Petition for Choice in Ecommerce

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Choice in EcommerceSome manufacturers have started to restrict trade on the Internet, for example using contract terms to prevent merchants from selling their goods on Online-Marketplaces. A group of online entrepreneurs, led by Oliver Prothmann founder of chartixx, have launched Choice in Ecommerce, a petition to defend themselves against these restrictions and make sure that ecommerce remains a free and fair place for all types of businesses.

In 2012, Europe’s online revenue for goods and services was €311.6 billion and it is estimated that up to 2 million European jobs were created by ecommerce. The unilateral bans being imposed by certain manufacturers threaten all of this by cutting off sellers from their major sales channel, undermining their ability to use low cost and popular online platforms to serve customers in a competitive market. Consumers are being deprived of access to the transparent prices and increased choice that they expect from ecommerce.

If online retailers can’t sell the products people want they go out of business. Even for shops that have an offline presence, these bans are blocking a major and low cost sales channel. These bans also damage innovation. Economic growth will be led by emerging technologies like mobile commerce, as more and more consumers want to shop online whenever, wherever they want. Mobile commerce revenues across Europe are expected to rise from €1.7 billion in 2011 to €19.2 billion in 2017. All this is at threat if there are not enough fast-moving agile online sellers left to come up with new ideas because manufacturers have succeeded in taking complete control of Internet sales.

Ecommerce as we know it is under threat” says Oliver Prothmann, “Manufacturers must refrain from placing across-the-board prohibitions and limitations on ecommerce. Policy-makers must deal effectively with unnecessary restrictions of ecommerce. We’ve launched a petition calling on all parties to act appropriately”.

The Petition

The petition calls for:

Manufacturers to refrain from placing across-the-board prohibitions and limitations on eCommerce. We ask that they collaborate with all stakeholders, especially sellers and marketplace providers, to use the already existing and excellent methods to present their products on the Internet in the best possible way.

National and European policy-makers and public authorities to deal effectively with unnecessary restrictions of eCommerce, such as sales bans on online marketplaces.

If you agree you can sign the petition on the Choice in Ecommerce website.

27 Responses

  1. I dont see why people will have a problem with this (and im sure they will below).

    I think this should be a basic right for any manufacturer.

  2. I agree with Dave, the manufacturer should have the choice on what, how and who they sell their products too. There are too many restrictions on businesses being told what they can and cannot do.

    Most manufacturers want as many sales as possible, and the internet has opened a massive hole that has many problems within it. I’m a big believer in being a dealer with a showroom and on-line presence and selling on-line what you sell in store – the problem is that there are too many csv catalogue uploaders on the internet.

  3. I think the truth is, market places like eBay need premium sellers, to make some bargains look like bargains. Or all you end up with is cheaper and cheaper tat.

  4. you cant sell it an own it too

    my car is mine
    it does not belong to Mercedes, even though they made and sold it I can sell it thru any chanel I Iwish not an approved Mercedes venue

  5. Surely once we start talking about Motor Vehicles we have moved into a totally different area. Cars are complicated and expensive pieces of equipment and a Dealer(of New Ones) has to have access to the Manufacturers Expertise(for technical problems) and Training Facilities(for such as Mechanics and Technicians) and of course access to the Spares Parts Supply System. In addition New Cars are covered by the Warranty System and this operates in conjunction of the Dealer who sold the vehicle and the Manufacturer who made it.

    So Mercedes or indeed any other Car Manufacturer will be very picky about who it allows to sell its New Vehicles. But once a car has been sold and has a owners name in its log book it totally changes. Mercedes has no control over who or what is going to sell its Secondhand Cars.

    This is hardly the same as a Toy Manufacturer or indeed just about any other manufacturer in any other sector of industry.

  6. I am glad my suppliers block sales on Amazon as it means I can sell the goods cheaper on my website (we had to price match before which meant with the fees we had to charge a higher price), this benefits the customer in the end.

    It also means my website comes up higher in the search engines without Amazon taking the monopoly or customers searching there first.

  7. Problem with ebay is their marketing is focused only on ebay.

    So customers think, ooo it came fast BECAUSE OF EBAY.

    I got a good deal because of ebay.

    I got a refund because of ebay.

    Tell their friends. We got it from ebay. No one says i got it from seller xxx on ebay.

    Their marketing has been completely self righteous and self focused. Giving nothing on the companies that sell on the platform and are the actual ones with customer contact.

    The proof is in the pudding. I mean, how many ‘how do i pay mails’ do sellers get and similar emails that should be dealt with by ebay themselves. Not sellers. Thats surely one of the reasons why we pay to be on the platform isnt it ?

    All ebay does as a plaform is lower profits and in turn service and quality of the product sold. im sorry.

  8. of course its the right of anyone selling goods to choose to whom they sell
    though once sold they should not have their cake and eat it
    manipulating the market to price fix

  9. The guy is crazy, obviously been dropping prices and undercutting and damaging some brand. Is he just feeling sorry for himself with his wordpress blog?.

    It is about Manufacturers having control over where their products are sold. Selecting the best sellers and protecting their brand. They decide who they sell too have MRP and give an RRP. simple..You cant petition it? maybe start a petition so manufacturers just give everything away.


  10. ONLY – i dont want cheaper goods. I want quality value items. Which is not the majority of goods on ebay. But a minority.

    Because im not so short sighted as most ebay fans.

    If some one whole sales something for 3.00 and the retails is 3.25 and theres a price war to 3.05. How is that good.

    In turn buyers go back to the manufacturer and ask for lower prices which in turn lowers quality.

    Who wins. No one but the short sighted and ignorant.

  11. This is exactly why some goods maybe wholesale for 370 and retail at 399.99 with a price war to 385. Have your price war, but it makes not difference to the manufacturer, they make their margin and plenty of people want it. Besides they are the driver for sales not the retailer.

    Are you seriously saying we will one day live in world where the price from manufacturers falls and rises dramatically to create some kind of special ‘anyone can sell it’ ebay orgasm or online selling.

    Please oh please pass me that stuff your smoking…

  12. Ebay shares got whacked today, down 6.5 per cent. Not enough profit or growth.

    Guess we need more super dry ripped and badly made rejects daily deals and argos seconds promotions to really get back on track.

  13. Incidently super dry would make a good case study to how eBay affects brand. I believe they are a mid to higher positioned brand or that’s their aim. Yet they sell loads on eBay.

    Are they still a higher end clothes brand? I don’t know. Hence would love a case study on the issue.

  14. This morning, eBay UK seems to be ‘spamming’ sellers email inboxes with an urge to sign the petition.

    But the same message is not being sent to eBay my messages.

    Has eBay gone off on one?

  15. SuperDry is positioned as high-end. What I can confirm is their customer support is appalling. This is where the debate starts for me. If they can’t afford to pay enough employees to offer exceptional support and make the numbers stack up – is this a business? – value for value and all that.

    That’s off topic though. Apologies.

  16. I can see both sides of this. For the manufacturers, it’s about avoiding the price-cutting that can damage their brand. For the retailers, it’s about getting goods their customers want to buy, hopefully at a sensible margin.

    The principle I work on is simple. There are millions of products out there, just in the niche market I’m in. I could never raise the capital to stock all of them, so I’ll buy from the manufacturers who give me the most flexibility. If a manufacturer says “you can sell in your shop, but not on your website/ebay/Amazon/whatever-online” then I’ll walk away and source an alternative range. Their loss, not mine.

    As an off-topic aside, I think a greater problem is manufacturers and wholesalers setting up retail operations (often under another name) in direct competition to the retail businesses they supply.



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