Episode 32: eBay VERO: What is the Verified Rights Owner Program?

Overview

In episode 32, Julien Dudouit, eBay Global IP Senior Brand Manager, Brand Protection Expert, explains eBay’s VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) Program, what it is, what it isn’t, and discusses truths and misperceptions. We’ll also have Seller News!

The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly is the #1 resource for the seller community across all platforms and hub for information on growing your business with List Perfectly. Find out more at listperfectly.com/podcast, leave a message or ask a question at anchor.fm/sellercommunitypodcast, or email us at podcast@listperfectly.com.

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Episode 32 Links

eBay VERO
‘TikTok made me buy it’: How the video-sharing platform is influencing fashion retail
Mega Poshfest Virtual Party – Poshmark Approved Event!

Transcript

Intro

Doug:

I always like to start with what’s up Liz?

Liz:

What’s up, Doug? How are your sporting announcements going?

Doug:

It was fun. I announced a game yesterday. I didn’t work in as many references as usual because there were a couple of coaches in there with me, but they did laugh a couple of times. My son’s team won 60 to zero.

Liz:

Wow!

Doug:

It was kind of, I got to the point where I wasn’t announcing the score anymore because after I’m like, “touchdown Great Oak! 50 to zero,” I have this weird back and forth with the cheerleaders and they love me. So they were like earlier on, I would say something about the cheerleaders. And then I would add in “hashtag high kicks,” which is kind of an inside family joke. And then yesterday they were yelling up at me,” hashtag high kicks!” And I’m like “hashtag high kicks! Let’s hear it for the cheerleaders.” And then one goes, “Thank you Mr. Smith!” “You’re welcome.”

Liz:

(Laughing) It sounds like you’re having a little bit of fun with this volunteer gig.

Doug:

It is fun and Liz, anything interesting in your week?

Liz:

You know, it was a pretty slow week except for one really cool thing.

Doug:

What’s that?

Liz:

So yesterday, if you listened to the eBay for business podcast, Griff invited me on to share a tip about photography. So I got to sit down and talk to Griff and Brian about a photography tip. So let me tell ya, if you want to do this photography tip, tune into the eBay for business podcast.

Doug:

A teaser!

Liz:

A teaser.

Doug:

All right. So tune in next week for Liz’s photography tips.

Liz:

Yesterday.

Doug:

Was it? Well you recorded it, but they’ll air it.

Liz:

Yesterday. Because this airs Wednesdays so it will come out on Tuesday.

Doug:

Oh yeah. Liz thought I was going to be like, “You know Liz, in podcasting, they record ahead of time and then release it next week.” (Liz is laughing) And then she’s literally saying, “You know, this is ahead of time. So next week will be today.”

Liz:

This is just a little bit of podcasting time travel. Doug, when we get off the air, I’ll kind of explain to you how this whole podcasting gig works.

Doug:

It’s like this. (mysterious music playing) “And in the year 2021, they will discover space travel!”

Liz:

(Laughing) Oh my gosh! Look, for those that don’t know, we record early in the morning. I’m not sure Doug’s quite had enough coffee yet.

Doug:

Liz has her makeup on from last night, everybody.

Liz:

(Laughing) I’m so glad we don’t do this on video!

Doug:

My guy-liner has faded away though.

Liz:

Yeah? Hashtag high kick.

Doug:

That’s right!

Liz:

Doug, speaking of eBay and the eBay for Business Podcast and, well, I guess just eBay in general, I just wanted to throw the eBay for business podcast in there.

Doug:

A little shout out.

Liz:

By the way, your friends said hi. I forgot to tell you that. This week, episode 32.

Doug:

Yes!

Liz:

What are we talking about this week, Doug?

Doug:

Well, I will tell you, Liz, this week is very exciting. There’s a lot of mystery around this topic of VERO. Frankly, if I go out to lunch with you or you me a drink, I don’t want to do some fancy phone thing where I pay you. It’s all connected to my bank. I’ll just give you the cash or I’ll get you next time. I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Liz:

Okay, Doug?

Doug:

Yes?

Liz:

That’s Venmo and not VERO.

Doug:

Oh, never mind.

Liz:

VERO! We’re going to talk about the verified rights owner program, which is a program that eBay runs. And we’re going to talk all about what it is, what VERO does, and not how you pay people on Venmo.

