Staying Compliant with your Direct Sales Companies Policies and Procedures
Every so often, we hear from a few users that have received compliance notifications from their companies' compliance department, so I thought it best to consolidate a list of the most common concerns from company compliance departments, and how you can use PopItUp to stay compliant.
Obviously, every company has it's own policies and procedures, and what may be compliant with one company could be blatantly violating policy in another company. So before you go adopting everything that I write here as gospel, make sure that you check with your own company's policies and procedures, chat with your upline or downline, or reach out directly to your companies compliance department.
Trademark and Copyright Infringements
Violation of trademark and copyright is probably the most commonly reported problem that we hear about from our users. Usually, your direct sales company is worried about shoppers getting confused about who offers their products, and if you've ever seen a poorly knocked of Guucci handbag or purchased what you thought were original Nike tennis shoes or Apple electronic devices from eBay, then you'll quickly understand the issue. Your company wants to protect its brand, the quality of the product that the public associates with the brand, and make sure that there is no confusion about where the public can find the product.
The good news is that if you've received this notice from your company, it is usually very easy to fix. Assuming that you've only been warned once, you'll usually just need to change the name, take down the logo, or use the companies approved versions of the logo. Here are a couple of quick resources for making these changes on PopItUp.
Setting up a website or offering items for sale online
Another issue that we hear is violations of the company's online selling policies. For most social selling companies like Perfectly Posh, Paparazzi, or Jamberry, the company actually provides replicated websites for use and is usually okay with you setting up a separate site or promoting your replicated website. In many party planning and direct selling companies such as Senegence International and LuLaRoe, the company discourages or prohibits setting up a separate website to offer their products online without the company's permission but they are usually okay with you selling on your private Facebook profile or in a private Facebook group, where your marketing and distribution opportunities are limited to your personal and social networks, rather than the public at large. Party planning companies usually include this policy because their business models rely heavily on recruiting more sellers and the company fears that enabling and encouraging its current sellers to do online distribution will undermine its ability to recruit new consultants and limit the opportunity for its existing sellers.
For most of our users, becoming compliant with online selling policies is also very simple. PopItUp provides compliance settings for all of your party pages to ensure that these pages are only visible to your personal and social networks and prevents the general public at large from browsing and viewing your inventory online. PopItUp also gives you complete control over whether you use individual claim links for your Facebook Album Sales, and, for those that choose not to use the claim links, provides a Comment Selling feature that allows you to track and manage your inventory on Facebook by syncing the comments on your inventory photos in your Facebook groups directly with your PopItUp inventory records. Here are some helpful links to help you stay compliant with online selling policies, whatever they may be.
Selling below the Minimum Advertised Price
Although we have heard this one, it's really pretty rare. The company's primary concerns, if it's not obvious, is that one seller will gain an unfair advantage by heavily discounting product to become a preferred source for purchasing the company's product and thereby making it difficult for other sellers to make a reasonable profit. For the most part, selling below minimum advertised price (MAP) is usually done when sellers go out of business (GOOB) and they cannot return or resell their existing product on hand to the company or to other sellers. For GOOB sales, it's often very difficult for the company to enforce their policy, because the seller is usually in the process of terminating their reseller agreement anyway.
As a PopItUp user, we give you complete control over the amount that you advertise your products for sale for, and where we auto-populate pricing to save you time, we include only the MAP values and allow you to adjust them for individual business. We recommend that you check out using attributes to track discounts that you may decide to offer, that way you can list the product at MAP and then apply discounts on the customers individual invoice, and avoid breaking policy by mass advertising below the MAP. You can also use PopItUp's loyalty rewards feature to build discounts right into your business model that encourages loyalty and repeat purchases, and you can use our "Open for shopping" feature on PopItUp Party pages to offer flash sales or holiday specials that are permissible in many companies during or after holiday shopping seasons.
If you have any questions, or you need more help after receiving a compliance notification from your company's compliance department, we'd love to hear about it, and we'd be happy to help you set up your account so that you can easily run, track, and promote your business in accordance with your companies policies and procedures. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are from a direct selling or social selling company and you are concerned with your company's sellers using PopItUp, we'd be happy to work together to customize PopItUp's features to ensure compliant use. Just send us an email at email@example.com.