Monday, May 3, 2010

Two things that don't normally go together: Lawsuits and Polish


So I assume you all know the lawsuit stuff that is happening, but for those that haven't heard yet, I'll sum up what I know:

OPI has sued a number of online retailers for copyright infringement.  What this means is that online retailers, such as TransDesign and 8ty8Beauty were not authorized OPI retailers.  This is illegal.  I couldn't set up Babbling Brooke's Polish Shop and buy a bunch of OPIs really cheap somewhere (where do they get them?) and start selling them for below retail without getting the A-OK from OPI.  There is much more to this, but this is the overall gist of it all.

I'm not really sure where I stand on the issue - lets call me neutral.  I get that OPI is upset - they are a company and they want to protect their brand.  Plus, these online retailers were doing something illegal, so OPI has the right to tell them to stop.  On the other hand, I couldn't afford the collection I currently have without these below-retail online retailers.  Things are even worse for my international buddies; OPI polishes cost an arm and a leg overseas, so online retailers were the only reasonable place to purchase OPI.

TransDesign is liquidating their entire stock of OPI; 8ty8 doesn't even have theirs listed anymore.  There are other online retailers involved, but these are the two that I have shopped with in the past.

I love OPI's polishes - they have great colors and an excellent formula - but I have been a fan of online retailers for a while now.  I just hope they don't take TransDesign and others to the cleaners on this, because I still need a place to get my China Glaze fix!  I am very concerned about how this will affect polishers overseas though :(

ps: J is a lawyer; I'm a polish blogger.  I never thought those two interests would align.

15 comments:

charmed-chick said...

I saw a stall on my local carboot sale and they had a whole range of Opi polish and they were selling it off dead cheap.

Brooke said...

^^ I guess it is easier to prosecute online retails because they are easier to track down?

jaljen said...

OPI in the UK sells at $15.23.
Or in my money - ten quid (£10).

No competition. No offers. No discounts. No promotions. No fun. No chance that I'll buy it.

I have a few OPI which I have bought used or unlabelled and therefore below $15.23!

If I can get them cheap I don't turn my nose up but otherwise.....

http://nailpolishuk.blogspot.com/

Skulda said...

I get my OPI for $7.95/bottle and $7.50/bottle if I buy more than 2.
I am learning more and more about this trouble with Transdesign the more bloggers are posting. I had no idea what TD was doing was illegal, but now it cuts me off from getting China Glaze and other brands I can't normally getmy hands on. :(

Brooke said...

jaljen - I got my OPIs at yardsales for years - for under a dollar each!! $15 is A LOT retail though :(

Skulda - not a bad price!! I assume they aren't allowed to sell China Glaze, but maybe they have an agreement with them? maybe? I have no idea (I'm just hoping they do and will continue to sell China Glaze!)

Rebecca said...

I find OPI really expensive in the UK...I only own 2, which I bought heavily discounted in my hair salon (it's an official retailer, they just had those ones on sale). It's too much otherwise. I have never yet bought from an US e-tailer but I don't know if I will now because of all this.

Velvet said...

All I can say is Wow! This stinks! That would explain why Head 2toe stopped selling the new opi collections about a year ago. It's all about the money!

S said...

Thanks for writing this post. I've been kind of MIA lately and haven't had much time to figure out what is going on with OPI and the online retailers. Now I understand.

Ayuu said...

I didn't know TD was selling OPI without permission. But anyway, I won't be able to buy OPI if I can't find them at that price, as you said, that brand is really expensive here ... Let's say about 18$ T_T

SailorWifey said...

At first I was upset until I found out some more important information about why OPI is doing this...

http://carinaeletoile.com/2010/04/30/opi-update/

In the complaint OPI alleges that TransDesign infringed on their copyright…which TD did.
So, if you ever look at some bottles of OPI, do you notice that it looks like someone’s filed some part of the glass bottle away? That there’s a rough spot on the bottle where it should be smooth? I have and I thought, “WTF was filed away from here?” Now I know!
In the complaint, OPI alleges that TD (as well as other companies) have done that. But here’s where it gets ugly…
The infringement? It’s the pictures we’d see on TD’s website. They (TD) make it sound like they are authorized sellers of OPI. They are not. They have no contract with OPI to sell. So yes, their pictures are an infringement because OPI has no contract with TD, TD can’t get any legit OPI products from OPI. In the complaint, OPI alleges that “Defendants resort to deceptive, fraudulent, and illegal trade practices as well as false pretenses in order to obtain OPI products.”. OPI even has distribution policies and contractual mumbo jumbo on their website under “Anti-Diversion Policy”.
In November 2009, OPI asked TD to stop selling OPI Products on the Internet and to stop using images of OPI on their site (intellectual property).
TD did not comply.
Remember what I said about that filed part of the glass bottle? Well, that filed part of the glass bottle is the OPI Serial Number. That number is crucial to OPI in terms of quality control and detection of fake OPIs. TD knowingly and willfully sold these OPI Products with the missing OPI Serial Numbers.
Why is it important? Because if OPI ever had to do a recall and you had a bottle that was in the recall, how the heck are you to know when there is no serial number on it? Ultimately, OPI doesn’t want lawsuits.
Last, but not least, TD sold OPI products internationally where there was already a distribution setting put in place. So basically, OPI didn’t like TD undermining their distribution set up or their quality control. In TD’s case, it’s a lack of quality control. I can see why OPI would be pissy about it.
After all of this, I wonder if all the bottles I got from VNS and TD are legit OPI colors…hm…
However, sucks to be TD because OPI stated in the complaint they want financial recompense from TD for selling the non-legit OPI. No number was mentioned, but I figure it could be ugly.


Sorry for the long post, but I want everyone to be completely informed :)

♥ SailorWifey

l0verlada said...

I understand why OPI is doing it but I won't be buying anymore OPI polishes. I simply can't afford the $8-9 price tag in stores and I really sympathize with the overseas prices. They also aren't available anywhere within 50 miles from me. Less people will be buying OPI (I can bet a LOT of people can't afford full price or it isn't available) and that means less swatches of their polishes, less "free advertisement" you could say.

ThRiSzHa said...

I understand why OPI is doing that.. most of my OPI are bought in a Local distributor here in Abu Dhabi the price is around 15$ each and most of the polish is not on the latest trend and when I found this TD i saw their cheap price... this is really sad...im just wondering... if TD is not legitimate distributor where the TD get all their OPI?

Kat said...

I understand why OPI is doing this and I think it is the right thing to do. I am kind of upset now that I have already placed an order with transdesign, but I won't do it again. Their site made me think they were legit distributors of nail polish. It's no different than bootleg DVDs, I would never buy those so why would I buy these nail polishes?

Silver Diva said...

Ooh wow! I've been reading about that a lot lately. I can see where OPI is coming from with their claims for copyright infringement, and TD trying to get rid of the serial numbers of the polishes. I'll bet that if TD had asked nicely, maybe OPI would've put together a contract with them? But that may be my own pipe dream.

On the other hand, I think it's also OPI's own fault because:
a) They're not making nail polishes available everywhere, and
b) They're not lowering the prices of their nail polishes to be competitive with Orly and China Glaze, let alone with the drugstore/big box polish companies (although their other brand Nicole is a big-box brand).

I mean, who wants to pay $15 for a nail polish overseas and $8.50 for a nail polish if the brand is equal to its lower-priced counterparts (and in some cases, even worse)? But I've never bought my polishes online; instead I've always bought them at my Regis or another salon that had them.

Nicci said...

How much of a price difference is there if you buy them in a store or online?

 
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