Attestation for the sale of branded and trademarked products

SentimentalSc
Visitor
1 0 2

Hi Community, 

 

I've been trying to get through to Shopify but no luck. I have received an email pointing out that I am selling branded products. When I opened, I had already spoken with Shopify about my products and no one said anything. I have been open since January now, selling real fragrance products from reputable suppliers based in the UK. I've been given days to sort this and make my decision to tick the correct boxes or they may proceed to take my website offline. I am so shocked by this as I have been paying for months and wasn't asked this sooner. 

 

The options are given to me to tick (multiple or those that apply):

 

Certify that previously not a repeat infringer or been to court relating to this. TICK

Certify that the business on Shopify has not previously been terminated. TICK 

Confirm that I own the rights to have products on my store. CONFIRM

I am an authorised reseller of the branded products. CONFIRM

Confirm that the branded products are authentic. CONFIRM

Removal of all branded or trademarked products from my Shopify store which does not meet the above. (Non-Applicable)

 

I was just a bit set back by this email and I am a worrier on the best of days even doing nothing wrong. Is this

a normal email Shopify send out to branded product sellers? Am I just worrying over nothing.

What further support do I need to supply?

 

I don't want to be taken offline after working so hard on getting my suppliers and setting up my website which I've been super proud of. I would like to speak with a Shopify customer service but I can't get through to them.

 

Please can someone advise if they have also had this.

 

Many Thanks! 

Replies 86 (86)

Marika_Barreca
Tourist
13 0 1

Do you have an update? What they said? 

4TRES_Dejan
Visitor
2 0 0

Any news?

GoodWatch
Shopify Partner
8 0 6

I received the same email and I thought it's phishing but it's not. A better way would be to have a communication in our account since I won't click those kinds of links.

Anyway, I called them and it's legit. I completed the form, nothing special.

What I did notice is that you should read those questions carefully.

JessicaS
Visitor
1 0 4

Hi,

I just received the same email from Shopify. I sell vintage clothing and some of these items happen to be by brands such as Fendi and Versace. Now the thing that I'm not quite sure of is whether I should confirm or leave open the following statements:

-I own the rights to the products available on my shopify store (I buy the vintage from a certified reseller and I have a shop that is legit, but does that mean that I own the rights to these branded products?)
-I am an authorized reseller of or have the right to resell the branded or trademarked products available on my shopify store (I have a registered vintage shop but does this make me an authorized reseller?)
-The branded or trademarked products available on my shopify store are authentic used products (yes)
-I have removed all branded or trademarked products from my shopify store which do not meet one of the choices above (yes)

I hope someone can help me out. Thank you so much in advance!

GoodWatch
Shopify Partner
8 0 6

Hi @JessicaS 

- Rights in this context mean if you are the brand owner or if the licence is yours.

- You are an authorized reseller if the brand or distributor gives you those rights.
-The branded or trademarked products available on my shopify store are authentic used products (yes) 

Please note that they said "used". In your case, I think it's true since they are vintage. I would just make sure to make this clear on the listing page.

If you are not sure about anything on this topic, it's better to consult a lawyer, just to be safe.

Wardysvintage
Visitor
2 0 1

in the exact same situation selling branded vintage got the email tonight !!

Wardysvintage
Visitor
2 0 1

any help would be appreciated , the ' i own the rights to the products avalible on my shopify store' question is confusing me, i obviously own the products but not sure if i own the right 

mishasannedavis
Visitor
1 0 3

I just received the same email this morning.

I sell vintage designer clothing/second hand designer clothing on consignment, so I am quite annoyed to say the least that I have recieved this email 4 years after launching the website and to top it off have only been given 6 days to respond or I risk having my shopify website taken down. I am a paying customer, so it is disappointing to have "the finger pointed at me" for something that wasnt an issue when I launched the website selling vintage second hand branded goods.

I ended up ticking the box that said:

"The branded or trademarked products available on my shopify store are authentic used products"

This fully applies to my products however, how am I supposed to prove that these items are authentic if the items are 10-20 years old and do not always have a tag/receipt/proof of purchase/authentification card.

