Back to Menu
Connecting You To Opportunity
What can we help you find?
| Login|Sign Up
Back to Menu
Hello
  • Login
  • Sign Up

Six Essential Private Label Business Tips For Newbies

ByDan Warner,
business.com writer
|
May 10, 2016
Home
> Business Basics
SHARE THIS

You’ve done it! You’ve developed a product, crafted a brand and sourced reliable manufacturers.

You’re ready to become the next private label marketing millionaire.

Now all that’s left to do it sell. Want some private label business tips?

Related Article:9 Ways the New SEC Crowdfunding Rules Will Affect Your Business

1. Follow Marketplace Rules

Websites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and others maintain platforms through which you can sell wares. Without their infrastructure, the booming online private label industry wouldn’t be possible.

So, what can you, a seller, do to show your appreciation, and get the most out of said platforms? Follow their respective rules. Take time to read the terms of service agreements and operate accordingly. It’ll help you profit in the long run; after all, you very well can’t become the next big success story if your account is suspended.

Don’t trust your ability to interpret legalese? Partner with a private label lawyer who can ensure all your I's are dotted and T's are crossed. A seller’s audit doesn’t cost much, but it could save you from a long suspension over something trivial.

2. Don’t Pretend to Be Somebody You’re Not And Don’t Threaten Legal Consequences if You’re Not 100% Sure You’re Right

Counterfeiting is a threat with which private label sellers must contend. You could call it an epidemic.

So, for a second, let’s take a step back and consider some facts.

  1. Currently, there are thousands of private label sellers, across the globe.
  2. Most analysts predict huge gains for the industry over the next several years.
  3. Globalization has led to increased overseas manufacturing.

What does all this add up to? Swamped seller support departments at nearly every online marketplace. They’re all drowning in complaints and appeals. And sometimes, things take longer than you’d like. Yes, it’s frustrating.

So frustrating that some people, in an attempt to speed things along, contact adversaries under the guise of a staff representative. Don’t do that. Don’t email anyone pretending to be from Amazon, or eBay or anything you’re not.

In the same vain, don’t pretend to be an attorney if you’re not; nor a law enforcement official. Doing so could land you in serious legal trouble. Also, don’t threaten consequences. It could backfire. If you need help fighting an adversary, get an attorney to punch on your behalf. It’s just more effective.

3. Just the Rule Breaking Facts, Ma’am

It happens. You’re hit by a counterfeit hijacker. Do yourself a favor and keep your plea as unemotional as possible. No, you don’t have to go full-droid, but don’t lard your complaint with petty details. Be polite; be precise; instead of waxing poetic about free speech or federal copyright laws, build your argument around rule violations.

Employees at these sites don’t have unlimited time; present them with concise arguments and provide clear evidence.

Related Article:8 Marketing Trends You Should Know About And How to Use Them

4. Vet Your Supply Chain Thoroughly

Every industry comes with a set of risks and challenges; in the private label industry, one of them is counterfeiting. So, how can you avoid becoming a target? Unfortunately, hanging garlic around your neck won’t work; there is no sure cure-all for counterfeiting. But what you can do is vet the sweat out of your supply chain.

Dig deep. Find out if the factory you’re using has a history of leaking product designs to counterfeiters. Ask questions of the community. Because seriously, making sure you have a solid team in place may be a make-or-break decision in the long run. It could be the difference between failing and succeeding.

Yes, you’re excited to get started. But take the time to make sure your foundation is rock solid.

Important Reminder: Sourcing identical products isn’t against Amazon rules or the law – but there is a thin line between healthy product competition and intellectual property infringement or counterfeiting.

5. Create A Brand To Give Yourself More Control

What’s one of the best ways to ward off counterfeiters? First, create a brand; second, create products under that brand and then, third, formally protect that brand. I know, I know, sounds like generic advice, but it’s a proven, effective path to follow.

Intellectual property is a huge area of law. For this guide, we’ll focus on two IP law basics:

  1. Trademark protection doesn’t cover individual products, works or inventions; instead, it protects brand identity. (i.e., You trademark the logo that goes on a widget.)
  2. To ensure the fullest breadth of brand protection possible, register your brand (trademark) with Federal (United States Patent and Trademark Office) and State offices.

In the private label world, building a brand is advantageous because it gives you more control over your product listings, especially on the Amazon marketplace, where you can take advantage of the Brand Registry program.

6. Take Advantage of Platform Intellectual Property Programs

People ask: “I’m just starting out in the Ecommerce and online marketing space, do you think I should get my pictures and products copyright or patent protected?” The answer: it depends.

  1. If you’re the second coming of Galileo, revolutionary invention in hand, sure, get a patent (or copyright ) right away.  But be aware, formal registry typically takes between 6 to 10 months.
  2. If, however, you’re starting out a little more mainstream, it’s not essential that you immediately run to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make it official. A year or so down the line (or maybe even sooner), when you’re profitable, then consider the extra protection that formal intellectual property protection affords.
  3. It doesn’t cost much to copyright pictures, and doing so is an effective way to gain some added intellectual property protection.

A Note About Amazon’s Brand Registry Program

Every Fulfillment by Amazon seller with a brand should use the website’s Brand Registry program. Instead of a few months, Amazon’s enrollment only takes a couple of days to complete. No, it’s not the same as registering with the USPTO, but it does confer Amazon Marketplace benefits.

Perhaps most importantly, brand registered members have more control over their product pages, which comes in handy when fending off hijackers and counterfeiters.

Related Article: Facebook Instant Articles: Time To Change Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Get Help From a Private Label Aficionado (Who Also Happens to Be a Lawyer)  

Got E-commerce, FBA or private label legal questions? Need help shaking a persistent hijacker? Assistance with a suspended FBA account? Work with an attorney who understands the online private label niche and can navigate the choppy E-commerce seas.

Dan Warner
Dan Warner
See Dan Warner's Profile
Kelly / Warner partner Daniel R. Warner started his legal career by earning one of the highest multi-state bar exam scores in the United States. Today, within the legal community, he’s earned the reputation of being an exceptional litigator whose laser-like attention to detail results in creative, effective solutions. In his role as a partner at Kelly / Warner, Daniel leads the firm’s litigation division, concentrating on business, defamation and bankruptcy law. Mr. Warner also works on various contractual matters, in addition to various commercial real estate issues. Today, Mr. Warner participates in the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and State Bar of Arizona Members’ Assistance Committee, and is licensed to practice in all Arizona courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona. An exceptionally accomplished attorney, Mr. Warner is a fierce, but sensible, advocate for his clients. To learn more about Daniel Warner and Kelly / Warner Law, go to kellywarnerlaw.com. To see more articles from Dan, go to kellywarnerlaw.com/blog/
Like the article? Sign up for more great content.Join our communityAlready a member? Sign in.
We'd love to hear your voice!
Login to comment.
LoginSign Up