AMZ Insider Info 2/27/20 with CJ Rosenbaum: Expanding internationally as a seller, Gray market vs counterfeit goods, Vorys letters, Luxury brands accusing you of selling counterfeit products when you are not.
If you have questions or concerns about any topic at all, call this number 1-877-9-SELLER and you can speak with me or a member of my team. We give more free consultations than probably any other firm out there that deals with Amazon sellers anywhere on earth.
It is absolutely vital in business 101 to diversify your income streams. Absolutely vital. This has become more apparent with the coronavirus situation where you need to not only expand where you’re selling, get into the UK, get into Japan, get into Germany, get into these other markets. You’ll also need to diversify where you’re sourcing your products from. The Chinese epidemic is going to hit fairly soon, Amazon is planning for it, you need to plan for it. Start sourcing products in countries other than China. Absolutely vital.
Vorys is a law firm that takes on some really big brands and they send out letters threatening sellers all over the world. Arthur is putting in just a handful of the letters we’ve dealt with. Vorys claims, for the most part, are baseless. However, you need to look at their claims very carefully because sometimes there is a claim that might have merit and you need a lawyer who is experienced dealing with Amazon, with Vorys, and who knows intellectual property law so that you will know which of their claims are absolute and total garbage and which ones might put you at risk, and we can do that for you. Speak with one of our attorneys, including me, don’t be shy.
Luxury brands accusing you of selling counterfeit products when you are not?
If you are selling genuine products, just taking them outside the intended distribution stream means you are selling gray market products, not counterfeit. Entirely different. Gray market means it’s a genuine product and the consumer is receiving the same thing that they would get from a brick and mortar store. Counterfeit is entirely different. Counterfeit means you’re selling a fake product. It’s not really Louis Vuitton, it’s not really Gucci. So if you’re selling genuine products, chances are, you are not violating anybody’s intellectual property rights.
The difference between selling a genuine product that’s okay vs. not okay.
It falls under what’s called the First Sale Doctrine. The first sale doctrine says that in the United States, you can buy and sell anything you want without the brand’s permission. You don’t need authorization, you don’t need a distribution agreement. You can buy and sell anything you want as long as the consumer, when he or she receives it, is not receiving anything that is materially different. So what is the biggest sticking point? It’s usually the warranty, but if that warranty only says a money-back guarantee, your consumers on Amazon get that anyway through the A to Z claim system. So most likely, there is no violation and you are covered under the First Sale Doctrine.