Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Discussing Retailers

Subject: Floodgate Games and Restoration Games - Seriously?!? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
A H
msg tools
I just wanted to say thanks to these two publishers for participating with a distributor/wholesaler who sends out threatening legal documents by certified mail.

Yes, I admit it. I purchased the games you publish through authorized US wholesale channels for resale on the internet. A terrible crime. I was then informed by a different wholesaler (or are they a distributor - or are they a retailer?) that said wholesaler is the only one that can sell these brands on Amazon. Something the authorized US distributor never mentioned.

I reached out to the publishers, repeating the above and asking for permission to sell out my remaining stock. If that wasn't acceptable, I requested a place to send the remaining inventory for a (wholesale) refund. Reasonable, no?

I received no response. Instead, I got a letter from the wholesaler (sometimes distributor, sometimes retailer) along with form letters from Floodgate and Restoration stating this wholesaler has the exclusive right to sell at the retail level on Amazon. Why these companies would make such an agreement I have no idea, but that is for another day.

So, as a warning to other resellers/retailers/hobbyists, if you purchase product from Floodgate or Restoration at the wholesale or retail level and attempt to sell it on Amazon, expect to be served with a cease and desist for such a dishonorable deed.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Powers
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
People send threatening letters all the time, and they frequently are just blowing hot air. Unless you signed something or checked a box saying you agreed to not sell on Amazon, they really have no recourse.

But thanks for the heads up!

Tom
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Boyung
United States
Brookfield
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not seeing the fault here that you are.

1) The distributor you bought from didn't know you wouldn't be allowed to sell on Amazon due to contracts between the publishers and another entity entirely. Why should they or how could they know that?

2) They have a contractual agreement (that likely involved money going between the two organizations) and you asked for permission to get around that agreement - what other response would you expect?

3) You said you received no response. That's not true - those letters WERE a direct response to your query. Not the response you wanted, sure, but it seems pretty clear what their response was.

4) There are lots of other avenues to sell those games - eBay, BGG, your own website, etc. Yes, you may not get as much traffic with those methods, but you will also pay a significantly lower fee than you would to Amazon, so you might make out better with these few games anyways.

Oh, and why they would make such an agreement? That one is easy - money.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Bell
United States
Canal Winchester
Ohio
flag msg tools
The Village Meeple
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hehe Did you sign a contract with them? This Merica baby you can sell as you wish. Now they do have a legal right to not sell to you for whatever reason but you have nothing to do with whatever they have set up with Amazon. How do they know you bought it wholesale? Is it not legal, all be it a bad business choice to buy retail and then sell at that same price? What case are they sighting? Did they send you a copy of the contract they have with Amazon?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
Actually, they claim to have the exclusive right to sell on all marketplace sites. So you can't sell on eBay. You can't sell on BGG marketplace. At least as "New".

Someone dropped the ball on communication, and it wasn't me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Freitas
United States
Spring
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mregamr wrote:
People send threatening letters all the time, and they frequently are just blowing hot air. Unless you signed something or checked a box saying you agreed to not sell on Amazon, they really have no recourse.

But thanks for the heads up!

Tom


Yep if you never signed an agreement stating you would not sell online the company has no legal leg to force you to follow that rule. Except bar you from buying more of their product through those distribution channels.

So if you aren't going to buy more from them anyway might as well finish up.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Sauberer
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tolio wrote:
mregamr wrote:
People send threatening letters all the time, and they frequently are just blowing hot air. Unless you signed something or checked a box saying you agreed to not sell on Amazon, they really have no recourse.

But thanks for the heads up!

Tom


Yep if you never signed an agreement stating you would not sell online the company has no legal leg to force you to follow that rule. Except bar you from buying more of their product through those distribution channels.

So if you aren't going to buy more from them anyway might as well finish up.