Doug:

Well, thank you for that. I apologize ladies and gentlemen, but you know what, Liz, there’s a lot of mystery (mysterious music) around VERO. No, so anyway, to be serious, I didn’t know much about VERO, even when I worked at eBay. I think even internally there’s a lot of mystery and a lot of people think it’s a certain thing. I didn’t realize that there wasn’t a VERO list. Like there’s no VERO list. It’s not like if you sell this, you’re going to get in trouble. There’s a lot to it. But I think Julian, who heads up the VERO team does a really good job explaining it. And we even in the middle, ladies and gentlemen, we shifted our questioning because we had certain perceptions. Wouldn’t wouldn’t you agree, Liz?

Liz:

Yeah, absolutely. I think it was a great interview and I can’t wait for our listeners to learn all about VERO.

Doug:

But what’s funny is we kept asking him, we were like, “are you sure?” And he’s like, “I’m sure! I run the program.” So if I have this and he’s like, “yes.”

Liz:

Okay, let me realign my question and ask you a different way. He’s like, “The answer is still yes.” (laughing)

Doug:

“Yeah, it’s still the same as I said earlier.” And he did reveal that he had to talk to his mother about a violation and then I revealed my using the term Lego violations. So, you know, that was a big step. Liz, I didn’t want you to find out that way.

Liz:

Yeah. Well I have some VERO stories too, but instead of giving it all away before the interview, let’s go ahead and talk to Julian from eBay.

Doug:

All right, Liz. So let’s get into it. The seller community podcast is brought to you each week by List Perfectly for your enjoyment and listening pleasure. Show notes are always found at listperfectly.com/podcast. And so we’ve got Julian from VERO, and then we have as usual, some fabulous e-commerce news.

Liz:

Let’s get on with the show.

Doug:

All right!

eBay Verified Rights Owner Program (VERO)

Doug:

We’d like to welcome Julien from eBay to the show. Julien, you have the longest title of all time. So please introduce yourself, tell us what you do at eBay, and then tell us what you are here to talk about because we are super excited to have you on the show.

Julien:

Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. My name is Julien Dudouit. I have been with eBay for 15 years, actually 16 next month. I’m a Senior Manager for looking over our relationship with brand owners within all of our programs. We partner with brand owners to make sure that the VERO program works well. I’m sure I’m going to talk a lot about VERO and I’m going to explain more about it.

Doug:

So actually, that’s a great transition. Can you start by explaining to us high level what VERO is?

Julien:

Sure. The VERO program stands for the Verified Rights Owner program. It’s a program we created in 1998. It has more than 97,000 brand owners registered and the purpose of the program is really to have an avenue for brands to report any intellectual property infringement that is happening on the platform.

Liz:

Thank you for joining us. I, as a seller, I’m super excited to get to talk to you and talk about brands and VERO, because there’s just so much misconception or really mystery around what VERO is. And I have a little bit of knowledge kind of about what it is, but really not enough to speak openly and to teach other sellers about it. So, I’m so glad that you could join us now that we kind of understand what VERO is and what your role is. Can you tell us why VERO even exists?

Julien:

Of course. Yeah. So as you know, eBay is a platform for buyers and sellers to meet but there’s a lot happening. We want to make sure that the experience that sellers and buyers have on the platforms is safe and secure. So by having that program brand owners can ensure that there’s no conflicts for example happening there on the platform that can harm buyers. So, we want to make sure that the program reacts quickly and swiftly to make sure we remove those products and avoid a transaction happening. So again making sure that the marketplace is safe for all our community.

Liz:

Thank you. And that kind of does that, and this is kind of coming out. This isn’t anything, but so it’s my understanding that VERO was kind of created because of the DMCA, which is kind of law. So, this is kind of something that eBay has to comply with, right?

Julien:

Correct. The DMCA provides kind of a framework for e-commerce platforms to work from. It’s really what we take notice of and take down. So the owner notifies the ecommerce platform, and the platform needs to take action on that report. So yeah, it is a legal requirement as well.

Liz:

And I should probably clarify, I said DMCA, but it’s the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. So I should probably clarify that. I’m talking like I’m smart, I’m reading off of my notes. Thank you so much for that.

Doug:

So can you explain how VERO works and does eBay just take down listings because a brand is registered as a VERO? What does that process look like?

