eBay & Etsy Sellers: Brands that Harass Online Sellers Over Fabric

eBay & Etsy Sellers: Brands that Harass Online Sellers Over Fabric

Posted by Big Brand on 21st Jan 2022

If you are an avid reader of our blog, you already know that you can sell anything you own, without getting permission from the brand. The exception to this rule would be one of the two following situations:

  1. You signed a contract not to sell the brand, or not to sell it in a certain way or on a certain site.
  2. You are selling on a marketplace and their rules state you cannot list that brand. This rule applies because when you made your account you clicked the famous “Agree to Terms” box, and if the terms say “You can never list red crayons on this site”, then you have to abide by that rule. If you want to sell red crayons, you can do so, just not on that specific marketplace. Kapish?

Now, before I get into the important stuff in this article, I want to be clear about what we are referring to by "fabric"; specifically what is meant is that you walk into a store, like Walmart or Hobby Lobby and buy authentic, licensed fabric that contains the companies logo.  OR, if you own an authentic handbag and you cut out the interior liner and use it to make Barbie Doll clothes to sell.  What we are NOT referring to is if you buy knockoff fabric from China. 

So, assuming you purchased legitimate fabric: 

The confusion for a lot of sellers is two fold; first, the whole “Vero Rights” thing where basically someone, or some company, claims you are trampling all over their brand / trademark, when all you did was buy some shirts off the Kohls clearance rack and list them on eBay. The second issue is brand lawyers, whose sole purpose is to try to scare sellers into not listing their products, even though the seller has no contract with the brand and no legit reason not to list it.

But what most sellers, especially new sellers, do not realize is that the vast majority of Vero claims are bogus… yes, seriously. Even Google admits that over half of listings that are removed from the due to these types of claims are likely erroneous, meaning, if the case went to court the seller would be allowed to list the product. Personally, I think the real amount of bogus listing removals is over 80%, but I have no real evidence to back my opinion.

So, when it comes to Vero and scary lawyerly-letters, essentially, the brand is just being a d*ck because they can. With that being said, if money and time grew on trees it would be pretty awesome for sellers to fight back and sue these brands for harassment in addition to other things.

There is a fantastic list of companies that harass online resellers on Tabberone’s website and I wanted to share with you the brands that also apply to the clothing / accessory industry. The list below is written by Tabberone and the commentary is theirs, but the commentary is so golden that I have to share it with you. If you click the brand name link you will be taken to Tabberone’s website where they go into more detail about each brand being a royal jerk. The list provided below applies mostly to fabric… yes, FABRIC. These companies spend their time harassing people who use their fabric… like, the sh*t you can buy at JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc.

Enjoy ~

Alex Grey, a weirdo NY artist with an equally weird lawyer, Laurence Singer, both of whom believe that the limits on copyrights do not apply to them.

Apple, Inc, the computer company with what appears to be designs to take over the world. Apple joins compliments of their corporate counsel, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, a law firm engaged in what we call trademark extortion.

Bumble and bumble a cosmetics firm that doesn't want their over-priced glop sold on eBay, and their law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP for being terminally stupid with a strong lack of ethics. Kenneth A. Plevan, their lawyer, is responsible for his firm receiving The Putrid Plecostomus Award.

Burberry who has been shutting down eBay auctions for authentic Burberry merchandise. Fabio (we kid you not) is their lawyer and we're not too sure where he ranked in his class. Our guess is low, very low. We also think he slept through ethics as do most corporate lawyers

Chanel the company that survived Coco Chanel's collaboration with the Nazis in WWII to go on to sell pricey women's items has reached another milestone in low-lifeness

Coach Leatherworks, Coach, either on its own or through bad legal advice from its corporate attorneys, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, is terminating internet listings for authentic Coach handbags by claiming the handbags, purchased at a Coach store, are counterfeit.

Ed Hardy, and his good buddy Christian Audigier, and Nervous Tattoo, nut jobs who don't want Ed Hardy merchandise sold on eBay. Hey Ed, your stuff isn't that great.

Harley Davidson Motor Cycles, who has gone "hog" wild in their attempts to ride over the rights of legitimate eBay sellers. Oink, oink. And their idiot resident ding-dong, Judy Henslee who is clueless about IP law.

John Deere, who has crossed over to the dark side, harassing legitimate eBay sellers

Vera Bradley , also known as Very Badley, who has a twisted notion of what they can demand in the secondary market. Winner of the Tabberone WeSaySo Company Award with Dodo Cluster. Also seems to have some very questionable business practices

Von Dutch is shutting down auctions of legitimate products and then not responding to inquiries as to why. Bad VD. Who would want their schlock anyway?

Diane von Furstenberg Studio who brings to mind the word "Bitch". Aided and abetted by her trademark extortionist law firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and the very disreputable India-based Cyber Cop, Strategic Intellectual Property Information ("SIPI"), she is having listings terminated for genuine Diane von Furstenberg clothing.

Warner Brothers, who backed down from us but is still shutting down "innocent" auctions years later. It seems their approach is to shut down auctions and see who complains. If they complain then reinstate them.

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