I have the same issue with Facebook removing authentic products from my page and I don't even get the chance to contest it. My products are ALL authentic - very disappointed in Shopify

GoodWatch
Shopify Partner
8 0 6

@mishasannedavis I think you are looking at it from a wrong angle.

Look, on my side, I sell new branded products and guess what? You will always find a nutcase complaining that it's a fake or whatever other complaints, with the only scope to steal it from me (He complains, Amazon is siding with him and refunding his purchase). 

The reality is that having used branded products, your chance of people complaining and putting chargebacks is higher. Basically, they want to avoid problems.

I think 7 days are more than enough to give them an answer like yes or no. They didn't ask to prove anything. They just want us to assume responsibility for what we are selling. Reasonable.

I remember when I open accounts with Paypal, Stripe, Paybright or Authorize.net, all of them did risk management on me because I was in branded watches and jewelry, which is a high-risk segment. I pass it and everything is just fine. Take it like an audit, nothing more. Unless you have chargebacks, you should be fine, don't worry.

Also, once you will answer that form, you can do a follow-up with them and they will let you know if they need more to be done. In my case, they told me that everything is fine, that's it.

But I agree, the way they did it is very scary. I was in panic mode as well. First I thought that's a phishing attack and when I saw that is actually legit, I can say that I was pissed off because of the approach because it sounds just bad.

dcarte03
Tourist
4 0 5
I sell new jewelry also, however, there is no brand name physically on them... just a logo in the stock photos. So I did complete the form only choosing the reseller option as I am a consultant. I have had my shop set up for two years.
georgiakg
Visitor
1 0 0

Hi! I'm currently going through the same thing. I was only asked to provide proof of being an authorised reseller (I don't think miu miu would respond if i asked permission to sell a 20 year old bag..) or invoices from my supplier. I provided these invoices but not sure they count as valid. How did you go with this in the end? 

dallymouse89
Tourist
4 0 1

So what happens after you fill out this form and send it in? What stops Shopify from reaching back out and flagging your store again? I sell gently used clothing on consignment, so all of my items comes from families, and is not in violation of trademarked product rules.  Does Shopify now keep you on a list to be watched and keep sending emails?

GoodWatch
Shopify Partner
8 0 6

I see it as legal binding agreement binding and I think they might pass this to the brands so they can pursue you in court if they have grounds.

That's why one should read it carefully before checking those boxes. 

Shay
Shopify Staff
2968 460 609

Hi everyone! Thank you for sharing your feedback here in the community forums and for double checking to make sure these communications are legitimate. 

If you are ever unsure if a communication is legitimately from Shopify, the first step is to confirm the email address being used as it should always end in .shopify.com. 

In regards to the reason for receiving communications like the ones mentioned here, I just wanted to share a link to another thread similar to this one where I was able to share a bit more information and context for the reasoning and methods behind this:  Re: Is this a legitimate email from Shopify?

@GoodWatch makes a good point about these being legal agreements and that they should be read thoroughly. It is a merchant's responsibility to fully understand our terms of service and acceptable use policy for Shopify and the terms of service for Shopify Payments. 

If anyone has specific questions about the attestation forms they have received, I'll do my best to help you out with that. Also keep in mind that there are a range of reasons that our Trust and Safety team may be contacting you about your store so the email you received could be different from other merchants. 

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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PieceCraftLove
Excursionist
26 1 13

I received this same email, Support says it's legitimate because the Ticket ID is legitimate, but the links in the email are to some sendgrid URL instead of a direct link (I get it, they want to track clicks) BUT the really odd thing is that the email doesn't come from a .shopify.com address, it's just risk-management@shopify.com 

I agree with the previous post that this seems VERY suspicious!

Support suggested that if I didn't want to click the links, I could just reply to the message and someone else from Support will respond. That seems a little safer to me?

GoodWatch
Shopify Partner
8 0 6

@PieceCraftLove Sendgrid is just an ESP (email service provider). But once you click on that link, you will land on the Shopify domain and you will see a form.

You can verify the email by looking at their headers. The fact that you see written @shopify.com means nothing as it can be spoofed. But the info in the headers will clarify if it's legit.

