Working with the VeRO programme

No primary category set

I suddenly wondered what on earth I was doing here: a VeRO seminar at nine in the morning? I must have been crazy. And then it turned out to be rather interesting. Yeah, I know. Freak. ๐Ÿ˜€

Because I’m a seller, who hangs around eBay seller boards and reads problems that other sellers have, I tend to think of the biggest problem with VeRO being the fake complaints, the non-communicative rights owners and the general powerlessness of sellers: I tend to think that VeRO does too much. So it was interesting to meet a group of people who think that VeRO does too little, from the MP3 player manufacturer who can’t stop Chinese fakers ripping off his designs, to the stamp collectors who can’t get serial counterfeiters thrown off the site.

The message from the eBay staff wasn’t, to be honest, anything that we haven’t heard before. Communication is key: talk to rights owners and to your suppliers, most people will work with you. But as was pointed out, rights owners don’t have to communicate, they don’t have to play nice, and if they want to threaten you with a lawsuit as part of their first communication, that’s up to them.

Equally, eBay are quite clear that they can’t adjudicate on the accuracy of the claim, so long as it’s properly legally framed. In other words, if people are prepared, under penalty of perjury, to swear falsely, that again is up to them.

More positively, eBay are working more widely with experts to try to authenticate items sold on the site. Their partnership with the American Philatelic Society to deal with stamp counterfeiters is being paralleled in other collectibles areas like stamps and antiques. eBay will also work to make feedback to those who report more transparent, though always with an eye to privacy issues: we haven’t seen the end of those “we can’t give you any more details about what we’ve done” emails just yet.

All in all, this was a more interesting session than I really expected it to be. I do at least understand the VeRO process in a little more detail, though I’m more aware than ever that it probably won’t ever please all of the people most of the time.

2 Responses

  1. We are at the moment fighting a vero case and today have just employed a solicitor who specialises in patent/copyright disputes. The majority of the problem we have had with vero the inability to communicate with Ebay and the vero rights owner. It has taken us two weeks to be given any reason for the vero from the rights owner. In our case the product was veroed by the European distributer, but we purchased from the UK distributer basically the european distributer vero’d their own product. So far this vero has cost us over ร‚ยฃ4000.00 of Ebay sales. Even a simply request to Ebay for a copy of the original Vero statement issued against was refused and we were told that we would have to obtain a court order if we wanted to see a copy. Most people can not afford to take on Ebay or the rights owner in court. So the very rarely is the Ebay vero system tested in court.

  2. In a totally different session at eBay Live! Rob Chesnut (Head of Trust and Safety) told us that he disagreed with VERO rights holders who use VERO to control the marketplace rather than to fight fake products. He has actually in the past, following a conversation where a manufacturer stated they use the program simply because they don’t want their products sold on eBay, terminated their VERO membership as it’s blatent misuse.

    Nice to see the boot on the other foot for a change ๐Ÿ™‚


eBay Live UK to launch with Katherine Ryan and Amy Bannerman

eBay Live UK to launch with Katherine Ryan and Amy Bannerman


New eBay Best Offer Features announced at eBay Live

PayPal Innovate conference Nov 09, RIP DevCon


eBay Live! is dead and buried

TameBay Morsels 07/04/09

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide โ€“ companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars