£80,000 compensation for piggybacking a brand’s ASIN

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KingfisherThe Drum reports that Bonnington owner of the Kingfisher gardening range of products has been awarded £80,000 from the TopTrade Group for infringing on their brand.

Bonnington don’t sell Kingfisher products on marketplaces themselves, but many of their retail customers do. These retailers had started to complain that they were being undercut with unrealistic prices by competitors and that got Bonnington investigating.

It turns out that an ex customer had started to import copies of the products, used Kingfisher artwork and listed on the same Amazon ASINs. After some trial purchases according to The Drum, Bonnington estimate £1m a year in lost sales and figured that half the Kingfisher products offered on marketplaces were substitutes.

After lodging a claim with the High Court the case was settled with £80,000 in compensation being paid.

The lesson of the story is that if you’re selling a product on Amazon don’t use another brand’s ASIN unless you’re selling their product. That’s not always easy to figure as some brands are simply a generic product with a sticker on. However there’s always the danger that if you piggy back a high performing ASIN, if your product isn’t identical, you could end up in court.

6 Responses

  1. This is interesting… I can see quite a few people taking solace in this case and maybe taking the plunge into taking legal action where before it was a bit of an unknown.

  2. This has been happening to us quite a bit of late so it’s going to be good to have something to point too when people try this on Amazon.

  3. Yeah they spent big money on this, 80k does not recoup their expenses at all but they are a serious business with big money and it was a welcome support action which us retailers selling their items appreciated.

    We have seen this so much, (not just Kingfisher) people listing on wrong ASIN to try and capitalise on sales and exposure etc.

    I would love to be able to be big enough and powerful enough to take the gloves off and fight back vicously against this “rogue” traders.

    As we know, you cannot rely on the marketplaces themselves to police and enforce – that is part and parcel of the platforms.

    3 cheers for Bonnington!

  4. Whose job is it to police this type of fraud? Customers, Merchants or Marketplaces?

    This is the most difficult part. Certainly marketplace i.e Amazon are certainly not interested in helping and making this type of query an easier process.

    Fraud on the other side should not be tolerated. It affects all parties.

  5. ,
    Good for Bonningtons…..

    Sadly Amazon themselves do nothing about generic piggy backing ‘similar’ products.
    Even when test purchases are made a difference is shown, they just allow it to carry on.
    We are currently loosing £5000 of sales on just one item Amazon ignore.

  6. We have also had cases where Amazon themselves have merged our ASIN with someone else’s ASIN and the product is different.
    Amazon would not listen so we cancelled our listing and and started again with a different Barcode and new listing.

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