PieceCraftLove
Excursionist
26 1 13

I'm just curious, did you receive this email within a short time of turning on the Google Shopping app on your Shopify store? 

I'm familiar with SendGrid as an ESP, but I still agree that the email was suspicious and would rather receive important communication as a message within my Shopify Admin.

GoodWatch
Shopify Partner
8 0 6

@PieceCraftLove true that 🙂 

We enabled Google products not long ago and we are doing dynamic retargeting ads. 

I don't think we are all flagged for the same reason. In my case, I suspect that they flagged me because I am placing test orders and I am cancelling them. Seeing that many cancelled orders maybe was a red flag. 

PieceCraftLove
Excursionist
26 1 13
Thanks for your response! And thank goodness Shopify support was available
today to help me resolve this as well.
dcarte03
Tourist
4 0 5

I am in IT and the domain in an email doesn't always mean it is legit.  I always look at that but still will not click any links provided.  I agree with the person that said this communication should be in our account instead. 

Harley19
Visitor
1 0 0

I got this email but I do not sell any branded product. 
Does it also apply to a name of something that is trademark? 
Would that be an issue? 

Shay
Shopify Staff
2968 460 609

Hi @Harley19 

Yes, this would also apply to using brand names in your product details or marketing. The reason for this is that you are generating a profit in relationship to that brand/company/trademark. I would make sure to fill out your attestation form if you haven't already and you chat with our trust and safety team some more about this if you have questions. 

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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beqe
Visitor
3 0 0

Hello,

I would like to know if I decide to stop selling those branded items or to change the item name, will I still need to fill out the form? For example, I have a product on my website that I named “Vintage Round Harry Potty Sunglasses.” I named it after the Harry Potter character because the glasses are just round but aren’t a replica of the actual Harry Potter sunglasses. So, if I decide to change the name of the glasses, will I still need to fill out the form?

Shay
Shopify Staff
2968 460 609

Hi @beqe 

I can't say for sure and your best option would be to change the product names and then reply back to the email you received asking that question. Our team can then review those products again and let you know if the attestation form is still required. 

I would also recommend using a free tool like https://www.trademarkia.com/ to help you find trademarks and see if they would apply to the products you are selling. This includes contact information for the trademark as well so you can potentially reach out to learn more about it. 

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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DP_Development
Shopify Partner
120 14 30

Wow, hit me aswell today. Dashboard locked for no reason. Im selling licensed fabrics among other fabrics. Now my dashboard was locked and the access disabled for about 2hours. Im happy that I saw the mail. As far as I can see, it was labeled as "infringement dispute", which actually means, that someone has reported my store. 

@Shay Is it possible that someone is reporting every store which sells trademarked products just for fun? I mean Im using shopify payments since a couple of years, only sell full licenced products and never had a problem before. And now somehow this topic is concerning more and more stores every day probably for no valid reason. Does shopify check if a report is valid before taking actions? I mean its not very customer friendly...

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Hellwood_Outfit
Excursionist
40 0 11

Got to say I am absolutely disgusted with Shopify for this. I've had my business for 10 years now without any word. I replied to the email explaining that I wasn't selling branded products and received no reply beyond a form email saying that they were blocking access to my admin area.

I don't want to sign any legal document that does not apply to me, and if Shopify are going to insist then they are going to have to explain why with some pretty substantial information rather than just threats.

Not impressed. 

https://hellwoodoutfitters.com
DP_Development
Shopify Partner
120 14 30

@Hellwood_Outfit wrote:

no reply beyond a form email saying that they were blocking access to my admin area.

I had to sign it, because of unfullfilled orders, that will be prepared for shipping today. But Im shocked how shopify treats us as long term customers (I started 2017). Its like: We block you, because we are able to, so take it or leave it. This is really a strange behavior I never would have expected. 

I think I will have to prepare a second store as plan b somewhere else, just to have the possibility to redirect the URL, if necessary. 