IANAL but I think that if they complain to Amazon you could get your Amazon account nuked, so completly ignoring it may not be wise.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Bell
United States
Canal Winchester
Ohio
flag msg tools
The Village Meeple
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What game was it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
A couple of them were Downforce and Sagrada. But I'd assume they'll go after any title published by the two mentioned publishers. That is what the signed form letters state by the owner/president of each company.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Freitas
United States
Spring
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
on what basis? he's a 3rd party seller that has no contract with any company that says he is not allowed to sell online. The company might not like it but they can't force a person to follow random rules.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
bellj39 wrote:
hehe Did you sign a contract with them? This Merica baby you can sell as you wish. Now they do have a legal right to not sell to you for whatever reason but you have nothing to do with whatever they have set up with Amazon. How do they know you bought it wholesale? Is it not legal, all be it a bad business choice to buy retail and then sell at that same price? What case are they sighting? Did they send you a copy of the contract they have with Amazon?


No contact with Amazon. This is an agreement between the publishers and the wholesaler, but not the wholesaler I purchased from (ACD).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
Tolio wrote:
on what basis? he's a 3rd party seller that has no contract with any company that says he is not allowed to sell online. The company might not like it but they can't force a person to follow random rules.



To be fair, they didn't say I couldn't sell online. They said no selling on "online marketplaces". So I assume they don't care if you sell on your own website. But online marketplace sales are exclusive to a specific wholesaler (funny, right?).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Speicher
United States
Potomac Falls
VIRGINIA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bootz wrote:
bellj39 wrote:
hehe Did you sign a contract with them? This Merica baby you can sell as you wish. Now they do have a legal right to not sell to you for whatever reason but you have nothing to do with whatever they have set up with Amazon. How do they know you bought it wholesale? Is it not legal, all be it a bad business choice to buy retail and then sell at that same price? What case are they sighting? Did they send you a copy of the contract they have with Amazon?


No contact with Amazon. This is an agreement between the publishers and the wholesaler, but not the wholesaler I purchased from (ACD).


they're legally allowed to do this, it's becoming a growing trend unfortunately. It's not good for gamers IMO.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
motoyugota wrote:
I'm not seeing the fault here that you are.

1) The distributor you bought from didn't know you wouldn't be allowed to sell on Amazon due to contracts between the publishers and another entity entirely. Why should they or how could they know that?

2) They have a contractual agreement (that likely involved money going between the two organizations) and you asked for permission to get around that agreement - what other response would you expect?

3) You said you received no response. That's not true - those letters WERE a direct response to your query. Not the response you wanted, sure, but it seems pretty clear what their response was.

4) There are lots of other avenues to sell those games - eBay, BGG, your own website, etc. Yes, you may not get as much traffic with those methods, but you will also pay a significantly lower fee than you would to Amazon, so you might make out better with these few games anyways.

Oh, and why they would make such an agreement? That one is easy - money.


1) Because that is one of the first things discussed between publisher/manufacturer and authorized distributor? Try and buy Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards from an authorized distributor if you don't have a B&M store. Can't do it.

2)I expected some kind of response. Not silence.

3)It is true - I received no response from the publishers. Those form letters were presented to me, and other Amazon sellers, via the Amazon communications email system. AFTER receiving the threats from the wholesaler and copies of the form letters, I asked for permission to sell my remaining stock or get a refund. Yep, no response...

4)Like I quoted earlier, the cease and desist says no online marketplace selling, not just Amazon marketplace.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Strait
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
A competing seller has sent threatening letters stating that they have exclusive rights to sell in a specific (in this case online) territory.

1. Rather than seek permission to sell from the publisher, try simply asking the publisher "Can you confirm that these documents are legitimate?" Asking them to violate a contract they have with another party is an immediate nonstarter, but conducting due diligence to ensure the letters aren't faked is reasonable. You're more likely to get a response with a more narrow request (and stay frosty, whatever happens).

2. Do what you can to determine if the channel you purchased through knew, and failed to disclose, any resale restrictions (or inaccurately portrayed their products as being free of such restrictions). This might give you some leverage in seeking a refund or other settlement with the seller you used. This can also be tricky to prove - don't spend too much time on it. (The company that sent you the C&D might be willing to assist, if that bridge hasn't already been burned; obviously, they don't want more competitors like you popping up because of a bad actor upstream.)

