AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Thu July 5 2012 15:52:37

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

By: Julia Wilkinson

Sponsored Link

Adidas announced it will ban its dealers from listing its products on marketplaces eBay and Amazon starting in January 2013. As reported in this EcommerceBytes article, part of the problem seems to be a brand's lack of control over the customer buying experience on these large marketplaces, and a downward pressure on price.

Knockoffs can also be an issue, though eBay got props from  Wes Sheperd, CEO of Channel IQ, for its Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program, as well as pricing transparency and willingness to work with manufacturers to address problems on its marketplace.

Another phenomenon apparently bugging manufacturers is the practice called "showrooming," where a buyer may visit a bricks-and-mortar store to check out a product, but then uses their mobile phone to scour the Internet for the best price, and winds up buying it online.

Amazon is cited as a culprit for the downward price pressure, allegedly resisting minimum advertised price (MAP) policies -- as when it does not show the price openly on a page -- with some complaining that these policies are difficult to enforce or enforced unevenly.

Do you worry about this trend of brands banning sales on big third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay? Is Amazon "too big to ignore"? Have you ever had Amazon itself undercut the price of a new item you sell? And do you sell the types of brands you think are likely to be affected by companies instituting such policies, such as other footwear brands, luxury goods, apparel, or even consumer electronics? Post a comment here!




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 23:47:57 2012

Ummm Kenneth Corbin's opinion in this article are incorrect, and smacks of being a cheerleader for those people who want to remove an individuals right to sell things on line.

Kenneth Corbin must have missed ecommerce 101 - where US trade law specifically states that individuals can resell any legally obtained item WITHOUT permission from the maker. PERIOD. Its settled case law - which is why when threatened - most big companies back down. All they can do is spend thier money trying to bankrupt you, they have no legal recourse. Why he doesnt mention it I'm not sure, but the people he interviewed at Channel IQ arent an individual sellers best friend by any means. Im going to have to assume for now that Kenneth Corbin didnt know enough to ask the right questions.

Amazon does bow to manufactorers - it just depends which ones. Any one that they believe they need - Sony, Monstercable,Canon, Denon - companies that have HOT products - who threaten not to sell them - blocks listings. They are either totally blocked or restricted to ''approved sellers'' (approved by that manufactorer). Its sneaky and underhanded, but its Amazon's listing NOT yours, so you HAVE to play by their rules.

As for eBay .... lord - Channel IQ just loves the worlds most corrupt and dishonest online company dont they? They shower praise on VERO - VERO, who makes La Cosa Nostra look like angels. eBay's policies are to deal with possible infractions with a blind eye. The infractions are not examined for truth, they arent looked at to even see if the infraction is correct, and VERO will hand out infractions for items that arent even currently listed! (I know as its happened to me!)

Why? MONEY. I've talked about this many many times and Julia - I invite you to kindly ask Kenneth Corbin or Channel IQ to come to a discussion on the matter so that the truth gets out!

eBay does this to curry favors from the manufactorers, and to receive money from them. Its striclty pay for play in eBayland, with small sellers getting the short end of the stick.

eBay in thier quest to compete with Amazon asks ALL large manufactorers to have an anchor store on eBay. They get special deals, special pricing, negatives and DSRs dont count, they get Deal of the Day (all the time), constant front page banners and more. All items no one else (even large sellers can get!)

Skullcandy and Monster balked. At first they cliamed there were too many fakes on eBay. That part is true - and there are still - even today. Let me be clear - those companies are WELL within thier rights to pursue and stop ALL sellers and makers of counterfeit items. PERIOD.

In the case of the above 2 mentioned companies, they took it a step farther. This is where the illegality comes in - they told eBay they WOULD take an anchor store, if eBay would help them via VERO, ''clean up'' eBay.

Clean up doesnt mean removing fakes - since there are alot still there. Clean up means (meant) ''removing unwanted sellers of thier product''.

So, first Vero sent out MC019 Copyright violations, then MC019 Trademark violations, then the final nail in the coffin (of your account) MC019 Unauthorized.

