Many businesses and individuals often ask how they can legally sell another company’s trademark products. Selling another company’s product without their permission is copyright infringement. It can land you in legal trouble. So, do not sell another company’s trademarked products without knowing the right method.
Two common legal ways of selling trademarked products are as resellers or selling products after a white label agreement. Many companies sell products as resellers by engaging BPO services for dealing with customers. In this quick read, you can dive into the legal methods of selling another company’s products and the challenges with every method.
What Is Trademark Infringement?
A trademark is anything that is the property of a company. It could be anything from the company’s logo to the names of their signature products. Even the catchphrase of a company is its property. In other words, when you are posing as another company, that’s trademark infringement. There are laws that offer protection for trademark products. And breaking those laws can get your products off the market, legal trouble, and heavy fines. So, breaking these trademark laws is never a wise option. Instead, what you can do is take a legal route.
The following are some legal ways of selling another company’s products:
Reselling is one of the best ways that allow you to sell another company’s trademarked products without trouble. This example will clarify the concept of reselling for you. You buy a smartphone from a retailer and sell it on eBay or some other platform. There are no restrictions on this and this is completely legal. It is up to the platform where you are putting a product for sale if they allow selling products of a particular brand or not. That’s generally not the problem as a lot of used phones and devices by major companies are often put on sale by individuals.
Another method that’s even better for selling products is to become an authorized reseller. In this case, you get permission to sell products from the company before becoming a reseller. It is more like a partnership between you and the company whose products you want to sell. This approach gives you much more legal flexibility in selling another company’s products. But the challenge here is to get permission from the brand.
Reselling is one of the easiest routes of selling another company’s products. But it is to remember that you cannot pose as the original owner of the company in both cases. In both cases of reselling, you have to make your position clear. Also, as a reseller, you cannot generally offer warranties and guarantees on behalf of the company unless you have permission.
White Label Approach
When you want to sell another company’s product as your own, there is a legal approach by having a white label agreement. If you have signed a white label agreement with a company, you can sell their products as your own. It is completely legal and a documented method. Companies usually opt for this approach when their products have components from another company.
Usually, companies take a white-label approach when they outsource the production from a third party. For example, many companies get an agreement with a manufacturer and brand those products as their own. In this case, you are simply repackaging products and selling them under your name.
The problem with the white label approach is that big brands usually do not engage in such agreements. So, you usually have to reach manufacturers to label a product and sell it. But this approach gives you more control of marketing your products without falling into lawsuits.
Affiliate marketing is another legal form of selling another company’s products. With this approach, you sign up for a company’s affiliate program. And when someone makes the purchase with your referral, you earn an affiliate commission. The benefit of this form of selling someone else’s products is it does not require legal documentation. You may have seen people selling products on YouTube and their blogs by their referral links. It is important to know that you have to make an affiliate disclosure.
Affiliate disclosure is either mentioning a phrase in your written content or video that you earn a commission when someone makes a purchase from your affiliate link. Again, you cannot impersonate the brand or its representative. Companies like HostGator have an ongoing affiliate program. One way to check if a company has an affiliate program is to visit their website and see if they mention anything about it.
Three legal ways of selling someone else’s products are by reselling, affiliate marketing, and having a white label agreement.