A Smarter Strategy to Keep Third-Party Sellers in Check

Your products can be sold online by sellers large and small in hundreds of marketplaces and websites, both well-known and obscured. It can be quite overwhelming.

To tackle this problem you need to have a plan.

The first step when you’re trying to assess the scope of your compliance problem is to focus on the marketplaces that really matter. Are we talking Amazon and eBay – or smaller players like Allegro or Bonanza?  They shouldn’t carry the same weight in your brand compliance program. Once you’ve figured out where to focus your efforts, make compliance manageable by dividing your sellers into two groups:

Group one – Low-volume sellers

Never neglect low-hanging fruit. Just don’t spend too much time on it.

Low-volume sellers make easy takedown targets. They’re usually newer to the market, and they’ll typically comply with a cease-and-desist letter or even communication over social media. Just remember that, ultimately, your resources are best spent where big impact potential lies, which leads us to the next category.

Group two – High-volume sellers

Enforcing on high volume sellers within sites that garner greater traffic and revenue will pack a more powerful punch.

If you find that you’re up against an entire network of unauthorized activity, leverage open-source intelligence (OSINT) data collection, high-value targeting and threat level analysis for effective enforcement. These techniques reveal actual offenders so that action can be taken across listings – rather than as one-offs.

Investigations delve into who the individual is and span everything from phone numbers and emails to social media accounts in an effort to connect the dots and pull a case together. MarkMonitor explores the full scope of the operation, including whether they’re moving a high volume of goods.
Auto dealers, for example, are often a prime target and can end up selling more product than a manufacturer has provided to begin with. In other cases, a partner could pass your goods off to third parties â including unauthorized family members – as in the case of one distributor who was getting most of her products from a nieces’ account and used a fake alias to resell goods. An estimated 68 percent of her goods were sold under retail price.

By recruiting specialists, brand owners can account for the nuances like these. To achieve this, MarkMonitor combines technical and human expertise, as with one client that multiplied its enforcement impact on grey market goods.

After migrating to MarkMonitor’s new, centralized platform, the luxury watchmaker was able to pinpoint parallel imports and avoid a painstaking manual search. Leveraging a protocol called custom URL monitoring, the company mitigated unauthorized sales in parts of Europe.

Whether well-meaning or not, third party sellers may cross the line on what’s permissible, cutting into company value and reputation. To provide you with strategies to combat this challenge, MarkMonitor experts hosted a roundtable on the solutions that make higher-impact brand compliance possible.

Learn more about improving partner compliance with high-impact technology and expertise by tuning in to the on-demand webinar: Unauthorized Sellers Causing You Headaches? Or, for more information about solutions offered by MarkMonitor, download this introductory sheet on how to Maintain Valuable Partner Relationship and Maximize ROI.

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