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Sat Mar 25 2017 17:53:37

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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We've discovered another way big brands are limiting sales of their products on ecommerce platforms: they're calling on credit card companies to act as enforcers.

A reader said that when a buyer tried to purchase one of their vintage items, the ecommerce platform sent the seller a demand that they provide proof they were authorized to sell that brand.

The seller was not an authorized reseller, but did own the individual item and had every right to sell it (again, it was a vintage item). Nevertheless, they were unable to get the platform to process the transaction.

The platform blamed Mastercard BRAM - according to Mastercard's website:

"BRAM is an initiative designed to protect MasterCard and its customers from illegal and brand-damaging transactions, which may pose significant fraud/regulatory/legal risk, or may cause reputational damage."

It's understandable that brands are frustrated over counterfeit goods, but they can also overreach when it comes to resale. Have you experienced difficulties selling used/vintage brands? Have you ever encountered BRAM used in this way?




Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Mar 25 20:51:50 2017

If the seller purchased the item at a retail location, isn't he/she, by default, protected under the First Sale Doctrine?

One of my credit cards, which was a MasterCard, was recently cancelled as to all the issuer's customers and the cards were re-issued as Visa cards. If MasterCard is going to take this position against small sellers, I'm glad I'm no longer giving them my money.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 26 11:03:07 2017


now I know why all my master cards are being cancelled and reissued as a Visa card. never had a problem with MasterCard or Bram

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 26 12:37:49 2017

Brands are bullies.

Credit cards should NOT be able to arbitrate and do these things. They should only be able to deal with fraud.

They should not be able to be used to force returns or give refunds especially 6 months or a year down the road.

This is criminal and businesses need to fight them.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 26 12:41:27 2017

It's time obline sellers create a task force to combat the bully brands and credit cards or any payment processor such as paypal.

This is extreme abuse of powers they should not even have in the first place.

And as always..China sellers get off Scott free as none of these brands go after them it's sickening.

I can't wot until Mastercard gets sued for bullying the wrong person.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Mar 26 19:47:29 2017

@mcposty

"I can't wot until Mastercard gets sued for bullying the wrong person."

No one is forcing anyone to use Mastercard, if you don't like their rules change cards!

I don't have a problem with them, in fact my Paypal Mastercard is my go to money almost everywhere I go. . .

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 26 21:31:51 2017

No one is forcing anyone to do anything but if you sell online you have to deal with these processors and if it catches on they all will be working with big brands to stifle competition.

This is about payment processing not using the cards as a consumer

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Mar 27 00:55:07 2017

Restraint of trade

Price fixing.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: madam H This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 27 01:45:14 2017

This would be like GM, Ford, or other auto manufacturers claiming you cannot resell the vehicle you bought from them.  Once you purchase an item, it is YOURS.

The entire system of Capitalism is based on buying and selling between two interested parties.  Does BRAM MasterCard believe it will completely re-invent that process?   That entity does not reserve the right to tell a private individual what he/she can or cannot do with the goods that person OWNS.  Period.

FWIW, auto manufactures are actually trying to get legislation passed in the U.S. that will declare that although you might have bought a vehicle, you do NOT own the 'software' that operates it.  The manufacturers want to be able to charge customers for 'software licenses or upgrades'... pay up or your car will eventually become 'obsolete' and an expensive paperweight.  Look for it.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: opherty and ciocci This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Mar 27 04:13:35 2017

We had Stripe asking for the same "authorization" twice; once happened 3 years ago. They waited for 1st sale, and then they asked for the brand "authotization" I was selling a GUCCI 1960's handbag!!!

I tried back Stripe with our new website through Shopify, and again, after 1st sale, this time they said our business was too "risky" for frauds. Now I have my money of 1st order blocked until end of May...

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 27 07:14:17 2017

If mastercard would refuse to complete my transaction I would just pull out my VISA. I can't understand why you would fight a battle when you have no dog in the fight though.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: Ron This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 27 09:01:31 2017

The problem appears to lie more with Stripe than with MasterCard, although they are complicit.  Stripe considers itself a "low risk" payment processor, so any non-authorized sales of luxury branded products are considered "high risk" by them.  They base themselves on what is contained in the MasterCard BRAM program.  What they don't do is consider the product mix of the reseller or the reseller's track record, which could be squeaky clean for 20 years - it doesn't matter to them.  As soon as they see the word "Chanel", that represents a risky transaction unless it's sold by Chanel themselves.  Sellers of any of these items, even if its only 1 or 2 out of a 1000 item inventory, on Shopify are blocked because Shopify Payments uses Stripe.  The only alternative for shop owners is to switch to a "high risk" gateway, but this will cost them an additional 2% in fees.  It seems a little unfair and does represent a deterrent to small re-sellers of used or vintage brands.  As someone else stated here, it would be better for them to focus on wholesalers of Chinese knock-offs than on second hand items.  But, of course, the brands would love to eliminate the second hand market - why buy a new one from them if you can buy a perfectly good second hand one?

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 27 10:03:29 2017

Fortunately, I have not experienced this, but good to know.

I offer different payment gateways in addition to stripe on my website but I don't have shopify. I wonder if those who do use shopify can offer alternatives and just pay the extra if the buyer chooses it.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: JuliBMe This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 27 10:13:37 2017

Interesting. If brands are participating in this, seems to me, it's an extremely stupid move from a business perspective. If they devalue the secondary market on their goods, they will devalue the primary market, too.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 27 11:01:38 2017

This needs to be resisted and deaLt with immediately

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 28 07:19:32 2017

Sounds like more business for PayPal.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: JulieandBlu This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 28 08:05:59 2017

In response to Barbbie  - yes, I run stripe in conjunction to Paypal in shopify. Did the same thing with another cart, so  it's possible.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 28 11:05:56 2017

Just when I think that the brands can sink no lower, they do.

Someone will see them in court no doubt, and the brands will lose.

At some point however the brands will buy a politician or politicians and have the law changed in their favor.

Small businesses continue to get screwed.

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 1 16:15:33 2017

Just have one of the sports leagues take down two of my 'legitimate licensed items' for trademark infringement... Very odd, as they are 10s of thousands of VERY OBVIOUS fake counterfeit items being sold, yet nothing is done to them.. I know for a fact that these sellers have even been reported to the league and they do nothing about it...

It almost makes me wonder if this is a case of them trying to destroy small sellers of their products.. I mean, WHY would them take down one item, when their are Chinese and US sellers with 1000s of fake items in their stores... Makes NO SENSE... Vero does seem to be a way that the brands can manipulate who can sell their products by picking the winners and losers and destroying anyone that they want to without recourse... So so SAD... Just hope the President take action against these Chinese criminals and the overhanded actions by brands on legitimate small businesses....

Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales   Brands Find Another Way to Limit Online Sales

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 2 21:44:01 2017

Why isn't any of these places pretesting and defending the sellers? They just bow down.

Who needs these yellow belly middlemen?

We all need to revolt and fight.

MassI've prison sentences for stripe ceos and credit cards amazon etsy and ebay.



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