The eBay VeRO violations guide for dropshippers
Everything was going so well. You were listing hundreds of items, racking up lots of sales, and seeing your business growing.
That was, until you woke up to this dreaded email…
Wondering how to get your eBay account back on track? Read on!
What is VeRO?
VeRO is eBay’s “verified rights owner program”, which in plain English allows companies and rights holders to report listings that they feel are infringing on their intellectual property.
And be warned, intellectual property is a very broad term. It can range from creating a listing using an image that has copyright protection, to listing entirely counterfeit goods using the logo of another company. Don’t worry, we’ll get into some specific examples in the next section.
But first you’re probably wondering; why did I receive a VeRO warning and what can I do to prevent it in future?
How dropshippers can prevent VeRO warnings
If you’re a dropshipper, the chances are that you’re probably listing hundreds, if not thousands of items everyday onto eBay. And you’re probably doing most of it automatically too, with very little time spent reviewing every individual item you’re listing.
All of that is great for saving time and making money, but here’s where the problem usually occurs.
A lot of newer dropshipping software doesn’t include a comprehensive VeRO list.
So what’s a VeRO list? Well, a VeRO list is a database of brand names, phrases and titles that often result in VeRO warnings when you create a listing. For example the brand name “Hutzler” is a word that appears on our own VeRO list.
The idea behind having a VeRO list is simple. Good dropshipping software can cross-reference the listings you’re creating against the VeRO list and flag up potential VeRO violations. That way you’re alerted of potential VeRO issues before you make your listings live on eBay.
(Side Note – eBay themselves actually publish a large list of brands that have already registered for protection with them here.)
So coming back to software. A lot of software companies create their own VeRO list using information from their customers. When a customers listing is removed for a VeRO violation, the software can identify the ASIN and keywords in future that likely triggered it.
Software that is relatively new usually has a short list of VeRO items so are less likely to be successful in preventing potential VeRO violations compared to mature software. Keep this in mind when choosing which software you use to list products.
What are the most common reasons for VeRO warnings
- Selling counterfeit or replica goods
Selling counterfeit or replica goods are one of the most serious violations you can make and is likely to result in your immediate suspension from eBay.
- Using copyright protected content or photos in your listings
This is one of the easiest VeRO violations to receive because it includes using copy in your description text without prior permission of the writer, along with protected images or graphics throughout your listing.
- Including branded logos in images without permission
Most brand logos are covered by a trademark which means copying a logo without a company’s permission can be a violation of trademark law.
- Saying you’re an authorized dealer/reseller of a brand when you aren’t
You might sell a lot of products from one particular brand, but make sure not to claim you’re an authorized reseller if you aren’t.
- Making false, inaccurate or misleading claims about a branded product
Don’t say an iPhone has a battery life of a week when we all know it barely lasts a day! Make sure what is written in your product descriptions match the reality of the item and you’ll be fine.
One last thing – It’s not against eBay’s terms to list branded items, items that usually have a controlled pricing policy or items usually only available from selected dealers.
Consequences of VeRO violations
How eBay reacts to a VeRO violation depends on the severity of the violation and how many times you’ve previously had warnings before.
At its most extreme, severe violations like selling counterfeit items are likely to get you permanently suspended from eBay, whereas more minor incidents like accidentally using copyright protected text in your listing could result in just a warning. In all cases, the listing in question will be removed.
eBay themselves talk about enforcing VeRO violations with selling restrictions, and suspensions — particularly if it’s not your first offence.
What to do when you get a VeRO violation
In most cases, there’s not much you can do.
If your listing was removed based on a VeRO violation, eBay will send you an email with details about why your listing was removed and how to get in touch with the rights owner directly if you wish.
However, in most cases you can assume the listing was removed correctly and you’ll have to abide by any punishment that eBay gives you.
The most important thing you can do is learn from what happened and make changes to ensure you never list a VeRO item again. Given that VeRO violations can cause your eBay account to be suspended, preventing future violations should be very important to every eBay seller.
Struggling with VeRO violations? Try Salefreaks
Salefreaks has been around for over 5 years meaning we’ve built up one of the biggest VeRO lists with over 10,000 brand names, titles and ASIN’s making it highly unlikely you’ll ever receive a VeRO violation again.
You can watch our quick video below to see how we prevent VeRO violations:
You can try Salefreaks completely free of charge for 14 days, click here to get started.