Growing and expanding your brand has many amazing perks. But they also come with a lot of drawbacks. This article discusses one of the biggest drawbacks to brand expansion: unauthorized sellers online.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of growing your brand. Your once exclusively physical retail store is ready to take on the world of ecommerce by storm, and you’ll be able to sell your items to people from all over the world now. Unfortunately, expanding also puts your brand in the sights of fraudsters who want to take advantage of your brand by selling your products – or even fakes and imitations of your products – without your knowledge. Because of this, it’s necessary to participate in unauthorized seller removal online.
As a brand owner, you have to protect the integrity and image of your brand. It takes time and a whole lot of effort for these to be established. Brands have to, time and time again, prove to its customers, as well as its potential customers, that they can and should be trusted. Unauthorized sellers pose a huge danger to a brand’s integrity and image.
Why Make an Effort Towards Unauthorized Seller Removal?
Every brand that plans on selling their products on ecommerce websites should consider the creation of strict protocols for dealing with unauthorized sellers. While these efforts can involve strenuous work and even some monetary investments, they’re all worth it if they are able to successfully protect you from the dangers these unauthorized sellers pose:
Threat to Consumer Trust
Unauthorized sellers usually don’t care about their customers; they just want to make money. That said, they don’t care about consumer trust or satisfaction at all. This is dangerous to your brand because people’s trust in your products can be easily broken. Unauthorized sellers have four ways of doing this:
- Fake/Low quality/ Expired Items
Unauthorized sellers can use your brand name to sell their own products. Instead of buying authentic products from you, they can get similar looking items made of cheap and potentially dangerous ingredients and pass it off as genuine products from your brand.
This is especially dangerous to your brand as their customers will come to associate your brand with bad quality products.
- High Mark-Ups
If you sell limited edition items or if you have a particular high-selling product that’s a hit with your customers, unauthorized sellers can take advantage of this by hoarding your product and reselling it for ridiculously marked-up prices.
Potential new customers can get discouraged by these high prices and associate your brand with expensive or even over-priced items.
- Bad Customer Service
Bad service or customer service can also turn any potential customers off from your brand. Because unauthorized sellers are all about just making money and selling to as many people as possible, they don’t usually put any attention or effort into individual sales.
Common complaints against unauthorized sellers include late response times, rude customer service, late deliveries, incomplete orders, or even damaged items. All these can also be associated to your brand.
It’s not good to have your brand associated with scams. Unauthorized sellers can scam customers out of their hard-earned money by accepting orders and payments for your items and not shipping anything out.
Customers can associate your brand with the scams. The worst case scenario? You can be held liable for damages caused by these scams. While you can prove that you have nothing to do with these scams, dealing with any legal work can cost you valuable resources. These legal cases can also harm your reputation if the public gets word of it.
Unauthorized sellers make money off of your hard work. You’ve spent time and effort building your brand and making a name for yourself. You deserve all the fruits of your labor, not these unauthorized sellers.
- They Profit, You Don’t
Unauthorized sellers use your brand to appeal to the audience or fans you’ve already gained. They take advantage of their patronage to your brand to make a profit, leaving you with less profit than you deserve.
- They Discourage Buyers
New buyers are discouraged from buying from you and potentially adding to your profits because of unauthorized sellers, too.
These sellers can either offer good products and service at low prices, encouraging buyers from purchasing from them instead of from your official store.
Or sellers can sell them bad products and offer terrible customer service, so much so that buyers wouldn’t even consider ever buying your products – from official or unofficial stores – ever again.
Consumer reviews are very powerful. If consumers have had bad experiences with unauthorized sellers, they could damage your brand by leaving bad consumer reviews. These reviews will reflect on your brand.
For example, if someone purchases a product from an unauthorized seller and is not satisfied with it because of the quality of the product or customer service, this person can leave a bad review on you and your brand. People who are genuinely interested in your brand and your products can come across this review and in turn decide not to purchase your products anymore.
Bad reviews aren’t the worst that your brand can encounter, lawsuits are. Because unauthorized sellers can sell fake products or scam buyers off of their money, your brand can be held liable for the damages.
For example, if you sell skincare products and someone purchases a product from an unauthorized seller, that person can file a case against you should anything happen to their skin. It would take resources for you to prove the authenticity of the products in question – to prove that you have no control over the ingredients used in the fake products and therefore have no guarantee on the safety of these products.
Even if you do get out of these legal cases, your brand may not make it out unscathed. Once your brand is associated with damages, it will be hard to convince the public to trust in your brand again.
The damages caused by unauthorized sellers can be overwhelming. That’s why taking an active role in protecting your brand and removing these sellers is so important.