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  • #1040420
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28
    King, post: 79991 wrote:
    Snow we have asked the question repeatedly which you have chosen never to answer, and that is if these products have sole distribution rights attached to them. That is the case in point and one that you constantly avoid answering.

    So when you find a hot product, spend the $$$$$ on legals to make you a sole importer, set up all the associated stuff that goes into creating a culture here in Oz for that product, often at significant expense, let me know and I’ll go and undercut you, sent all warranty and associated non-profit stuff your way….

    ok King,
    yes the products have sole distribution rights attached to them. Is that sole distribution contract a deal between the supplier and distributor or does it mention me as well. Im thinking its nothing to do with me ?

    i suggest you read the opening post of this thread before accusing me of avoiding answering a question that has been repeatedly put to me. heres a copy for you.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Hi there,
    first time poster so thanks in advance for any feedback. Ive been asking around in relation to the Parallel Importing of Ski / Snow sports / Surf / Skate gear from the USA.
    My story is, i run a pretty flexible small business from home and have a bit of spare time on my hands. I have a friend in the USA who would like to send some gear to me. We have been through the costings and the gear would be landed here below the wholesale price i could get it if sourced through a local distributor.
    I understand this is a grey area and i would be stepping on the feet of the local distributor but to keep prices down the business model would not work effectively if i operated at Australian rrp.
    I have the opportunity to rent some space as my office and would offer my gear at low prices from my shop front / office.
    Basically i figure if im sitting here all day working i may as well have some items for sale that i know a fair bit about.
    I suppose my first question is if i purchased for instance 50 brand name snowboards from a markdown store in the USA that retailed here for $800.00 could i be stopped knowing there is a distributor licensed in Australia.
    cheers

    #1040421
    King
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,212

    Snow, there is a difference between distributorship and one with sole distribution – this is important when it comes to legalities.

    But that said, as I have already said, let me know when you have invested in a product and I will come and undercut you.

    But no…I won’t, because its unethical and in business you never know when you are going to need a friend, and having a reputation for doing things like this, well you won’t have any.

    I wish you good health and business failure.

    #1040422
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28

    a good mate of mine has just closed the doors on his surf shop. One of the reasons is i believe parallel imports. Its winter and his wetsuit sales have halved from last year and are down a massive 70% over the last 5 years.
    He is the only brand x dealer in the area, everyone’s still wearing brand x wetsuits its just you can buy them from the UK and US cheaper than he can get them wholesale. Pay $575.00 retail or buy online from overseas for $240.00 or on ebay for $300.00.
    Whats the answer ?
    His t shirts are $49 and cost him $30 yet theres online stores selling the same shirts for $25 here in AU with free delivery Australia wide.
    Who wants to be retailer of a product that can be purchased online by the consumer cheaper than you as the licensed distributor can buy it wholesale.

    The current Surf and Ski retail model is unsound, Fact.

    #1040423
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28
    King, post: 80058 wrote:
    Snow, there is a difference between distributorship and one with sole distribution – this is important when it comes to legalities.

    But that said, as I have already said, let me know when you have invested in a product and I will come and undercut you.

    But no…I won’t, because its unethical and in business you never know when you are going to need a friend, and having a reputation for doing things like this, well you won’t have any.

    I wish you good health and business failure.

    King why would you wish someone business failure just because in your view they are unethical. Not many years ago most thought it was unethical to open an online store saving money on staff and rent.
    If i start a business i want to be on a level playing field and dont feel like getting shafted by the big players.
    If the products i was selling were offered at the same price globally i would open the doors tomorrow. Sadly this is not the case and never will be if people like me dont stand up and test the system.
    Who is the looser here as golf clubs, ski gear, surf ware, camping ect ect is continually purchased in the US.
    Bury your head in the sand and watch your business go down the gurgler if you like and pay your bills with ethics. :-)

    #1040424
    dangaff
    Member
    • Total posts: 244
    Snow, post: 79932 wrote:
    This enhances Burtons market share in snowboards.
    Retailers and sales reps have every reason to be squealing, you should be targeting the big boys who are ripping you off with inflated wholesale prices.

    Exactly what my mate & I were talking about a few days ago, the manufacturer couldn’t care less because there making more money, only downside is a bad relationship with the wholesaler.

    It’s usually the existent Australian wholesaler who will kick up a rant, they can’t do anything to you but they can crack the shits at the manufacturer.

    I can’t see the difference between, buying a snowboard from an american wholesaler or buying it from an american online store, whether its 1 snowboard or 50. – I view it this way, have you ever bought something from america? if yes, well then you’ve parallel imported. – I’m going to parallel import and until I’m told I can’t or its illegal, then I’ll stop. + fishing wholesalers only supply to shopfront’s which I can’t afford.

    I also view it this way, if wholesalers here were to sell to me, how can I look attractive against the other hundreds of tackle & online stores besides taking a smaller profit margin..(Which I’m sure alot of stores are already at this stage) – Yes I know service can win people over but trust me, I’m happy with my service and I know others are too!

    King, post: 80058 wrote:
    I wish you good health and business failure.
    That’s just low
    #1040425
    PocketDocket
    Member
    • Total posts: 156

    What an intersting thread, I have just spent the last hour reading it all.

    What I have to say is this.

    I have bought all my golf clubs from the US (ebay) because what retailers over here are asking for is stupid. I understand that the AUS retailers ask that much because they have invested in advertising, distribution rights etc…

    However, that is what happens in business. Things evolve. Old business models get overtaken by new ones. If I was a retailer here, I would tell my distributor to give me cheaper prices, or I would do exactly as Sno is doing, and source my products from somewhere cheaper. A business will be successful if it keeps its customers are happy. High prices don’t make ME happy as a customer. Some people will buy from the higher priced retailers for piece of mind, status etc.. but many people cannot afford to do it that way.