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Hellwood_Outfit
Excursionist
40 0 11

That's not a bad idea, but what a wonderful time of year to have to consider starting something like that. Personally I think I will be investigating getting a pro rata refund for the period I'm being blocked. 

https://hellwoodoutfitters.com
Kend1972
Visitor
1 0 0

Can I somehow get permission to sell branded or trademarked items?

Stuartz
New Member
4 0 0

they are harassing me with this too, saying i used the word "disney" i`ve removed all the 2 mentions of it, and shown them , but they still quote the old url which has no longer "disney" mentioned in it. the Attestation  form is in gobby de **bleep**,. i dont want to have to understand it.  this nonsense is over the top

DP_Development
Shopify Partner
120 14 30

@Kend1972 wrote:

Can I somehow get permission to sell branded or trademarked items?


Of course you are allowed to do it, if you have a licence. But shopify wants to make sure that you dont sell some copycat stuff, because all pictures, product descriptions and links are on their servers. So the form we have to sign is a disclaimer for shopify, that you do it on your own risk. 

On the one hand, its a good thing, because there are a lot of freaks selling aliexpress fake trash as original labeled and trademarked stuff. On the other hand, they accept collateral damage, as shop dashboards are instant blocked and you have to react in between 7 days which also can concern honest shopify stores which are online for years.

To answer your question. If you want to sell trademarked products, you have to make sure, that you are allowed to do this and under which circumstances. But you dont get the permission through shopify, but from your wholesaler or the trademarkholder himself (disney, marvel etc). 

 

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Hellwood_Outfit
Excursionist
40 0 11

The whole thing is an absolute nonsense. I reported an issue to Shopify several months ago when I found a substantial number of my original designs on a number of different 'Chinese' websites, all powered by Shopify. Despite provides all manner of screenshots and evidence they told me there was nothing they could do... and now this. Shame they can't show the same commitment to protection for those of us that pay to use the site rather than just those outside companies with big litigation wallets.

If I may, I'd like to look a little way into the future... I sincerely doubt that Shopify have an army of eagle eyed spotters going through every webpage and product looking for the misuse of brand images or names. More likely, I would imagine, that some algorithm scans for keywords and flags sites for a deeper look. Now I can see that I am going to have to sign this bloody attestation nonsense in order to save my shop, but no doubt I will then be chased to remove whatever products or pages have offended the algorithm. The only product mentioned in the initial e-mail had the word 'marvel' in the title and so I am imagining this is what has got Shopify's knickers in a twist. Problem is, the product has nothing to do with that 'marvel', it is not in reference to or in anyway related to that 'marvel', so when they come back and ask me to remove that product I think I would be well within my rights to say 'err... no'. What do we think will happen then?

https://hellwoodoutfitters.com
RedLeafCandy
Tourist
7 0 2

I have written every company that I sell products or brands of.  The smaller companies are more likely to respond based on my experience.

Some companies want to know where you acquire your products from because it has to be from their licensed distributors or a client they have a relationship with.

I even had one small company that approved me. Wished me luck in getting the big candy makers that own dozens of brands to even respond to a permission to sell email.  

At the end of the day and it doesn't make sense to almost anyone I spoke with, the Brand owner decides who sells their products.  I had one refuse because I was selling American Brands of their products and he said they couldn't authorize me because Canada has different labeling and ingredients.  Be ready for some hard NO's, but still take those up at least they responded.

DP_Development
Shopify Partner
120 14 30

@RedLeafCandy wrote:


Be ready for some hard NO's, but still take those up at least they responded.


I can confirm this as I made the same experiences. I tried to produce my own style Warner and Disney fabrics. No chance as a small business to get into the circle there. The only way is through wholesalers, which have licences and are allowed to resell.

So, what do we learn from this? Become so f***ing successful, that big brands start begging you to sell their branded stuff XD 

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PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
6339 579 1350

 I tried to produce my own style Warner and Disney fabrics. No chance as a small business to get into the circle there. 

When selling someone elses property on yet someone elses property then everyone but you gets to dictate the real rules.

Moreso when there's tens of thousands trying to do the same thing acting like those rules do not exist just to make a quick buck.

