program was monitoring the brand’s authorized sellers on Amazon and eBay to ensure compliance with price (MAP), promotions, and distribution sources.

The Situation: 
The client is part of a larger umbrella of brands that POTOO has been working with since 2018. It has thousands of listings across global marketplaces and needed our support with general listing clean-up and seller communications. The client wanted to ensure that its authorized sellers followed MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) guidelines and did not violate any sourcing or distribution policies.

What are Amazon’s Referral Fee Discounts?
The program included constantly checking the brand’s listings against Amazon’s Discount Program to ensure reduced price listings were part of a marketplace promotion and not a price violation. Amazon’s Referral Fee Discounts are limited-time discounts offered to the consumer by Amazon based on a pre-set algorithm within the marketplace. Amazon considers these incentives for listings that already provide decreased pricing or a discount. These discounts are entirely independent of the brand as a way to offer competitive pricing on the marketplace. The promotions can get complicated when a brand is trying to track seller compliance against MAP. You can opt out specific ASINs from the Discounts Provided by Amazon program by contacting Seller Support. Amazon currently offers three types of discounts: 

Price Related Discounts: 
Some products are eligible for a price-related discount when sold at or below a discount price threshold. Any suitable product sold at a total sales price at or below the discount price threshold will receive the fee discount listed for that product until the fee discount ends. The total sales price is the total amount paid by the buyer, including the item price and any shipping or gift wrap charges.

Selected Related Discounts: 
Occasionally, Amazon offers discounts on products popular with other customers or new products added into trending categories. These discounts have no price limitations, and every sale of an eligible product will receive a fee discount until the deal ends.

Prime-Related Discounts: 
Sellers might also be eligible for discounts on sales of products offered through FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) and Seller Fulfilled Prime. These discounts have no pricing limitations, and every sale of an eligible product will receive a fee discount until the deal ends.

The client provided POTOO with a list of their authorized sellers. The team used POTOO’s Dashboards to check for price discrepancies daily. If a seller was flagged as below MAP, the POTOO team immediately sent communication informing them that they were violating the seller agreement and needed to raise their price. These custom communications were sent to sellers within 24 hours of noticing a violation. If the seller did not respond to POTOO’s initial outreach, a series of escalation steps were used to facilitate a response. POTOO also created a custom tracker to monitor all outreach attempts, which included screenshots of the violations.

Working on behalf of the brand to contact sellers directly saved the client several hours each week. POTOO also created a monthly report to showcase the sellers who had the highest number of violations to help the client determine which sellers to continue partnerships with.

What we discovered on several occasions was that sellers were price matching the client’s products against what they saw on other marketplaces or websites. Our team constantly checked sales prices and promotions on the client’s website against Amazon discounts to verify correct pricing before contacting a seller suspected of a violation. 

When comparing Q1 authorized MAP violators in 2020 to Q1 violators in 2021, we noticed an overall decrease of 46%. Authorized sellers comply with their seller agreement more systematically as POTOO continues to ramp up compliance efforts on behalf of the client.

We would be happy to support your team with monitoring authorized and unauthorized seller activity on the marketplace, including tracking MAP compliance. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how POTOO can strengthen your efforts:

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