Is it too risky to get rid of the old product this way?

Hi,

About 3 years ago, I had a product that used to be #1 Best seller for a specific niche. The competitor who used to be #1 reported to Amazon that my product infringed on his patent. We both hired lawyers and fought. I lost and Amazon deactivated that listing. I had a ton of inventory of this product left at the warehouse. I quickly developed a new design of the same product with added new features. The new design finally hit the Amazon marketplace last year. The sales have been gradually progressing (but hasn’t reached #1 spot on page 1 yet, that would take some time).

Now I’m finding a way to sell the old inventory (retail value around $10K) that I still have. Here’s what I’m considering doing:

  1. Building a Shoppify website to receive orders just for this product
  2. Put an insert that has Shoppify URL in the package of the new product

I believe this would work because the old product was popular. Some YouTubers even did reviews of this product without my knowledge (I accidentally found their videos later). However this could be a bit risky because Amazon doesn’t like sellers to divert traffic from Amazon even if such product is no longer available on Amazon.

What do you guys think? Is it too risky? If you think so, what other ways should I do to turn the old inventory into money? Please share your thoughts. Thanks.

Changing the selling venue does not change the patent infringement case outcome and opens you up for round two. Not sure this would be the route we would go.

If it contains parts that can be sold as parts, it might be better to liquidate in that manner.

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What were the details of the judgement regarding infringement of the Patent? If you feel the other party was only doing it for Amazon, only you can weigh those risks.
If I were going to violate someone’s rights, I wouldn’t do it where they could catch me doing it on a google search via etsy ebay shopify etc.

Too many variables. I would say liquidate.

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Thanks for your reply. Yes you’re correct but round two is very unlikely to happen because it’s not well known (like Amazon listing). That competitor has to buy my new product to discover the insert and follow the link to Shoppify site. I have limited inventory. By the time that he discovers the insert and Shoppify link, all inventory would be sold out. Done. Also, it’s expensive to start another legal fight. The Shoppify sales volume is nowhere near Amazon. It doesn’t make financial sense to do the round two fight. I’m more worry about having with Amazon because of the insert.

Thanks for the idea. It’s a one piece product. Cannot be sold as parts.

I’m going to guess the far bigger risk is selling one of those on Amazon and having a buyer complain that you are asking them to buy on Shopify.

I had a guy send me a complaint (through Amazon) about my taping two Priority mail ‘shoe boxes’ together for a long item. He said I was cheating the PO by doing that. Let’s just ignore the extra postage for extra weight, OK! There are some serious nut cases out there.

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Thanks for your reply. There was no judgement because we didn’t go through typical courts. That would be too expensive and too slow. Amazon has their own arbitration system. The two parties (me and another seller) have to hire our own lawyer to present our case. Amazon contracts a law firm that specializes in intellectual property. That law firm hears what the lawyers of both parties have to say and make a decision. It’s a faster and cheaper process. Amazon loves it because they have a total control. The losing party pays for law firm that makes a decision on the case. That’s it. My lawyer encouraged me to fight again through regular US court but I declined.

I would like to hear details for this option. If you could kindly elaborate :slight_smile:

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You’ve made an excellent point! I haven’t thought of that. Thank you. Hmm… I have to think twice and factor that in to assess the risk.

It’s getting really scary. I’ve been spending so much time on the New NOT Improved Forum that I am beginning to think like Amazon.

It does help me figure out (kind of) what their reasoning is (when there is any) and let people know they are headed for a cliff. Not many pay attention anyway but I do love some of the Bad Drivers videos on Facebook so watching slow motion account destruction can be fun. :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

May I ask if you are referring to the “APEX” (link, SHC) Program?

I completely stop using Amazon new forum because I don’t want my personal info (store name, etc) to appear in the threads. Frankly this seller ask seller forum is way better. We maintain our anonymity. No risk of getting backlash if we say something bad about Amazon. Even though the number of users here are smaller, the quality is much higher (judging from the answers/replies). There are lots of trolls on Amazon forum e.g. sellers who sell $1K a month but reply to all questions like he’s an expert, etc.

