Whitney Gibson, head of Vorys’ Online Seller Enforcement group, teamed up with David Franklin, Global Director of Brand Protection at NetNames, to present a webinar, “Stopping Unauthorized Sellers (Diverted and Grey Market Goods). We’re pleased to make this webinar replay available, along with a recap and access to the slides below.
During the webinar, Gibson and Franklin discussed three main topics:
- Traditional approaches to tackling the unauthorized seller problem;
- Their recommended program to stop unauthorized sellers; and
- Implementing a communications strategy to share successes of an online seller program.
Unauthorized online sales are causing issues for manufacturers across all industries. Many of them can find unauthorized individuals selling their products online – often at discounted prices. And this can cause any or all of the following consequences:
- Causing authorized sellers to reduce their selling prices, ignore MAP policies or try to negotiate lower purchase prices;
- Turning brick-and-mortar stores into “showrooms”;
- Reducing retailers’ e-commerce sales;
- Eroding brand values; and
- Upsetting current distributors (which makes it difficult to sign up new distributors).
In the webinar, Gibson discussed each of these issues in the detail, and the related enforcement challenges. He and Franklin then discussed their recommended, integrated approach to stopping unauthorized sales – specifically a three-step program.
Step one is based on tailoring company rules, policies and practices to strength manufacturers’ legal claims against the sellers.
In step two, Gibson and Franklin discussed operating an effective graduated enforcement system – including demonstrating how both Vorys and NetNames jointly assist clients (while adhering to certain ethics rules).
Finally, step three involves communicating with both authorized sellers and customers the impact of their enforcement program. By showing how their companies are reducing unauthorized online sales, manufacturers can motivate sellers and ensure customers of the quality of their products.