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Adidas forced to scrap marketplace ban

By Chris Dawson July 2, 2014 - 7:58 am

adidasAdidas have rescinded their ban on selling Adidas and Reebok products on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

In a u-turn from their announcement in 2012 banning the sale of their products on marketplaces when they said they wanted to “ensure that Adidas and Reebok will be presented in the right environment at all times”, they reckon that ecommerce distribution channels have improved so much over the past two years that they’re now happy to have their products sold on the sites.

In a statement Adidas said “We have decided to extend our e-commerce guidelines to also include open market places: if our retail partners adhere to our criteria, there will be no restriction for online sales in any channel!”

Whilst eBay has continually evolved over the past few years, it’s hard to see where the functionality of Amazon has changed much – one of the things retailers love about Amazon is that pretty much nothing changes from day to day and the site just carries on working. One might suspect that the change in Adidas’ position has more to do with the German Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, saying that the Adidas “ban on sales via online market places and the restrictions imposed on authorised retailers with regard to search engine advertising gave cause for serious competition concerns”.

The Bundeskartellamt went on to add “In response to this, Adidas submitted an amended version of its conditions of sale for e-commerce, in which it has completely abandoned its ban on sales via online market places”.

Of course it does sound somewhat better to blame the marketplaces for the initial ban and then to explain the change of heart on the fact the marketplaces have improved so much, rather than say that they are scrapping their selective distribution policy because the Bundeskartellamt asserts it doesn’t comply with competition law.

Adidas also say that all authorised retailers are now free to use Adidas brand related terms as search words for search engine advertising such as Google AdWords.

  • Steve
    3 years ago

    The problem is the flood of fakes I suppose. As an aside, wouldn’t it be wonderful if all ebay staff could drop thier performance targets and all go on holiday for a year, so the Site could function without all the constant change and nonesense?

  • davelovesebay
    3 years ago

    I think brands should have the right to choose ! At the end of the day who brand is the creative owner of the goods, not the retailer. So should be able to protect their asset. If you look at listing 251451896114 (not saying theres anything wrong with it) But its little wonder some brands dont want there goods on the same platform. There are also a ton of fakes on ebay.

    • 3 years ago

      The ban wasn’t very effective anyway – there are 156,977 results for “New” adidas products and 21,475 results for “New” Reebok products on eBay ;-)

    • james
      3 years ago

      The brand are the creative owner of the names, copyrights, blah blah….
      they are not the owners of the goods, as soon as they sell them to a retailer, the goods belong to the retailer to do with as they see fit.
      if they do not wish to sell them to retailers, then thats their perogative.
      they may as well try telling YOU where you can wear YOUR adidas trainers – “yes we appreciate you paid £99 for them, but we dont want our trainers to be seen in your street, you may only wear them in these following postcodes….”

    • 3 years ago

      Seeing as Adidas sponsor thugs like Suarez I don’t think they should worry as much about where their products are sold so much as will the public face of their brand bite you :D

      Mind you… I do hear they might cancel their contract with Suarez as they’ve bitten off more than they can chew ;)

  • james
    3 years ago

    Na, any publicity is good publicity, Suarez is suggesting increasing his sponsor charges and going for some slogan reworking.

    Adidas: Hunger for Victory!
    Gillette: So close you can taste it!
    Snickers: Snacking saves lives!
    eBay: …at least we dont literally bite you.

    • Tony C
      3 years ago

      Brilliant :)

  • Tony C
    3 years ago

    The annoying thing about these bans is that your ‘ordinary’ casual seller is also hit by the same ban as the commercial seller.

    A young lad wanting to sell his Adidas trainers is perfectly free to sell his shoes in his local Classified ad column for the price that he wants, with no listing fee, no FVFs and no risk about customer comeback, eBay interferences or indeed any Germans getting in the way.

    The same thing is far more hassle on eBay for the inverse of the benefits above. But interestingly that’s the point. He’s not going to have to post the shoes, the buyer will collect them, so why consider using eBay to begin with?

    But still it’s annoying; there have been Furminator dog brushes removed, even second-hand ones, by the original manufacturer – this is really where the anti-competition comes in. Everyone should be allowed to sell used items, no matter what.

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