1) thier claims for MC019 Un authorized isnt in the DMCA. DMCA abuse itself is a crime - yet eBay looks the other way. JD is too busy counting the FVF's to take any notice.
2) MC019 Unauthorized cant exist in light of Lanham and FSD.

eBay, the greedy people that they are, ignore all this and keep on ''keeping on''. They hand out violations like water, doing the dirty deeds for both companies.

Addidas can force authorized dealers not to sell online - authorized dealers have contracts they must sign to become dealers. Those contracts can say ANYTHING - they are usually like a movie stars rider contracts - but instead of asking for outlandish foods, these contracts lock you down TIGHT. No internet sales with out approval, no eBay, No Amazon, No Sears or Buy.com etc, MAP or UPP pricing ONLY. Its usually offset by MDF or Advertising funds - to make up for the impossible selling of the product under such strict terms. Transshipping is also in those contracts - but if the items DONT have serial numbers then there isnt much anyone can do.

Did you notice that for the past few months Skullcandy has been having a fire sale on thier last years items? WHY? All version 2.0 goods have serial numbers now - to catch transshippers! Skullcandy bought up all the old goods from all thier dealers (they took it all back and gave a blanket credit) and dumped the stuff on eBay.

So, between thier shopping of small sellers to see whos serial numbers they have and VEROs continued harassment ... selling Skullcandy on eBay is tough - which is what they want!

Monster? They just threatened to sue anyone selling thier goods PERIOD. They have backed of abit - since they no longer have all the rights to the BEATS name - BEATS by Dr DRE and Monster split 3-4 months ago. But that DOESNT mean they arent ''out in force looking for sellers to harass''.

Nothing will change until someone (dont look at me - Idont have that kinda money) takes one of these guys to court and wins. They will keep on using eBay to harass sellers, Amazon will agree to certain conditions if they feel they need the brand (Sears and Buy.com do the same thing).

Who will go down this route? Any or all manufactorers that feel that small sellers on any platform (even your own site) ''
hurts them''.

Thats SONY's modus operandi. They use NET ENFORCERS to break legs. They make VERO look like boy scouts and Sony has no 2nd thoughts about taking anyone to court to blead them dry. Sony has a standing ad in the back of Twice magazine that tells you the number of small ''unapproved/unauthorized'' dealers thaey have shut down. They claim when they get to court, that YOU tarnish thier brand(s) and cause consumers confusion. Your representing thier brand with out permission causes THEIR customers harm. Its a sneaky not legal trick but you would be suprised at the dumb judges who dont know better. (Judges sometimes DO know better - they just need election cash and know where to get it!).

If you can buy Addidas or Nike etc and the items dont have serial numbers, then they cant be traced and if VERO wont harass you - you will be fine - Amazon is a crap shoot!

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sat Jul 7 02:22:08 2012

''Your representing thier brand with out permission causes THEIR customers harm.''

It is spelled T-H-E-I-R.

You are an otherwise excellent writer pace306, but this drives me to drink, my friend. :-)  

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 8 00:47:46 2012

Pace306, the article says ''Adidas announced it will ban its dealers from listing its products on marketplaces eBay and Amazon starting in January 2013.''

So they are banning their dealers from selling their products.  The first sale doctrine absolutely allows any NON-dealer (authorized) to sell any legally obtained items.  There is nothing whatsoever they can do about that.

But the reason they are stopping official online sales is the prices are *CHEAP*.  They have to be cheap to be able to sell especially on eBay.  They don't want their expensive name brand diluted by that so they have MAP and other schemes to stop it.

But you can sell anything you want online or otherwise.  

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jul 8 18:01:35 2012

Here in New Zealand there was a major controversary last year when we found that Adidas were selling our All Black rugby shirts in the USA and UK far cheaper than they were here in NZ.

So people bought them online, until Adidas took away the ship to NZ drop downs!

Big companies charge as much as they can get away with.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 8 18:42:50 2012

This is part of an article from Financial Times.I think the big retailers will eventually try to gain tighter control of their merchandise to prevent a price slam down. They will have to price fix or leave Amazon and ebay..

