Recently we had another Amazon seller come to us in receipt of a VORYS letter.
VORYS is a law firm that sends letters to 3rd party sellers all over the world telling them that they cannot sell items. Sellers can in fact buy and sell practically every product with very limited exceptions.
While every VORYS letter is somewhat predictable in the language they are going to set forth, it depends on the brand that they represent. This particular brand in this case we have not dealt with yet, so we have to do a little bit of an investigation..
What we want to find out:
– What is it they are seeking?
– What’s their mission?
– Are they trying to find out the supplier of the products?
– Are they trying to regulate distribution?
– Are they trying to sue for damages?
With all letters, VORYS generally keeps to the same straight points:
– the quality controls are different
– there’s no warrantee provided, which constitutes a material difference
– they’re threatening tortious interference with contract if they continue to buy from their supplier
The way VORYS does this is they put you on notice:
If you are going to pick up from this particular supplier, they’re telling you that there is a restriction where you can’t sell to other Amazon sellers. For tortious interference with contract, if you then go and buy from them, you know there’s a restriction which could breach their contract and if in fact it does get breached, you could be liable for tortious interference of contract.
Many VORYS letters ignore the First Sales Doctrine, which is based upon consumers receiving the same products and benefits, regardless of who is selling them. We have the First Sale Doctrine in the United States, Europe does not.
Below are some of the baseless claims that VORYS has asserted against clients:
Product Sourcing: There is no rule that says that you cannot buy products from a department store and resell them.
Unauthorized Seller / Unauthorized to Sell on Certain Sales Channels: Unless outside of the First Sales Doctrine, there’s nothing that can stop you from buying a product and selling it without authorization. Generally, sellers do not need authorization to sell on Amazon. This also applies to reseller agreements. You don’t need a reseller agreement with any brand unless there’s something that takes the product outside of the First Sales Doctrine.
Company Policies & Brand Confusion: Company policy is not a legal claim. As long as you are buying and reselling genuine products, there is no confusion or company policy you need to abide by.
The first few things that we want to find out from the client is: Is there a supplier contracted through this brand? Are they under any contractual obligation where there could be breach of contract?
In this case, VORYS did not provide any warrantee language; we cannot assess what the warrantee is without knowing the extent and limit of its protection. So, the first thing we need to do is write a letter to VORYS and request more details on the warrantee.
At that point, we try and figure out what it is that this brand wants so we can effectively represent our client and defend their position.
If you have received a letter from VORYS, contact us for a free consultation: