Beware the MAP Police

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26 Mar 15 11:36:43 pm
I recently read Link hidden: Login to view on the WSJ site about NetEnforcers, a company who trawls eBay looking for sellers who are not abiding with their manufacturer clients' standards for minimum advertised price (MAP.) Kind of bizarrely, a spokesperson for this company openly admits that they file false (or at least unjustified) trademark/copyright complaints against random sellers who are selling a given brand or item below MAP. Of course, an eBay representative also openly admits that they are aware of the issue, but typical of eBay, they just wring their hands and plead nolo contendere whenever it comes to small/midsize sellers getting screwed over.

What does this mean to you? If you are selling new items of a well-known brand, it can't hurt to Google around and try to find MAP information for the items you are selling. If you know the MSRP of the item, and are selling in auction format, you could also set a reserve for your target price, and a BIN price just over the MSRP, which would keep you clear of any issues with NetEnforcers and similar companies.

Why eBay doesn't just roundfile all complaints from these people, given that they openly admit to chasing after unaffiliated retailers, is a mystery to me. It is egregiously offensive that they are allowed to do this, because unaffiliated sellers are not required to abide by a MAP policy -- so they go after them using trademark and copyright complaints just to clear the market of "underpriced" goods.


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--J.J. Luna


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