Amazon ‘robo-pricing’ sparks fears
By Barney Jopson in New York


High-speed trading tools pioneered in the stock market are increasingly driving price movements on Amazon’s website as independent sellers use them to undercut and outwit each other in a cut-throat online market place.

Product prices now change as often as every 15 minutes as some of the 2m sellers on Amazon’s site join the online retailer in using computerised tools – often developed by former data miners at investment banks – to lure shoppers with the best deals.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: SallyH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 00:49:15 2012

I'm going to have to stick up for Adidas on the price cheapening issue.  

Having sold a variety of products on eBay since 1998, I have watched IDIOT sellers totally demolish the value of good selling, previously profitable items in their desire to be cheapest and make the sale.  

It's like gas wars, a price rush to the bottom, until it is no longer possible to make anything on the product, even if seller costs and time were not an issue.

What is the point in making a sale on a NEW item, if there is NO profit left? It hurts the Manufacturer, the Wholesaler, and the Retailer.

Unfortunately, too many eBay sellers haven't the foggiest bit of business sense and hurt those that do.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: jimcockrum This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 9 04:22:12 2012


This should ultimately be a non-issue for 99.9% of the eBay sellers you know (that's you and me). Commerce law tells us we can sell anything we own. Sure, Adidas can control the large channel partners (with a contract), but by law, they have ZERO control legally over the rest of us "consumers" as we buy in bulk and sell the stuff we legally acquire.

Hey Adidas!  Do you want to protect your prices? Here's how: charge more for the goods leaving your factories. (or apply for a Govt. bailout - those are pretty easy to get these days)

I'm not intimated one bit by this silly (and I predict temporary) move. If I encounter a competitively priced lot of Adidas shoes that I can make a nice profit on, I'll sell them in a heartbeat on eBay today, tomorrow or next year.

One more thing adidas: Trying to keep your products off of the most active online shopping forums ever created by man = STUPID.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 06:43:21 2012

@SallyH

HEAR! HEAR! Finally, a voice of reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 09:27:35 2012

I think its a great idea and would like to see more manufacturers inforce this.

When I buy something be it on Ebay, Craigslist or a website I want that item to be an original..not some knockoff chinese junk.

Actually Ebay has brought this on themselves when they don't or refuse to address all the knockoffs on their site.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 9 15:07:00 2012

imho, most of the "Chinese junk" is made in the same factory as the original Adidis/Nike/Prada product.

It is just that those brands add huge mark ups to their product that leaves a market niche open for these goods.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 10 10:57:40 2012

I guess that they dont want to be caught up in the great "race to the bottom" !

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: ex-ebay-seller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 10 19:57:36 2012

pace306 that was an amazing post. I am a British ex-seller on ebay and got canned by those American crooks ebay and paypal.

Had a perfect record and one morning log into to see I was blocked (No longer a registered user)

To me its a filthy American organisation whos ill thought out policies hatched in an office in California are washed upon our European shores thanks to the internet.

We just booted that American crook Bob Diamond out of Barclays bank for rigging the rates on the market in the United Kingdom.

Paypal another American corrupt company froze my money without reason. Limited account without reason. This is anti European free market and illegal activity.

Tick,tick,tick  

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 14 18:53:19 2012

@SallyH - Another vote

We've watched the demise of many a manufacturer and distribution sources in our industry all due to they who don't have an ounce of common or business sense having gained access to the product line making it worthless or even less than.

We 100% support the efforts of Adidas and hope others will follow suit. With respect to an entity not having certain rights, they do have the right to say who and who can't handle their product line and wish more would apply it before they too are gone.

What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?   What Do You Think of the Adidas Ban on eBay and Amazon?

by: elancep This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 23 13:40:50 2012

If there was a high demand for their product then they wouldn't have to worry about prices dropping off on ebay and amazon. Of course it is their brand and they can choose to source it to whomever they choose. However, I think they'll find that in bad economy people really don't want spend $129 on sneakers. You can keep your prices high because you believe in your brand but that doesn't mean most consumers will agree.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.