Julien:

Yeah. So if you are an IP owner and you can be like a very big company, or you can be just yourself that has created either your own brand or your own copyright materials, you can contact the VERO team. Really. We have a team of 45 people across the world that work relentlessly on this program. So we have a form it’s called the NOCI. It stands for Notice of Claimed Infringement. And it’s gonna request like your information about your company, about your IP registrations and everything. After that, we look at those, making sure they are accurate. In that form, there’s also a space for providing the item number or link to the listing, as well as the reason code. The reason codes relate to all types of IP infringement that can happen. So trademark infringement, copyright infringement, pattern design, et cetera. So, the brand owner really needs to provide that reason code, so we know what’s happening, what’s going on with the listing. They also need to sign, it’s actually a legal document. It’s a legal document that is provided to eBay and on reception of that NOCI, we’re gonna review making sure it matches, and, if it does, we take down the listing, we provide notification to the seller explaining what’s going on. Also notification back to the IP owner confirming the actions we’ve taken. We also provide an email address for the seller to contact the brand owner so they can know more about what they’ve done wrong.

Julien:

There’s also different types of tools that we provide to brands. So the reporting is easier and faster. We have what we call the VRTs. Again, we love acronyms, sorry, it stands for VERO Reporting Tools. So it’s an easy one. It’s really kind of an eBay account for brands to have. The system would recognize the account as a brand owner and will display a VERO box at the bottom of the listing where they can submit directly from the platform. We also provide some tools for the brands to educate those sellers. So there is a box where they can provide an explanation about the removal. It’s not mandatory for the brands to use it, but it’s there and it’s very helpful. And it also helps for the brands from a brand perception, I guess it helps them not getting a lot of re-contacts. If the seller understands right away what was wrong, then it’s easier, right? So it’s encouraged.

Liz:

Yeah. So if I have ownership of this particular pen and this, I have it branded, I have it patented, and I looked through eBay and I see Doug.Smith has used my pictures and my wording, and I’m registered. I can contact eBay and say, “Hey, this isn’t fair. This is my intellectual property. Take it down.” Then you would go through those steps. But if I saw Doug Smith has my same exact pen and it’s used, and he’s like, “I’ve had it for three years, it’s a collectible. He used his own pictures. I couldn’t then say, “I don’t want him selling my item, take down eBay.” There is a process that eBay looks at. They don’t just say, “okay” and take it down, right?

Julien:

Exactly. And that’s a big part of my job, working with brand owners, as I say, and educating them. So, the VERO program solely exists for intellectual property infringement. And, again, I educate brands like we educate sellers on what VERO is. I have to do the same with the brands, making sure they understand how the program works and the purpose of it, so they don’t abuse or overreach through the program.

Doug:

And I do have to step in Liz. I hope that you would come to me first before trying to get me in trouble.

Liz:

I mean, it depends on if you’re infringing on my intellectual property.

Doug:

That’s right. So that’s interesting. Julien, can you define intellectual property? So everybody has a working definition.

Julien:

Sure. Well, intellectual property is a very modern word that it’s everything that makes a brand recognizable. And there are different types of IP. I’ve mentioned quickly earlier that we have a trademark. So eBay is a trademark. It’s a brand, it’s recognizable. We have copyrights, so any pictures we take, and that’s where it says, well, for your own pictures on your phone you own the copyright on those because you took them. There are trade secrets… those are the types of IP that exist around the world. eBay has not created them. That’s part of the role. We just work in compliance with the law to make sure that the program helps the brands protect their brands. And when I say brand, it’s also sellers. Sellers, sometimes are creative, creating their own products, their own brand as well, and those can be protected.

Doug:

Now, is there a public VERO list that sellers can go to and take a look at on the site somewhere?

Julien:

No, we don’t have such a list. What we do though is we have a space on our VERO Help pages, that is a space for brand owners to create their own content. It’s called VERO Participant Page Profile. It’s a mouthful, but it’s really a space where brands can provide information about their IP. There’s usually some FAQs, eBay doesn’t control the content of those pages. We do vet the content, making sure it’s related to IP, but the brands are the ones creating the content and those pages are very important because it provides information for the sellers. But it’s not an exhaustive list of all the IP owners we have registered through VERO. Those pages are not mandatory, but brands recognize the benefits of having it because we do provide the link to that page when we remove an item, so the seller can educate themselves. And so, again, it’s very important. I think, when you look at all the VERO removals happening, it’s very small numbers in terms of the volume of transactions happening on eBay. There might be some criminals, and we work with law enforcement on that, obviously, but like the majority is usually people that don’t know any better and that are not familiar with IP law. I mean, before doing the job, I didn’t know what it was, and so I understand that. I even talked to my mom last Summer and like, she wanted to copy and paste a picture, like to use a picture on her listing. I was like, “no, you can’t do that.” A lot of people don’t know the IP laws, and so again, we try to educate as much as we can.

Liz:

Keep Mom out of trouble, Julien.

Doug:

And what’s funny is we have your mom on the line right now! No, I’m kidding.

Julien:

She only speaks French.

