Copyright issues in a dropshipping business are a significant headache. Every drop shipper faces such matters at least once in his/her career. Such problems are bound to happen once you set up your business and start getting some recognition. Selling copyrighted products will get you down in no time.
Some of the most done copyrights violations are selling counterfeit goods, selling the products that are exclusive to a brand without their permission, use the brand logo of any other company, copying product descriptions from the manufacturer, etc.
Here are some tips that you can use in order to avoid such issues from happening.
One of the most common things that get the drop shippers in trouble is using the same pictures as the manufacturer. People these days can spot a copied image very easily. You should consider this as an investment and at least buy one copy of the product yourself to take a genuine picture. It will also help you in determining the quality of the product you are selling. Screen the image for any copyright infringement before you upload it somewhere to avoid any problem later. If you have the product with you, you can create a How to use video for the buyers as well. It will have you look more genuine as a seller. You will be able to write a more engaging and authentic product review later on as well.
Your presentation matters a lot in an online shopping atmosphere. Catchy taglines and unique artistic brand logos help you stand out from the rest of the options. Refrain from using the original brand logos because that would mean an instant copyright strike on you. Instead, hire a graphics designer to create your own custom logos. You do not need to hire someone full-time; you can hire freelancers that would work on-demand only and create a logo for you. You can also learn the art of graphic designing if you are working on a tighter budget. As your drawing will be a bit different from the original company, there will not be any kind of copyright issues.
Sometimes it is not the drop shipper who is at the mistake, but his business gets affected alongside. If your supplier is shipping a counterfeit product, technically you are also responsible for that even if you do not know. In such cases, it is recommended that you should verify the first sample from the supplier carefully and always keep it with you for future references. All documentation should be 100% from your side to save you from any kind of trouble later on.
You can apply for the actual distributor’s authorization to sell their product or in simple words, the license from them to sell their product on their behalf. This way, you will directly deal with the supplier, and there will be any kind of copyright strike on you. However, to be able to achieve this, you need to build your reputation in the market first. A big brand is not going to hire you as their authorized seller or a representative of sorts if you are a newbie. Grow yourself, build trust in the customers and then apply for a distributor license. It does not cost much as compared to copyright violation lawsuits. The choice is yours!
Some companies produce the products and do not brand or label them on their own. They sell them as it is i.es, with white labels. They are actually giving permission to other individuals or the companies to brand them on their own ad sell them as their own product. Some of such items are clothing, pottery such as mugs, glasses, books, novels, etc. Even if you want, you can further sell those products as it is too, i.e. without branding them at all. This is a successful option to avoid any copyright issues as long as you make sure that the products you are selling are of good quality and covered under the manufacturers' warranty policy.
Selling branded products in a dropshipping business without authorization is not recommended at all. It makes you much liable to copyright issues. Avoid selling branded products at all.
Always make sure to have a written contract with all the copyright-related clauses included with your drop shipper. It will save you in the future from coming under the bridge if there occurs any copyrights issue.
Buy a product from your own service at least once a year to check that there is no copyright violation being done from the supplier’s end. It will also help you analyze the delivery timing and the product quality yourself and evaluate the performance of your business from the perspective of the buyer. You will get to know the areas that need improvements, and if there is any copyright violation from the supplier, you can warn them too.
If you can not afford to buy each and every product yourself and take the images, just go to some store that has those items in stock and politely ask them for permission to take some snaps. Most of the store owners will give you permission without any problem. Although it may be a wrong thing to do for the shopkeeper, it certainly will save you from any kind of copyright infringement issues.
Your drop shipping business can grow very well if you manage to avoid copyright issues. Because once you get hit with it, there is a small chance you are coming out of it unhurt. The best way is to avoid these things and enjoy a smooth sail. Happy Selling!!