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Why We Ban The Sale Of Our Toys on EBay and Amazon
- Gaynor Humphrey
As a toy wholesaler Best Years have always been very open to the different ways small retailers find to sell products and establish their business.
We have therefore been very happy for our toys to be sold on Amazon and Ebay
Unfortunately in 2011 we had to ban sales of Pebble toys on Amazon and then in Sept 2012, we had to ban sales of both Best Years and Pebble toys from both Ebay and Amazon.
The reason for this is very simple. The level of discounting on Ebay has reached epidemic proportions and we simply cannot believe that the toys they are selling are not counterfeits. We do not recognise the names of the sellers, we know that we have not sold to many of them and they cannot have bought them at our trade prices unless they are selling at a significant loss.
When someone sells a toy for just £1 more than our trade price then they will be making a loss on that toy once all the other costs are such as our delivery charge, Paypal and the platform charges are taken in to account. No one sells product on EBay to make a loss so we must conclude that the products are either fake, 2nd hand or acquired in a dishonest way.
We have always been very clear as to why we dislike discounters and counterfeiters, and its not that we are trying to inflate our retail prices and make excessive margins, but we have to ensure that our brand name and values are not corrupted.
The Pebble toys are made by a fair trade workers co-operative in Bangladesh which was set up to provide fairly paid employment to women in rural areas. It is not a charity, it does not receive any hand outs. It makes money by making gorgeous toys and selling them at fair prices.
In order for Pebble to expand we require a network of retailers across UK and Europe to sell the toys. These retailers are not charities either, and they do not receive any hand outs from anyone. They make money by selling toys at a fair and profitable price.
Discounters mean that ordinary retailers cannot make enough money selling our toys to make a profit and so they drop our ranges. We therefore sell less, and are able to provide less fairly paid and flexible employment in Bangladesh. It also means that the Pebble and Best Years' brand names are de-valued. Nothing is going to put you off a brand quicker than buying a counterfeit and poor quality toy.
When we have had previous issues with re-sellers and explained our values they have been genuinely sorry, and either removed our toys or rectified any issues.
However in the 6 months before we stopped our brands being sold on Ebay and Amazon we encountered an increasing amount of selfish individuals who think its more important for them to make a quick buck than for Pebble's fair trade workers co-operative to thrive.
We are pretty sure that we had not sold to these people so the only theory we have is that they are not selling genuine Pebble toys, especially as some of these people would be making a loss on these toys if they had bought at our trade prices.
Its such a shame because we have worked quite happily with some wonderful Ebay sellers for many years now. Ebay is a great way to sell and we never thought we would experience the level of issues that we are now encountering.
However due to the behaviour of these companies/individuals, and to protect the brands of our fair trade workers co-operatives, we now have to ban sales of Best Years and Pebble toys from Ebay and Amazon.
- Do you have the right to ban sales on Amazon and Ebay.
Yes, we do! Under a European directive passed in April 2010, which is valid until June 2022, it states that "The basic principle remains that companies are free to decide how their products are distributed, provided their agreements do not contain price-fixing or other hardcore restrictions, and both manufacturer and distributor do not have more than a 30% market share"
Best Years do not have 30% of the soft toy market in the UK so we are quite within our rights to say where our toys can be sold
2. I sell your toys on Ebay at the moment. Do I have to stop?
Yes, i'm afraid you do. Apologies for the inconvenience
3. I have always fully supported the aims and ambitions of your workers co-operatives. Why should I be banned from Ebay EBay as well?
We are looking to work with a couple of authourised Ebay dealers. Please email us if you would like to apply to be one of these authorised dealers.
- How will you stop people selling on Ebay?
- From 19th September 2012 it became part of our terms and conditions that you will not be able to sell Pebble or Best Years toys in Ebay or Amazon, and we will take legal action to enforce this. We will have to assume that all Pebble and Best Years toys sold on Ebay, not through one of our authorised dealers, are counterfeit goods and we will take immediate steps to stop the auction
We apologise that we have had to take such a drastic step, but the most important thing is that the various fair trade workers co-operatives we work with continue to thrive and grow.