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A lot has changed in the last three years, are you sure your old product would still be popular?

I’m assuming your old product doesn’t expire. Are you trying to liquidate it just to save money? Or is your plan to open a standalone Shopify and then restock as you sell out? I don’t know how Shopify works with selling things when it comes to patent stuff? You might still be opening yourself up to a lawsuit. It might just be best to let it go, take the loss and move on…focusing on your current product line.

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Hi Dog :slight_smile: I’m not sure about the proper name of the program. Amazon kept using the term “Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation” during entire process. Is that the same (or a predecessor) of APEX or SHC?

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Thanks for your reply. Yes my product would still get the job done. I follow the market trend and know this fact.

You’re correct. I only want to sell my existing inventory. I have no plan to manufacture more since my new design (currently selling on Amazon) has a better feature. I’m betting the future on the new design, not the old one.

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“APEX” is ‘Amazonese’ for “Amazon Patent Evaluation Express;” “Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation” was what Amazon initially named the process when it was first rolled out some years back - and your experience would seem to indicate that - @ least, @ the time that you went through the aforementioned dispute - that this earlier nomenclature was still being used internally.

“SHC” is ‘Dogtamerese’ for “Seller Help Content” - I use that acronym to refer to help pages that are specifically targeted to 3P Sellers.

For help pages targeted to 1P Sellers - i.e., members of the Vendor Program - I use the acronym “VHC” for “Vendor Help Content.”

For help pages that are by design targeted mainly to members of the Amazon Buyer Community, I use the acronym “CHC,” for “Customer-facing Help Content” (n.b. = there exists a certain degree of ‘blend-over’ in CHC, as certain provisions found only in those pages also apply to SoA [‘Amazonese’ for “Selling on Amazon” aka 3P Seller aka Seller Central] Accounts as well as to Buyer Accounts).

½ the battle in successfully navigating between the ever-rocky shoals, eddies, currents, and rip tides of the ever-tempestuous waters of The River (‘Forumese’ for Amazon itself) is knowing how to communicate in terms & nomenclatures that members of Amazon’s far-flung & disjointed (read: “siloed”) support infrastructure immediately recognize as their own.

I was a guinea pig and one of the ‘chosen ones’ that were first moved. As a result I was outed immediately and had not been told that would happen.

I asked the screener if he had read ANYTHING that I had written over the years and he said he had. So many poor decisions by Amazon…

I think there were 13 of us which might possibly have some significance in a historic sense.
:smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

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I think you have a better chance at winning MegaMillions then betting on this statement.

If there is $ to be had, a competitor and lawyer will find you and ring you dry

Wow Dog! You know so much. The screen name “Amazonprofessor” would be a better fit for you than “Dogtamer” :slight_smile:

You have a competitor who has demonstrated their willingness to engage an attorney.

You have a product which a neutral evaluation found to infringe.

You are considering taking further actions to sell a product which has been found to infringe.

You are hoping to use stealth to sell this product.

The results of the Amazon evaluation may be entered into evidence in a lawsuit

You should expect to be found out, sued, and to have to pay damages, and when you lose or settle the lawsuit you will pay your competitor’s legal fees.

If you still think it is worth the risks - go to it.

Infringing product should be destroyed if you want the safest course of action.

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Hmm are you sure? :slight_smile: Someone made a video explaining why people are still playing lottery. Part of it is because of marketing. They always showcase winners in a short one minute video for each game. The problem is that they only show the winners. If they were to show the losers in the same one minute video, nobody would live long enough to see all of them in a lifetime for that ONE game. Yeah chances of winning a MegaMillion is super slim. I believe it’s even less than the chance of being struck by a lightning. :slight_smile:

Thanks for reasonable point of views. I need that :slight_smile:

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