Keeping Brands Healthy on eBay

Blogs | May 10, 2021

The Client: 
The client is a U.S.-based vitamin, supplements, and probiotics company. It prides itself on using pure, sustainable, additive-free ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Its products range from $30-$50 per unit. Our focus for this project was to remove unauthorized sellers listing the client’s products for sale on eBay. This included monitoring their entire product assortment on the platform.

The Situation: 
The client is part of a larger group of brands that we have been working with for over three years. When the client noticed that several of their products were being sold without permission on eBay, it was particularly concerning because their products are consumable and must adhere to strict guidelines to keep customers safe. For example, some of their products are probiotics which must adhere to the appropriate shipping guidelines which include water-tight packaging, temperature-controlled storage, and proper labeling. 

eBay’s Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO): 
The most successful way to remove unauthorized sellers on eBay is to submit intellectual property (IP) rights through the VeRO program. Our team used VeRO to report IP violations after finding several listings that contained the wrong product name, description, photography, packaging, logos, etc. The POTOO team provided screenshots, photographic evidence, and the proper eBay violation codes to increase our likelihood of having the fraudulent listing removed. In several instances, we noticed that the client’s images and product descriptions were being copied from other websites which is not allowed on the marketplace. 

While checking for IP infringements, we also noticed several price discrepancies and MAP violations on many of the client’s listings. In some cases, the product was listed at more than 50% off of the MSRP. Having the products listed at such low prices is concerning because the consumer is often attracted to the lower price resulting in lost sales and margin for the brand partners authorized to sell the products. 

Reportable Listings on eBay include: 
1.) Counterfeit or replica items
2.) Items that infringe on your intellectual property (IP) 
3.) Unauthorized use of copyrighted content in a listing or product page

Information to Include in Your Claim: 
1.) A physical or electronic signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner that is allegedly infringed.
2.) Identification or description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed.
3.) Title or description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the eBay site, with enough detail that it can easily be found.
4.) Your address, telephone number, and email address.
5.) A statement that you have a good-faith belief that the use of the allegedly infringing material isn’t authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
6.) A statement by you made under penalty of perjury, that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.

The client used POTOO’s Dashboards to track IP violations on eBay. Although not a reportable offense on eBay, the team also tracked and reported price erosion and distribution leaks for the client. In several cases, we noticed the unauthorized products were coming from liquidation auctions or wholesale distributors. Oftentimes when we discovered an intellectual property violation, we also noticed the price on the listing was inaccurate. From there, we were able to use POTOO’s proprietary data to determine where the product/s were being sourced and provide the client with a more complete picture of its marketplace activity. We shared these findings with the client’s eCommerce, Sales, Marketing, and Operations teams every week. 

Over the course of a year, POTOO removed 77% of unauthorized sellers from listing the client’s products on eBay. This equated to over 1,600 unauthorized sellers being removed from the marketplace. 

Could your brand use more support navigating eBay’s VeRo program to tackle unauthorized sellers? Connect with our team today to learn more about how POTOO can you assist you:

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