Why Are Companies Closing eBay Auctions?

Here’s one thing I think a lot of you don’t understand about Vero. eBay’s Vero program isn’t about authentic vs counterfeit per se, it’s more about rights and such, you know like licensing, trademarks and copyrights. Some people believe that you can’t have an auction shut down if you’re selling authentic merchandise and that simply isn’t true.

Now I’m not an attorney, so don’t go thinking that what I am saying is de-facto law, I’m just giving you some insight.

Let’s take for example Gucci, since they are shutting down auctions like crazy. Well, Gucci owns several trademarks, their logos, their patterned logo fabric, they have specific designs and names for those designs that may be protected under copyright or trademark law and so forth. Can Gucci shut down an auction for authentic merchandise? Yes, because you could simply be infringing upon their rights by copying an image, using a name without the registered trademark symbol and so on.

They are within their rights to do so. Like for an example, this is a true example that I experienced. I had for sale a certain poster of a certain artist from a certain music group. I received a letter from their attorneys letting me know that the license for that item expired long ago, and I needed to remove both the item and the image from my website immediately because I was in violation of the licensing agreement. Now it turns out that the actual distributor was the one being held responsible because they were selling this stuff in violation of the license and pretty soon they were contacted by the attorneys because they sent a letter to all their retailers asking them to remove the items from their websites. Now if this were an auction, the company or its attorneys could have had the auction shut down under the Vero program and would not HAVE to send me any correspondence.

And I hope this gives some insight as to how things like this can happen even when you are selling authentic merchandise. In my case, since I was buying from a legit distribution channel, I’m not in trouble. The problem with off-price is, you don’t know HOW your jobber got the merchandise and whether or not they got it legitimately.

Now in most cases, no one wants you, they want the source that’s putting the stuff out on the market. But this is the way this stuff works. Is there something you can do about it, well, I don’t know, because a company has every right to protect their trademarks, copyrights and other stuff.
Now if you’re selling fakes, counterfeits or as some like to say it nicely “knock-offs” that’s another issue because that’s illegal and you’re breaking the law.

Hey Clothingbroker, Do YOU Sell on eBay

People ask this question a lot. The truth is I did. But I don’t anymore. To be honest, I think you’d have to twist my arm behind my back while threatening to inject me with the ebola virus to get me to sell on eBay.

I don’t have anything against eBay, I just think there are better, more efficient, less costly and more stable ways to sell merchandise than eBay. But, honestly, everyone can’t do it because too many eBay sellers are stuck thinking inside the box to do anything different. I touch upon this a little bit in my guide, I don’t go into it in depth, because there are two kinds of people– the kind that just need ideas, and the kind that need handholding. And I don’t have much time to hold hands.

Some of you tell me you sell on eBay, you tell me your IDs, I don’t go look up every person that buys the guide because it would be too time consuming. Anyhow, I admire your tenacity and your work ethic and you guys work hard for every dollar you earn, because none of you make easy money. But so many of you need to think outside the eBay box.

It’s getting harder and harder, competition is tougher and tougher, you sellers running a business and/or supporting a family have to compete with hobby just for fun sellers who are just thrilled to make $5 profit on a $50 item and they are undercutting the market like crazy. And you have to know that it’s not going to be good forever. But too many of you look for the next auction, the next eBay, and you don’t realize that you might just need to think beyond eBay if you want to secure your future.

And I have some friends that still dabble in eBay, or some that sell there full time. And they might come across a deal and say to me, “If you can make quick money on eBay, why not?” It’s not always about quick money, there’s more to consider than that. But I don’t have time to really explain it because they aren’t twisting my arm behind my back and threatening to inject me with the ebola virus:)

The eBay dilemma

eBay is, in many ways, a phenomenon. It’s almost like a world of it’s own. Many of you sell on eBay in some capacity: part time, full time, seasoned, experienced, or just starting.

And I have my opinions about eBay. Not so much about eBay itself, but about what happens with sellers that sell on eBay. I’ll write a lot about thinking outside of the eBay box, that eBay is not the world. Let me tell you why I say this.

You deal with eBay or eBay sellers long enough and two things happen:

1- a seller finds it increasingly difficult to make the same money they made before (overall)
2- a seller finds it increasingly difficult to get the same amount of money for specific merchandise as they once did

Some sellers accept reduced income, or increase their volume just to keep the income the same. And some try and find merchandise cheaper and cheaper and cheaper.

There is a price floor in this industry. Once you are getting the best price on merchandise, it doesn’t get much lower. So if the prices are falling, then, maybe, just maybe you have to find somewhere else to sell.

What most eBay sellers do not understand is that when it comes to designer merchandise, eBay is not always indicative of the market in general. Just because you can’t get decent money for XYZ on eBay, doesn’t mean you can’t get decent money for XYZ. So you can decide whether or not to sell XYZ on eBay for little profit or find somewhere better to sell it.

The sellers in the best financial positions have multiple channels for selling merchandise. When one is slow, there are others to pick up the slack. They can keep their business level because they are not entirely dependent on one source of sales. This is great. This is not having all your eggs in one basket.

The other thing about sellers who have slightly diversified (not diversified to the point where they are a jack of all trades and a master of none) is that they are more receptive to opportunities. One of the best things you can do is be open-minded. You need focus, but not so much that you have tunnel vision. By keeping your mind open, you will spot opportunities in places you never thought of. You have to train your mind to be receptive to opportunities. The person that emails me that is hell bent on getting Prada, Gucci and Fendi purses will overlook boutique brands that are consistently selling for close to retail on eBay. The person looking for only top tier couture misses out on the casual designer sportswear selling for more than retail. The person dying to get Juicy because it is the cash cow of the moment, is overlooking the next big thing, the up and comer that they can get in on NOW so that when it’s a cash cow, they can take advantage of it.

Anyhow, that’s all I have to say about that. Basically, be open minded and try to diversify your selling venues a little.