Liz:

Oh goodness. And this kind of brings up a question before my next question is there’s or maybe a statement. So there’s a lot of people in the community and sellers and there’s this misconception. “Oh, I saw the list of VERO users, so that means you can’t list that item,” but that’s false, right? Just because Nike’s on the VERO list doesn’t mean you can’t list Nike. I’m calling out Nike. I don’t know if I’m allowed to do that. Let’s just say, a pen company, right. I’m registered. That doesn’t mean that nobody can sell Liz’s Blue Pen. It just means that they can’t use my pictures. They can’t use my descriptions. They can’t use my stuff, but they can still sell them.

Julien:

Of course, you have a right to resell. Again, that’s part of the role. Again, we don’t have such lists and that’s probably why we don’t have such lists publicly available. We don’t want for people to think that. You can list any products you want, as long as you’re doing it in the right way, and you’re not infringing on someone else’s right or the brands right.

Liz:

What are some of the most common VERO violations that sellers encounter?

Julien:

Yeah, so, one that is kind of a criminal offense, sellers need to be very careful with is selling counterfeits.  We also created a program, eBay Authenticate Program. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but it’s a great program. And again, we are trying to help make sure that what’s on eBay is not a counterfeit. So, I’m sure you can have another podcast for that because it’s a big topic on its own.

Liz:

I think we have covered that actually…

Julien:

Yeah, it is sellers’ responsibility to make sure to do that due diligence to make sure it’s a legit product. Other than that, you need to create your own content, like take your own pictures, your own description. Again, you cannot choose a picture of someone else’s without their authorization. Again, coming back to my mom’s example, like an easy one that people do. So take your own picture, it’s going to prevent some removals. If you can, we do have a product catalog available. Make sure the statements in the listing are accurate and correctly describe the product. Don’t use a trademark to describe another product and maybe some examples might, might help a lot. So, for example, you cannot, so produce like a sneaker shoe and saying, oh, it looks just like Converse. You cannot compare a product to a brand if it’s not the brand. So don’t do any comparison with the other brands, and use like the trademark coding. I think sometimes it can be challenging. If I have another example, let’s say you’re sending like a generic Apple cable. If you use the word lightning to describe it, lightning is actually trademarked by Apple. So by saying lightning cable for iPhone, then that would be a trademark infringement. So it’s tricky sometimes, but those are the common things we are seeing a lot.

Liz:

That’s a new one to add to my list. That’s a new one, but again, because I’m in the fashion world, not the electronics world. So if I were around a bunch of electronics people, I’m sure they probably know that.

Julien:

They might, I hope so.

Liz:

If not, they know now!

Doug:

Interesting. So I did a VERO several months back. I had some blocks and I said that they are compatible with Legos. So technically I could get in trouble.

 Doug:

And so if I had received a VERO take down and I thought it wasn’t…

Julien:

What’s happening, you feel that? Yeah.

Doug:

And so what if I think it’s an error? What do I do?

Julien:

So again, we do provide the email address. So in that case it would be Lego. We do provide the email address of the reporter. Obviously they are the ones with the expertise. They know their trademark registrations, they know what’s wrong with their listings. So, we ask the sellers to contact the brand owners, and the brand can contact us in case it was a mistake.

Liz:

What are some things that sellers can do to avoid listing items that could get a VERO strike, like listing practices, best practices? Is there a guideline somewhere that can help sellers?

Julien:

We do explain each and every single type of VERO infringement. So I think that’s a good place to start. Again, if you sell a specific brand you might want to check if they have a VERO particular page, because if they do, they might have information that might be useful for you to create your listing and make sure it’s compliant. But again, I think creating your own content, making sure your product is legit, describing it correctly, usually it’s a good start to not having any VERO issues.

Doug:

You kind of addressed this, but this is a term we hear out there a lot, the “VERO list.” If our brand is on the VERO list, I’m not allowed to list that.

Julien:

Again, there’s no VERO list. And I think, sellers shouldn’t really be afraid of brand owners and VERO in general, really because ultimately the brands are all like the teams within those brand owners, we call it the brand protection teams. They’re here first to make sure that all the products available online are safe and they monitor all the platforms as well. Like it’s not just eBay. There are similar types of VERO programs. VERO is trademarked. The brand’s goal is really making sure there’s no–can you imagine buying the counterfeits? I have actually been working with a brand that was manufacturing condoms, and they are reporting counterfeit condoms. You probably don’t want that. And so they have really like good sentiments behind what they’re doing. They really want to make sure everything is safe for the consumers and also make sure there’s no confusion. When you buy online, sometimes it’s difficult to know who’s behind et cetera. And so if you use their logos or their trademark, like a consumer might think they’re buying directly from the brand, which is not the case. And so again, they’re trying to make sure eBay is a safe place when they use the VERO program. So that VERO list again, doesn’t exist. The list of participants we have again is not an exhaustive list and is just a space for them to provide educational points for the consumers and the sellers.