Save time & money ,Ask Questions The Smart Way


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RedLeafCandy
Tourist
7 0 2
Its not even just any distributor. It has to be their liscenced ones or
forget it. You will be met with we have no relationship with that company
and then you looking into the licensed ones and they have a minimum 3 or 5k
order minimum. The one I was thinking, 5k. That's more than my entire
stock. So as a small business your left with, closing your store down and
trying to come up with a business plan after delisting 192 products and
making it work off of 50.
PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
6339 579 1350

 


@RedLeafCandy wrote:
 they have a minimum 3 or 5k
order minimum. The one I was thinking, 5k. That's more than my entire
stock. So as a small business your left with, closing your store down and
trying to come up with a business plan after delisting 192 products and
making it work off of 50.

Invest in your businesses ability to sell others property, get a loan. Shopify even has a system for eligible businesses https://www.shopify.com/capital 

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DP_Development
Shopify Partner
120 14 30

Or you could build a stable business without trademarked products to generate a stable income first and go for the trademarked and licence products later on, when you are able to afford it. If youre niche is about trademarked products, than you will have to go the step and simply pay.

I mean loans are a very good thing, when you exactly know what you are doing, and you exactly know, where to invest in your business to grow your sales. A loan to "try something out" is an uncalculated risk, which can be very expensive at the end. 

I dont know how many thousands I spent with no effect, the story is endless. This and everything else is an expensive learning process and the sad truth is, that you cant buy experience.

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PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
6339 579 1350

A loan to "try something out" is an uncalculated risk, which can be very expensive at the end. 

Merchants selling IP merchandise , with or without permission,  should have the stats to make that calculation indicating the worth of getting merchandise to secure permission.

A real uncalculated risk , from merchants complaints in this thread, is that shopify's current process of verification chokes on small merchants and has too many ambiguities and unanswered details that just means the only real answer is to have a lawyer handle it.

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RedLeafCandy
Tourist
7 0 2

Borrowing is not something I will entertain, I am not doing this to make a living.  This is more of a hobby for me and than lively hood.  I invested 5k to start and reinvest those sales into restock or new stock.  Either way for me, if I pull the plug I still have options available to me recoup most of the money I spent on them.

I just did what Shopify wanted and clicked their form to remove them from any wrong doing if I get sued or something.  Merchants have to remember, this is Shopify's platform and they can enforce any of their TOS and rules they wish.  Either as a merchant we abide by them or have our shops closed.

My issue with this, I just have the issue that its not a blanketed process and seems to hit every business at random.  I know there are candy stores on Shopify doing what I get hit for and their still doing it.  I know some of the products they are selling they did not get approval for, because I was flat out told that said brand does not authorize online stores as they have their own to sell products to the web.

I would just like Shopify show a fair process and not a random one and based what I am reading it is random on how their algorithms work.

ByeShop-ify
Excursionist
19 0 24

Whilst I am an authorised reseller of a trademarked item,  and well permitted to sell said items as I have for over 14 years. I now see Shopify has blocked my access to my store.

 

Well.. Now I'm moving to an entire different platform, who don't have draconian rules, that themselves are not following..   So Shopify will lose a long term customer over this.     

I particularly like the fact that, customers can still purchase items and add to cart, but the shop owner whom is in full legal rights to sell said items, is locked out of his orders and admin console.   So money will be taken and orders not processed.   Not a good way to handle this shopify.  -1 ratings for you to be placed now!

Also blocking any payments to you as you are NOT providing a service at all. 

Shay
Shopify Staff
2968 460 609

Thank you for your feedback @ByeShop-ify

 

I just wanted to clarify for you that your access to your store's admin is limited only while our Trust and Safety team is waiting on your attestation form and any supported documentation. This restriction is only temporary and most merchants were able to get back into their store accounts shortly after submitting their attestation. 

 

If you check your account owner email account you should see an email from them regarding this. Please also check your junk/spam box as well if you don't see their email in your inbox.

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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RedLeafCandy
Tourist
7 0 2

The trust and safety team is crap.  It

 Took them 4 days to respond and they do crap all to answer any questions.  They just copy and paste old responses.