    In fact, the way I see it (as a consumer), Sno is making it easier for me to buy, because now I don’t have to buy from the US, my shipping time and cost is down, and I have more piece of mind.

    At the end of the day, customers will decide your fate. If you have too higher price, they will not pay.

    Jeremy

    #1040426
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28

    just an interesting extract from Pauls Warehouse website

    http://www.paulswarehouse.com.au/storefront/content.aspx?idcontent=1

    Paul’s Warehouse is also the first Australian Sports Retailer to parallel import sporting goods and surfwear. Today we import famous brands like Billabong, Havaianas, Globe, DC Shoe Co, Etnies, Hurley, Royal Elastics, Vans, Converse and LOTS MORE!.

    #1040427
    dangaff
    Member
    • Total posts: 244

    I was just talking to a guy who also use to originally buy fishing lures from Japan for below Australian wholesale price, he eventually moved into selling them on forums & eBay.

    Eventually a wholesaler here kicked up a stink and got solicitors involved, he got his and he told him it was parallel importing and he had to write them all a letter saying he won’t import there product, nor a trademark product for a resale purpose again.

    Nothing happened after that..

    #1040428
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28
    dangaff, post: 80154 wrote:
    I was just talking to a guy who also use to originally buy fishing lures from Japan for below Australian wholesale price, he eventually moved into selling them on forums & eBay.

    Eventually a wholesaler here kicked up a stink and got solicitors involved, he got his and he told him it was parallel importing and he had to write them all a letter saying he won’t import there product, nor a trademark product for a resale purpose again.

    Nothing happened after that..

    I dont think he would have been forced to write them a letter saying he wont import their product for resale, maybe he did this on his solicitors recommendation after been threatened with legal proceedings.
    in reference to, nor a trademark product for a resale purpose again.
    I cant see how a solicitor would ask for a letter stating he would not import trademark products for resale. The solicitor would be acting for his client and the products he imports not the wholesale industry as a whole.

    #1040429
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344

    Wowsa – what a discussion, very interesting read! I am a little surprised it took as long in the discussion for the word Trademark to even appear!

    One very clear fact of trademark law is that once registered the owner is given the right to use and authorise the use of that trademark, for the goods/services it is registered in respect of. From a ‘brand’ perspective, the owner of the trademarks here can therefore determine who can/cannot use those trademarks for those goods/services, and as Victor previously noted can apply to customs to stop infringing imports. The area is of course made grey when you are sourcing the actual product (not making a copy);

    However, it should be noted (and apologies if it already has been and I missed it) that in Australia, an authorised user of a trademark may instigate certain actions. A sole importer/promoter/distributor/agent etc – i.e. under exclusive license, bound to terms/conditions of quality and control etc would be considered an authorised user and could be the one to issue cease & desist letters for use of the trademark without permission, and in conjunction with the owner instigate further legal proceedings.

    As Victor also said – the answer to ‘can you be stopped’ is it depends – If the customs notices were lodged and picked up what they thought was infringement coming through, yes; if you got it in safely and there is an exclusive agent licensed in Australia, they may take steps to stop you etc.

    I suppose you need to work out whether the potential cost of action against you, including for damages/profits etc versus the savings from sourcing elsewhere is ‘worth it’. In the event such action was taken, I can only imagine it would come at a much higher cost than the difference between sourcing from the AU distributor or from unauthorised person overseas?

    Just my 2c quite late in the piece :)

    #1040430
    victorng
    Member
    • Total posts: 626

    Jacqui’s right that an authorised user can take action. To complicate matters however, there’s also a parallel importing exception / defence to infringement under the Act but the circumstances under which it can be relied on are limited and you’d need to be really sure you fall within it…

    This thread keeps giving …

    #1040431
    sixx
    Member
    • Total posts: 333
    JacquiPryor, post: 80306 wrote:
    I am a little surprised it took as long in the discussion for the word Trademark to even appear!

    page 4.

    #1040432
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28

    so overall if importing brand name products to re-sell you do so at a risk of legal action. Cases so far are very limited to date.
    profits for importers or sole agency agreement contract holders will continue to fall with the strong dollar and inflated wholesale prices payed for many goods here in Australia.

    #1040433
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344

    Hi Snow,

    Spot on – you do so at risk of legal action, yes. Cost of such action can vary dramatically depending on a wide range of factors.

    Visit http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinosrch.cgi?method=boolean&query=parallel+importing&meta=%2Fau&mask_path=au%2Fcases%2Fcth%2FFCA – this is a list of all results that come up when searching “Parallel importing” in federal court cases, you can use the search function and site generally to amend searches/specify them further etc.

    The above site will allow you to do an overall search to find any/all documents referencing and reviewing parallel importing etc.

    I have not read in full, but some cases that have discussed the subject may be of interest – for example: L’ORÉAL SA and Others v EBAY INTERNATIONAL; MICROSOFT CORPORATION v WORDSWORTH; PRIMARK STORES LTD and Another v LOLLYPOP CLOTHING LTD

    There are quite a few out there, that reading through will give a clearer indication as to how “parallel importing” is just one factor of consideration in these matters; different things – such as the trademarks previously discussed – can play a part, as can copyright etc.

    #1040434
    Snow
    Member
    • Total posts: 28

    interesting article here :)

    http://www.davies.com.au/pub/detail/359/parallel-imports-can-infringe-a-registered-australian-trade-mark

    seems to me the main point of this article is the items were made to be sold in India alone.

    It would be interesting to know if products been advertised for sale to Australia from US websites would fall under a similar rule if produced for sale in the US only ?
    I suppose the buyer would have to be proven to have knowledge although im not sure Pauls Warehouse would have known this point when purchasing their goods for resale ?

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