Liz:

Just for clarification for everybody listening, if, if you have a purse that’s fake, you cannot list it. If you have a purse that looks like another brand, you cannot list it. I mean, you can’t list it anywhere. It’s not an eBay thing. It’s just a law thing.

Julien:

Yeah, selling counterfeits is a criminal offense.

Liz:

So, when you read the VERO policy on eBay it talks about logo misuse. So, if I’m selling Liz’s blue pen, can I take a picture of the logo? Is that what that means? Or does it mean that I can’t take a picture of their logo from their website and feed it into the item?

Julien:

That’s a great question Liz. The logo misuses are really similar to the images. It’s like taking the logo and embedding it into your image without their authorization. But if the logo is on the product itself it’s completely fine. That’s how the product is being sold. And again, once sold, you are allowed to resell the product. So yeah, it doesn’t impact a product with the logo on it. You don’t need to hide it to blur it, that’s not what it is. Logo misuse is about using the logo of a brand to promote your listing without the authorization.

Doug:

If you have an item that is a brand, you own it, it’s used, and you use your own pictures and item description. Can you still get a VERO takedown?

Julien:

Because again, you have the right to resell and you’ve created your own content, you haven’t used any images and any descriptions from the brand owner’s website.

Doug:

And so, yeah, it’s just, like you said, don’t misuse the logo. Don’t go to their website and take pictures. Don’t, you know, reference in your description or your title, another brand, or, you know, cause if you’re selling like Liz’s blue pen, you can say Liz’s blue pen. Cause that’s what it is. And that’s going to help sellers find it. And again, eBay wants people to sell. So, you know, you’re not trying to make it hard, but, and it’s like you said too, a lot of these bigger brands have people that do this because they’re trying to protect their brand.

Julien:

Yeah. And they want to do the right things the brands want to. Again, can you imagine how detrimental it would be if you would be abusing the program? Your reputation would be hurting because the sellers would think like, “oh, well I’m never going to buy that brand again because they keep harassing me” or things like that. So again, the members we have in our program are usually trying to do the right thing. Mistakes happen, like for everything. Right. But, again, we provide that communication channel for the sellers to communicate with the brand and rectify it and the brands can contact us. And we would remove or reinstate listings and make sure everything is back to normal.

Liz:

My last question is really just clarification as a seller. If I sell a brand and I get a VERO takedown, As a seller I’m going to get a letter, an email from eBay saying, “Hey, this goes against VERO policy.” It’s going to tell me why, whether it was counterfeit, I stole a picture and then it’s going to give me the brand contact information. Correct?

Julien:

Right. They would also provide a link to the brand’s page if they have one.

Liz:

Okay. And then I can contact the brand, work it out with the brand and then the brand can contact eBay if there was an error?

Julien:

Yes. And sometimes, you know, depending on the type of infringement as items that are infringing. And so it’s just not possible to re-list, but if it’s a content issue, like you use that picture, then just remove them and take your own. And that might solve the issue too. We do grant back to potential overreach. Like all teams really check the reports. And we also are very careful when we receive feedback from the sellers. So if a seller contacts us and explains that there was an overreach or like the items they bought in the actual shop, so it cannot be counterfeit and so the brand is abusing or overreaching. We do take it very seriously. It’s escalated to me and I’ll reach out to the brand. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it. I like to be sure that what’s being removed is actually infringing. And so that sellers can continue their business and being successful on eBay.

Doug:

Julien, do you have anything to add?

Julien:

I think I’m good. I hope I helped explain the program, the purpose and how it works. It’s a program that helps keep eBay safe for everyone.

Doug:

And we’ll include all the links in the show notes so sellers can get those resources as well, but this has been great. I learned a lot. Liz, did you learn something?

Liz:

I have a better understanding of why, you know, and I think that’s the big thing is, okay. Yeah. This is a legal thing that has to happen and it’s there for our protections as sellers. Sometimes it’s hard for us to grasp at, you know, it’s like, Aw man, or overthink listing stuff.

Julien:

I have to say I actually have participated in our eBay Open events, and met sellers, and I’ve heard like the same feedback and, I’m very grateful, for this avenue and the podcast that you’re doing because we try to educate through our pages but it’s a lot of reading and people don’t have the patience. So yeah, very grateful to have this opportunity to explain a little bit more about the program and that it’s not, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just here to help.

