Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Apr 10 2016 23:13:31

NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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The NFL football league is banning the sale of its licensed goods on eBay, Amazon, and other third-party marketplaces. Online sellers received notice from their suppliers in March of the new prohibition effective April 1, 2016. 

The manufacturers explained that the NFL is banning them from selling to merchants who list on third-party marketplaces, otherwise, the NFL will cut them off - eBay, Amazon, and Buy were specifically mentioned. 

"As a licensee of the NFL we have to comply with their regulations," one supplier told its merchant customers. The notice continued:

"The NFL has announced that they are restricting all 3rd party online sales. As a licensee we will not be able to sell to anyone who sells our NFL products online through any 3rd party portal. All sales of our NFL products must occur through the retailer's own e-commerce site. These restrictions include, but are not limited to, sales on amazon.com, buy.com and ebay.com. To sell our NFL products online you, as our customer, must have ownership of the URL that the transaction occurs on. If you own a URL that redirects back to a 3rd Party URL for the ultimate transaction you cannot sell our NFL products."

The new policy also mandates that suppliers force merchants make sure their websites comply with NFL requirements, such as the following: "You cannot have any NFL logos or team logos present on your site that are not part of an image of the product without express permission from the NFL."

eBay and Amazon appeared to be unaware of the new policy and the sites continue to offer listings for NFL merchandise.

Sellers say they've received notifications from suppliers including Rico Industries, Wincraft, Siskiyou Gifts stating no sales of NFL merchandise on third Party sites.

We've reached out to the NFL by phone and email with no response, we'll continue to follow this story.

Update: See Tuesday's Newsflash article available now.




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Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Apr 11 08:32:57 2016

Very interesting.

I assume this is the beginning of huge lawsuits for copyright infringements?  not that i know anything but why else would they care?

This may get all the legal guys off ebay, etsy, amazon and leave all the Chinese fake things intact.

I see this as the start of something?

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 09:08:02 2016

Just because the NFL wants something it doesn't mean its going to get it.

It will in all probability take a court order for Ebay to even think about it. Ebay isn't going to do anything that might lower the bottom line.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

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

Mon Apr 11 09:18:12 2016

I say good for the NFL!

We looked at carrying a couple of lines of NFL gear but determined that it would be too hard to sell the legitimate lines (officially licensed) given all of the Chinese counterfeit stuff.

By forcing licensed sellers to remove their items from marketplaces, leaves only the counterfeit knock-offs. Then either the marketplaces remove those listings or face lawsuits and FTC issues by allowing the counterfeits to persist on their sites. The NFL has deep enough pockets and teams of lawyers to make it stick.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Apr 11 10:35:30 2016

IF the NFL gets back to Ina, their statement will likely include the excuse that they are seeking to avoid having counterfeit or unauthorized merchandise available for sale.

No doubt, the NFL will soon announce the opening of their own shop on eBay & Amazon which will assure them of being able to monopolize all the profits from the sale of merchandise.

It is likely other sports leagues will follow suit and third party sellers of sports branded merchandise will be forced out of business.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 10:38:16 2016

The last time I watched football , they had a strike , & screwed my winning card. Tell them to stick their merchandise. Likely china knockoffs are a big issue. I for 1 , could care less.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 11 10:49:28 2016

I've always been quite amazed that the NFL is a non-profit. Weren't they tax exempt up until 2015?

Greed people greed. Nothing more, no matter how they spin it.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Mon Apr 11 10:58:23 2016

We see this type of bullying behavior time and time again in the Musical Instrument category. I agree with Ric... Once they "clean up the channel," the NFL will have their own Ebay store with ZERO competition!

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 11:59:56 2016

The ONLY problem is that its against the law.

The NFL can only stop "tier 1" ie direct accounts from selling on eBay, Amazon or whomeever - they can simply insert it into the buying agreement.

Theres NOTHING in US Trade law that stops me from buying those items from any legitimate supplier (assuming they wish to "transship" and post it on either place.

HOWEVER, since we know that BOTH Amazon and eBay are Pay for Play - Amazon will get paid off (like other makers do with them) and GATE NFL items. eBay will do likewise but as RIC said (so correctly I might add) eBay will have them open Premium Outlet/Shop.

We all know how this game is played and like when Addidas did it etc - after the bruh ha ha dies down - lets see what happens.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Apr 11 12:39:29 2016

Ric is spot on.

