Investigator’s Perspective – Online Sellers & Drop-Shipping

During a September IP Trademark Communities Panel presented by CSC Global, Tamara Rabenold shared an overview on online sellers and drop-shipping from an investigative perspective. Drop-shipping is an increasingly common practice among online sellers and presents a variety of challenges to brand owners striving to protect consumers from counterfeit products. The presentation covers basic terminology to lay a foundation of understanding, outlines the typical investigative path when a suspicious seller is first identified, reviews a few case studies from her team’s experience in conducting investigations for clients (anonymized), and concludes with some odd and ends observed in this realm.

Vaudra International regularly investigates individual and groups of online sellers on behalf of their clients in efforts to identify potential choke points, landed inventory and other common denominators to further the understanding of the related supplier network. The trajectory of an investigation varies greatly depending on the facts and evidence developed. Ultimately, the strategies employed in the process is driven by what will best support their clients’ overarching brand protection objectives. The team at Vaudra International is appreciative for the opportunity to represent some of the world’s biggest and brightest brands, and strives to add value to their clients’ brand protection initiatives every day.  

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