Liz:

Julien, thank you so, so much for taking the time out of your busy day to join us and educate us on eBay’s VERO program.

Julien:

My pleasure. And if there are any follow-up questions feel free to reach out.

Doug:

Sounds good. Thank you. And again, I’m going to get this right. Julien is the Global IP Senior Brand Manager Legal Intellectual Property at eBay because I read it off of LinkedIn. So do you have a short title?

Julien:

Brand Relations Manager?

Doug :

Okay. All right. Well thank you very much. This was great and very valuable to the sellers.

Julien:

My pleasure. And again, thanks for having me.

News

Doug:

All right, that was a great chat Liz, with Julian, from the VERO team, again, cleared up a lot of misconceptions. I learned a lot. I think I’ve probably learned more than you do. I think you know more about VERO than I do, but this came from the digital millennium copyright act. I know a little bit about that from a different perspective, but you know, you did some research on it. Liz tell us about the digital millennium copyright act.

Liz:

VERO, which is the verified rights owner program, came from the digital millennium copyright act of 1998. It is a federal law that is designed to protect copyright holders from online theft. That is, from unlawful reproduction or distribution of their works. The DMCA covers music, movies, texts, and anything that is copyrighted. So, you know, we talked about that. Pictures, text, copying descriptions using your logos.

Doug:

So, and this came about, I know a little bit more of it from like a social media perspective. It came about because when the internet launched, it’s like, ‘Hey, here’s this thing.’ When the worldwide web, when they made it a little more commercialized. The internet had been around for a long time, but when the world wide web launched and people could basically put up whatever they wanted, it was crazy. It was like the wild west, people were doing whatever they wanted, stealing stuff left and right. And then they realized at some point that there had to be some copyright protection

Liz:

You can use stock photos, but A) you have to have permission from the brands, so a lot of wholesalers or resellers that purchase merchandise wholesale, they have permission to use stock photos. And that’s okay. Second, is the eBay catalog, which eBay owns the rights to use those products on behalf of us as sellers. So like a bookseller or a DVD seller, if you scan that UPC and it comes up in the catalog and has a picture by all means, if your item fits that picture and description, you’re allowed to use it.

Doug:

A lot of sellers don’t like this, but if you use eBay and you upload photos, your photos become the property of eBay. eBay can use them because you’re using eBay’s platform. And a lot of sellers don’t like that, but technically you may see other sellers using your photos because they become part of that product catalog. And then obviously eBay gets you traffic. They give you a means to sell online, but a lot of sellers don’t really like that, but that’s part of the deal. I mean, your pictures become property of eBay. Same thing on Facebook. I mean, they can use your pictures if you upload them, you’re using their platform. They can set the rules.

Liz:

So there’s not a set hard list of every single VERO company, but there is a VERO participant profile list, and we’ll link it below. It’s normal. And we’re going to link that VERO list below, and you can kind of click through the tabs, and this is optional. So it says, if you’re a verified rights owner, you may create a profile page. So when we hear a VERO list, it’s not a certified eBay list of all of the participants. It’s VERO participants that have chosen to create a profile on eBay. You yourself can be a verified rights owner of all of your photography, if you want it. It’s a lot of work to go through. And do you want to do that? I mean, that’s totally up to each seller. It depends on how you feel about your pictures and going through the process to get all of your intellectual property covered.

Doug:

eBay wants you to sell. eBay wants you to be successful on the platform. But keep in mind too, eBay also doesn’t want to get sued by a huge brand that comes in and has issues with counterfeit. Or they don’t want to get cracked down on by the government.

Liz:

VERO is the eBay program. Other platforms do have to enforce the DMCA also. When you think about intellectual property, you think about the big brands, you know, protecting their intellectual property. They’re looking at the big players. They’re looking at eBay.

Doug:

And eBay has been around for 26 years.

Liz:

For more information on the verified rights owner program from eBay, we’re going to put a link in the show notes directly to that page. Doug, we have some fun news. I don’t have any doom and gloom news this week!

Doug:

We have Mercari news, which is exciting.

Liz:

And let me tell you, I love Poshmark a little more this week.

Liz:

What?!

Liz:

Yeah, I know! So we’re going to cover Poshmark, Mercari and TikTok in the news this week.

Doug:

All right, well, let’s start with the Mercari news. Liz, Mercari is offering zip payment installments. Sellers are celebrating the addition of zip, especially for higher dollar items. Liz.

