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    1. ShaneM is offline

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      #1

      Does The VeRO Program Mean I Should Stay Away From eBay?

      I've been thinking of using eBay as a site for selling some of my merchandise. But I've been hearing a lot of negative stuff about their VeRO program. In fact, I've heard of a few dropshippers who have dropped out of eBay completely because of this program. There are two things I'd like some feedback on. One, could somebody please tell me in simple terms what VeRO is and how it works? Secondly, I'd love to hear any user experiences about this program, positive or negative. Thanks.
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    2. DropshipDiva is offline

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      #2
      The VeRO program is one of those things that are actually quite simple but it's also complicated (confusing enough for you? LOL). What I mean is that the basic premise of VeRO is pretty straightforward but there's a lot of strings and repercussions linked to it that make it such a landmine.

      The VeRO program refers to the Verified Rights Owner Program. I think it was started somewhere in the late nineties. And it was started as a way of cracking down on things like copyright infringement and selling fraudulent items on eBay. But it wasn't just for that. Around the same time, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was put in place.

      So VeRO was actually about protecting eBay. If you read the legalese, it basically says that eBay is not responsible for any copyright infringement because they already inform users against that kind of thing. That means they basically just tell users about the site rules, give them the power to report a violation and immediately remove anything that infringes on the copyright law. So like I said, it's really about protecting eBay.
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    3. JackBauer24 is offline

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      #3
      Sounds a bit like YouTube's policy, right? Also, I guess legitimately this is a good thing. Fake labels and those kinds of scam goods can get picked off pretty quickly, right?

    4. DropshipDiva is offline

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      #4
      Yeah it is kind of like YouTube's policy. And that's also where the problem with the VeRO program lies. Basically what the policy says is that ok, if you got a beef about intellectual property and owner's rights, that's between you and that person over there. It has nothing to do with eBay.

      I agree that the VeRO program does have its benefits. I'm on eBay myself and I've found that it really does crack down on people who are selling counterfeits or who intentionally misrepresent on their listings. As a buyer, it inspires a certain level of confidence knowing that at least something is being done to deal with fake goods and misrepresentation. But there are negative aspects as well.

    5. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #5
      I never liked the VeRO program and that's because it's really just geared towards helping the big guy by stepping on the little guy's back. It's ridiculously easy to lodge a NICO (that's Notice of Claimed Infringement) against someone. Not only is the form very simple to fill out, it's very vague. They just have to generally say that infringement took place, they do not have to give any kind of details at all.

      What's even more baffling with the VeRO program is when you get delisted. For one thing, you'll only know in a very general way why your product has been delisted. You also don't really know who this alleged rights owner is. You're given an email id of the claimant but more often than not, I've found that you get no reply when you ask why you've been delisted. Worst of all, if you re-list and make the same mistake, you get suspended from eBay. This happens more often than you'd think because so many people don't know and can't find out what they did wrong in the first place!

      Apparently people use this method to just weed out the competition. For one thing, it's so easy to send out those complaints. And once you get delisted, the risk of making the same mistake when you re-list is just too high. You may even have to face legal action. For small sellers, it just makes sense to bow out. Even if the complaint is withdrawn, you have to rebuild your listing from scratch. I can appreciate the ideal behind the VeRO program but frankly, it's just too easy to abuse the system.

    6. ShaneM is offline

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      #6
      How are we supposed to know why we've been delisted if the claimant won't even reply to legit email? What does eBay suggest we do if this happens?

    7. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #7
      Let's say that a branded item you're selling on eBay gets delisted under the VeRO program. You'll get an email saying that it's been removed, it will give the general reason why and then it will give you the email of the claimant. And eBay will suggest that you get in touch with said claimant to get the details. Like I said, most times this is a dead end.

      When this happens, you can do a search of similar items on eBay. I guarantee that you'll find items just like yours which haven't been touched. Now eBay has explanations for that too.

      • there is a difference between your listing and the ones still out there, you just haven't noticed it
      • the others may be rights owners
      • yours was the one that was caught, the others weren't. eBay also gives you the option of reporting these others if you want
      • the rights owner, for reasons best known to them, decided just to report your product and not the others. Of course, if you want to ask why the rights owner did this, you need to contact them at the given email address.

      It's ludicrous but completely understandable when you think about it.

    8. ShaneM is offline

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      #8
      I agree that it's ludicrous but I don't get how this is understandable. If I'm a legitimate small seller dealing with a rights owner's product, doesn't it benefit them if I'm selling on eBay?

    9. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #9
      Not really. You need to remember that eBay is still essentially seen as a discount platform. It's not a place where some brand owners want to see their merchandise and they don't want a counter line of retail with cheaper products competing with their mainstream line. Think about it. Why would you pay mainstream prices for something when you can get it cheaper on eBay?

      I've heard that some companies do their darndest to make sure NONE of their products wind up on eBay. There's also rumors that eBay can't or won't really do anything to make all this more transparent. Bottom line is that the VeRO program can be misused and it is being misused. If you're going to do the eBay thing, you better be prepared.

    10. DropshipDiva is offline

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      #10
      I still have my eBay shopfront and while I keep it going, Dan's concerns are issues for me as well. Right now I do my best to keep myself informed about the VeRO program so that I can make sure I'm on the right side of it at all times. There's also a number of tips I follow when it comes to putting my merchandise on eBay.

      First of all, I'm really careful about my product images, these are where a lot of people screw up. Even if you can legitimately sell an iPod on eBay, you cannot use a copyrighted picture of it. You need to take your own picture or use one that you own the copyrights to.

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