 

Shopify's online support I give 9/10, dealing with trust and safety is about as useful as a shop selling sand in the desert.  They actually made me want to leave Shopify but the thought of recreating my stock and pages over stopped me.

 

I can't and won't recommend Shopify to anyone after my experience with them.

ByeShop-ify
Excursionist
19 0 24

LOL at Shopify.    Filled out your attestation junk and sent it off, submitted and received, I was Oh so graciously allowed back into my own shop portal which you locked me out of.. yeah the portal I pay shopify for monthly..   Then 2 weeks later I get more crap emails saying its going to be shut on DEC 24th.   Well, feel free.  I'm about done with shopify's junk attitude to its customers and what appear to be blatant lies on this very forum. I've done your requested attestation stuff, yet you still threaten to shut a shop over..... what exactly?  0/10 for Shopify. 

RedLeafCandy
Tourist
7 0 2

For me, they hit me and I had 192 products in my store.  I am like a small potato compared to other shops that sell the same stuff as I do.  One even boasts to be Canada's biggest seller, another brags that they have over 5000 items for sale.  Yet I am the one they hit with this and it pretty much destroyed my sales 2 months before xmas but these other stores continue to sell.

I have started moving to another e-commerce site but it is painstakingly slow to recreate everything.

Shay
Shopify Staff
2968 460 609

Hi @ByeShop-ify 

Thank you for sharing that information with us here in the forums. I understand that you have connected with our live support a few times and may have been originally misinformed on how transaction fees are processed.

 

I want to clarify that if a payment is processed through the Shopify Payments gateway, even if it is later refunded or cancelled, the processing fee is not returned. This information is also included in our Shopify Payments Terms of Service and is part of the agreement upon activating Shopify Payments in your store.

 

If you were provided information other than that, I would ask that you please reply back to the ticket you would have been emailed so that the interaction can be reviewed. 

 

If you are selling high value items and are worried about an increase in fraudulent orders, we recommend enabling payment capture. This gives you a chance to authenticate the purchaser before finalizing payment. You can also look into fraud protection for your business, a type of insurance that reimburses you lost fees when a fraudulent order is placed. 

 

 

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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ByeShop-ify
Excursionist
19 0 24

So what you are saying is your shopify staff on the help desk informed me incorrectly.    Its obvious you don't need the tickets to follow up as you yourself state you can see I have had interaction with Live help.     Your live help person was VERY adamant a cancellation of an order will NOT have fees attached to it for the seller.  I asked that exact question of costs on a cancellation VS a refund.   Sounds like some staff re-training is needed. 

RedLeafCandy
Tourist
7 0 2

Myself, I didn't have an issue with online chat support.  It was the Risk and Safety team that I found to be pretty much useless.  Online support says to send them an email for clarification on what they want because manufactures were even confused by the email they send.  I send them an email response from one and they don't even reply to it but copy and paste fill out the attestation form before they will respond.  Do that and they still don't respond.  Plus they give you 7 days to comply but even the copy and paste reply they did came 4 days later.

Two companies thought Shopify's email was a scam. Almost all the other responses never even heard of a store requesting permission to sell their products and I had to link them to this forum so they could see what I was asking was true.  Two companies asked for their products to not be sold in the Canadian market because they are not registered for sale in Canada.  Yet a quick google search of Shopify Candy Stores shows many doing just that.

I am just dumb founded how my little store got hit and yet bigger stores are operating no problem selling some of the same products I was.  The Risk and Safety team has made me leave Shopify after this current billing cycle.  I have already moved my store to a different platform because of the poor experience I endured.

ByeShop-ify
Excursionist
19 0 24

And to add more to this, After sending all their attestation junk, showing I am approved to sell said items, Shopify unannounced closed my store front a month or so ago. Days of waiting for your Support team to come back with something/ anyting.. Man you guys are actually the worst!  Lies about emails sent to me, strange even Google and Gmail cant find them on our mail servers..  Sure hope you've got all the info.  Could not recommend Shopify to anyone, worst support ever, draconian principles. Abort and avoid!   -1.. off to leave some nice reviews on the web.