Liz:

Yes they are!

Doug:

What’s zip, Liz?.

Liz:

Zip is a payment installment program. So I think that we’ve heard of payment programs like Klarna and affirm. Well zip is another payment installment part of the, buy now pay later model or BNPL. I actually, it was funny, I read this and the same day I listened to a podcast, a really quick in-depth thing about the buy now pay later model and how the younger audience is kind of embracing this, buy now pay later. And what that is, it’s like, you’ll see, like pay later. Like if you want to buy a hundred dollar backpack, you can do four installments of $25. There’s no interest. You don’t have to have a credit card and it’s all digital. You can do it from your phone.

Doug:

It’s kind of like opening up to the mobile payment options, all that. Like people shop differently now ,it’s giving your buyers more options to buy, giving you more options to sell the bigger ticket items. You know, somebody who’s going to want to break up a payment. It’s a good move because it’s going to help you get more sales because it’s opening up more options.

Liz:

So I’m actually happy with Poshmark this week, they have increased the title and description characters. Now the titles are up to 80 characters and the description is now up to 1500 characters, which is a big improvement. Super happy for that. Especially for multichannel sellers that are listing on all the different platforms that have different character titles for the description and title. Just makes cross-posting easier.

Doug:

And it’s going to help you with SEO.

Liz:

Absolutely! Search, SEO, so tip to Poshmark sellers.

Doug:

Smart move!

Liz:

Use as many characters that you can that pertains to your item. There is still time to snag your mega Posh virtual party tickets. This is going to be hosted by Rosslyn, Carla, Leslie, Jasmine. All Instagram family and friends, and it’s sponsored by List Perfectly. It’s going to be Friday, October 8th, at five PST. The tickets are $5 and all of the proceeds, so every last penny of your $5 is going to be donated to the Women Against Abuse charity. So it’s really going to be a day one Posh Fest recap. There’s going to be games, prizes, and more. Prizes include, this is sponsored by List Perfectly, List Perfectly subscriptions, Dymo printers, laptops, Gucci bags, Poshmark shopping credit, and more so be sure, and hey Doug, where can I find more information?

Doug:

In the show notes, Liz!

Liz:

Perfect!

Doug:

Thank you. Anyway, Liz, I’m going to put this out there. We have Seller Community Podcast swag now, that I think we’re going to start giving away on our next live cast that comes up the last week of September. So be sure to tune into that.

Liz:

Join us on Wednesday, September 29th at 4:00 PM PST, and you could be entered to win a List Perfectly subscription and a List Perfectly podcast t-shirt.

Doug:

Yes. From the virtual t-shirt blaster.

Liz:

Yes. Where are we going to be streaming at Doug?

Doug:

We will be on the List Perfectly Facebook group, and then the List Perfectly YouTube channel. And so we want you to come in. We want you to ask us questions and we’re going to recap the month’s episode, and then we’ll take live questions. We’ll do an hour, then we’ll cut it off. We cannot take any more questions. Liz has important things to get to!

Liz:

Like making dinner.

Doug:

That’s right. Any other news, Liz?

Liz:

Doug, tell me about TikTok.

Doug:

(Music playing) You know, it’s no shock that I’m down with the TikTok.

Liz:

You know we’re going to get shut down for copyright infringement. (laughing)

Doug:

Julian don’t tell Spotify! All right, Liz, so there’s all this stuff. TikTok really leaned in e-commerce. They’ve got a conference coming up where they’re going to talk about all their new e-commerce stuff, but this article came out econsultancy.com and we’ll include the link in the show notes. But basically it talks about this ‘TikTok made me buy it’ trend and how the video sharing platform TikTok is starting to have a big influence in fashion, retail. And part of it is that a lot of people are going over there. A lot of sellers are going over there. And we’ve said this before, like, don’t sleep on TikTok. TikTok’s trying to get big brands over there. They’re trying to get small and medium businesses over there. They’re trying to get sellers by offering a lot of e-commerce tools. They’re very aware of their audience.

Liz:

I mean, you remember way back. I don’t even know what episode it was. Probably like 10, we talked about the brown gap hoodie that went viral on TikToK.

Doug:

That’s right!

Liz:

That was part of the #TikTokmademebuyit movement in the earlier days.

Doug:

There you go. Yeah, that got you over there. And this article says, and I quote “fashion content on TikTok tends to be more accessible and ultimately more influential. Hence why fashion videos and the products featured often go viral. Unlike Instagram, where fashion content tends to be highly filtered and aspirational, filters and all that, TikTok is more authentic.” So they’re saying it’s unfiltered reality. The majority of the content is created by regular users. TikTok overall is starting to be seen for more authentic creative expression.