3. I'm assuming you're sitting on a few thousand dollars of product and are a private individual (i.e., not using an LLC or other company for your reselling). Honestly, just write it off or find other, less lucrative channels to sell through (or risk getting your account nuked, if you're not really in the Amazon reselling business anyway). It's either that or lawyering up, which ain't cheap.

EDIT: Also, note that the only person worth pursuing for a refund is the entity you had direct business with. No one else has any responsibility or obligation to "make right" the transaction you had with that entity. At best, the publishers can confirm that they made the wholesaler aware of current resale restrictions, which can be useful in pursuing a material failure to disclose against the wholesaler you purchased from.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bootz wrote:
Actually, they claim to have the exclusive right to sell on all marketplace sites. So you can't sell on eBay. You can't sell on BGG marketplace. At least as "New".

Someone dropped the ball on communication, and it wasn't me.


So maybe sale as '"Used" but unopened and in original shrink wrap'
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C M
msg tools
mbmb
Baring any contractual obligations you have signed, the only company who gets to decide what you are allowed to sell on Amazon is Amazon. The publishers can try to limit your access to buying more games, but while the end result may effect you that's between them and their wholesalers. If you want to clear out the games and not worry about buying from them in the future then Amazon is the company you'd want to check with about whether it's ok to have your listing.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
Yeah I'm not too worried about the Amazon side of things - I have a pretty good relationship with them. It is just incredibly bad form on all those involved in the way they addressed this issue.

It would be one thing if I was doing arbitrage or something else. But I did everything by the book and for that I get threatened with a lawsuit.

I get why this wholesaler is doing it - they want to eat up all those tasty Amazon sales. And with zero competition they can charge MSRP or higher. But they are a wholesaler, that's just messed up.

I understand small publishers have limited resources and they need to make money, but giving all the Amazon retail sales to a single seller is not good for the industry in my opinion.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Bingle
United States
ORLANDO
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not a lawyer and have never even taken a law class, but I always thought that a contract between two parties (seemingly in this case the publisher and their "chosen online marketplace wholesaler") aren't enforceable on unrelated third parties (you and Amazon).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C M
msg tools
mbmb
bingle wrote:
I'm not a lawyer and have never even taken a law class, but I always thought that a contract between two parties (seemingly in this case the publisher and their "chosen online marketplace wholesaler") aren't enforceable on unrelated third parties (you and Amazon).


The publisher has two ways of enforcing this sort of agreement, both of them indirect. The main one is withholding product in the future, that's the most common. Basically keeping a list of anyone who does something they don't like and then telling all of their distributors not to provide product to those people. The other is contacting Amazon and setting up an authorized marketplace seller program like Asmodee just introduced. To do that though you have to convince Amazon.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Bingle
United States
ORLANDO
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Exactly. So in this case the cease and desist notices that the publishers and other wholesaler sent are meaningless (again IANAL).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim McMahon
United States
West Springfield
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Lookee what he can do! He wants a job!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm confused; I just looked up,Sagrada on Amazon, and it is being sold by thirteen different entities.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jimmcmahon wrote:
I'm confused; I just looked up,Sagrada on Amazon, and it is being sold by thirteen different entities.


Yeah, I saw the same thing. But I did notice they're all being sold at MSRP or more.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave J
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Can you start your own website and sell your games?

I'm sorry I still don't see what the multiple threads and complaints about this topic are. The end result is Amazon rolling back who can sell through their own website. 3rd party sellers have gotten to big and it's no longer a "market place" type swap meet. Why should Amazon foot the bill for competing full functionally business to operate on their dime.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A H
msg tools
jimmcmahon wrote:
I'm confused; I just looked up,Sagrada on Amazon, and it is being sold by thirteen different entities.


Yep, and based on the actions of the wholesaler/distributor/retailer, I'm sure each one of them received similar cease and desist notices that I did.

I just wanted to provide background to other sellers, and make it known that publishers are making deals with this company to push all retail sales on Amazon to this wholesaler.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.