But where Rexford sees greed, I also see desperation.  Perhaps sales of overpriced jerseys and hats are not where they once were.  Rather than operate less stupidly, corporate is lashing out at its partners.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 13:35:05 2016

heh, they can stop first party distributors from listing their items on these places, but they cannot stop distributors from selling to other dealers who may do it.

only those who are in contract with the nfl have to obey such distribution policies, many do not deal directly with the nfl, thus are legally able to sell the items as they wish any where they wish, because they are not in contract with the nfl.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 17:13:14 2016

I think Ric is right and that they simply want all the profits for themselves. But you can't stop everyone and Craigslist will be unstoppable.  And maybe people with their own websites will also keep on selling.  

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 18:26:41 2016

More and more companies are trying to skirt the First Sale Doctrine. First they start with licensed dealers. Then they come after the people who are selling used jerseys on Ebay. Get a Vero take down that the user has to fight.

They want everyone to go to the NFL store to buy products.

Punishing honest sellers or re-sellers isnt how you should combat fakes from China.  

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

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

Tue Apr 12 00:24:46 2016

I go to a lot of tradeshows and, sure, lots of brands don't want their stuff on ebay. Let's be honest - it cheapens it.

Sure, you can sell non first tier items on ebay ( used, etc. ) but the NFL owns the brand and that allows them to control where new products are sold.

I can't think of the last time I was in the market for an NFL branded anything, but they're like a dollar at any reputable yardsale! ;)

Get your own website... avoid the rules and regulations of the venues... geez.. as much as ebay charges vs the ROI - why bother.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: dmg61 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 08:11:46 2016

The NFL brought this on themselves as well...a lot of the official stuff is made in China anyway... so they just sell some of it on the black market. Make it here and control it better. The merchandise is so highly overpriced to begin with, they can afford a few US union members to sew things up...

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 08:43:44 2016

Do companies really think that China stops producing their products after the lights go out, too funny, in China it's called the ''Third Shift''

China has Plenty of other means to supply ''Third Shift Products'' ,  

Not Fake at all, produced by the same equipment, same workers, same material, just cheaper.

Good luck NFL, maybe you should take some of your greedy profits, and bring back your manufacturing to the people who actually buy your products.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Apr 12 09:03:01 2016

If you consider your business to be your treasury, you should treat it as such with the security of a treasury. I.e. raw materials are accounted for, final product is accounted for, the waste is accounted for, your manufacturing site is secure and your personnel are vetted and monitored in a proper manner.

Does this add to the manufacturing process - well yes it does. But if the NFL wants the genuine article only to be manufactured, well, it will cut into their profit, or Joe Sixpack will have to get another payday loan for his East Podunk Otters NFL football team socks.

And be on the lookout for the equivalent of North Korean counterfeit $300 bills.

In some ways I agree with the NFL as to keep their standards. But they are just as easy to blame because they went overseas for their manufacturing without thinking or caring how their products will be subject to counterfeiting.  

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 09:30:03 2016

I wish more companies would do this. Maybe this would get rid of a large chunk of the Chinese and Israeli junk and knock-off sellers.

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Tue Apr 12 10:45:10 2016

Here is how this will go....
1.) NFL will have a team of paralegals constantly take down listings under VERO
2.) The sellers who are not smart enough to file VERO counternotices against EVERY takedown will be suspended from Ebay
3.) The NFL will have their own outlet on Ebay, thereby monopolizing the platform
4.) Ebay will be completely good with this...

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Tue Apr 12 10:48:39 2016

We dont sell NFL branded items, but I can tell you that this has been going on in the Music Equipment category for almost 20 years now...
Ebay (as usual) completely screwed up with the VERO program.
Put in place because of the 2000 Digital Millenium Copyright Act, it is a program that is ripe for abuse by ANYONE claiming to be the rights holder. Heck, we had SALES REPS in another territory sign up for VERO, and get our listings removed!! Friggin JOKE  

Perminate Link for NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales   NFL Bans eBay and Amazon Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: sba55

Tue Apr 12 15:08:37 2016

I worked for one of the companies mentioned in the article. Years ago Nascar did something similar and banned sales of merchandise within a few miles of the track by the street vendors who would come to every race and set up shop. This was done to protect the venue sales of the same merchandise (at higher prices). Part of my job was to go to the races to find out who was selling items so they could then be cut off. After a few events people figured out who I was and began hiding their resale certificates and boxes with their address etc. it took a while but they succeeded for the most part. I am very familiar with what is licensed and what isn't and ebay and etsy are loaded with fake items. I believe on etsy many of the sellers are ignorant of the fact that they can't use the team logos on their various home made items.

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