Liz:

Like you said, brands will pick up on something. So there was the Gucci model challenge. Gucci comes out with ad campaigns. Sometimes their aesthetic is a little bit of a hot mess and people were kind of making fun of that, or just layering all these different things. When it came together, Gucci saw the trending hashtag Gucci model challenge, and they got in on it as a brand. Instead of being, I hate that people are making fun of us. They got in on it. They’re like we need to embrace this. And I think that we’re going to see more and more brands doing that if this continues to go. But as a reseller, it’s always cool to know. And this isn’t just fashion. Let me make one thing clear because I was on TikTok last night, searching #TikTokmademebuyit. And I had to sit on my wallet because I almost, cause TikTok almost made me buy it. But there were so many things and I’m sitting there. I’m like, oh my gosh, I think I need this in my life. I had no idea some of this stuff existed.

Doug:

Yeah. And they’re doing stuff like, you know, fashion oriented stuff like live streaming runway shows and events with the bigger brands. But like you said, Liz, it’s more brands need to take advantage of these trends. And the TikTok algorithm is really, really dialed in and you can, you know, you can shift what you’re looking at or shift what you see on that for you page. Because what they want you to do is you’ve got your following tab and your, for you tab. So the for use stuff is stuff they think you’re going to like, and it’s really dialed in based upon what you’re looking at. And they want you to follow stuff. They want you to interact. And then keep in mind too, is like the trending hashtags or the trending stuff. You know, some of it’s stupid, but some of it is really good and brands are getting in on it. Sellers should be getting in on it as well. And you’re going to continue to see more and more ecommerce stuff from TikTok because they understand what’s happening.

Liz:

Yeah. I mean, some of these challenges, again, sellers, if you happen to be on TikTok, make sure that you’re following these trends. Because a lot of times you may see a certain brand start to spike in your store, you know, for sales, and you’re like, I have no idea why this just sold. It’s been, I’ve had it for a year. If you have more of that item, it might be a trend. It may only last three hours or three weeks. If you have these items to list and it’s trending, get on it and list it.

Doug:

And keep in mind too, like, if you’re not a video person, you don’t have to show your face. You can do different stuff. But the point is, is, you know, take a look, see what’s on there, try some stuff out and have fun. It could be a fun way to get your stuff out there and get more notice. Just another way.

Liz:

And make sure to follow Doug or else his feelings will be hurt.

Doug:

Yeah. I actually love TikTok, but I’m terrible at TikTok right now. I started walking Liz’s dog or something.

Liz:

Well you know, another week down, another week Liz didn’t post any TikTok videos. Cause I was too busy watching TikTok videos!

Doug:

Watching the hashtag TikTok made me buy it.

Liz:

And I have a lot of packages arriving today.

Doug:

All right. Oh nice. Well, Liz is there at ColoradoReworn and I’m on there at SnoopDougie and at Albumsthatsavedus. So my music podcast is on there and then I’m on there. Liz is on there. And at listperfectly. List Perfectly is doing some cool stuff featuring sellers. So that’s really good. So check that out and then, ask your kids about TikTok and they’ll be like, “Oh my God, mom, dad don’t get on.” And I will do hashtag high kicks.

Liz:

There you go. Doug, is there any more news this week?

Liz:

I think that is all the news that fits Liz.

Outro

Doug:

Thanks for joining us this week on the Seller Community podcast from List Perfectly.

Liz:

With the super interesting VERO or, verified rights owner topic.

Doug:

If you have follow-up questions, you can post them in the List Perfectly group. And then we can maybe do a follow-up episode. And Julian had said, if there were any questions or anything that we could send them over.

Liz:

Do it fast, and maybe we can answer that on our live cast.

Doug:

Yes! And we also had some news, Liz.

Liz:

We did.

Doug:

Liz, Liz, where can you find us?

Liz:

You can find us at listperfectly.com/podcast. Leave a message or ask a question at anchor.fm/sellercommunitypodcast. You can also email us at podcast@perfectly.com. You can also post a question in the List Perfectly Facebook group, use the hashtag seller community podcast and mention Liz or Doug. You can listen to us anywhere you listen to podcasts and be sure to subscribe. Tell your friends. If you’re listening on Apple, we would be so grateful if you were to leave us a review. On Instagram, you can follow me at ColoradoReworn Doug at Snoop.Dougie. And of course be sure to follow at List Perfectly.

Doug:

So I guess hopefully we will…

Liz and Doug:

See ya next week!