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  #1  
Old 09-22-2009
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Default Think I'm in deep trouble...Can anybody help me?

Good evening everybody,

I received this letter this morning, from a trade mark company...

For a stupid mistake I've made about 1 month ago.

I'm now absolutely scared to death - seriously.

I'm certainly regretful of what I've done and have no intention of ever trying it
again - ever. But the thing is how do I get out of this one?

I don't have $1500 lying around....

Sorry I've gone over the attachment limits but I need help....

Thanks everybody...

David
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2009
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I know you are online right now, and probably feeling a sick feeling in your stomach, I would, theyve got your address. You will get alot of replies and if you look there are a stack of threads on this. The US being the harshest laws - and with most forumers being from the US, the concensus still is, ignore completely do not reply and plead complete ignorance, if ever phoned or personally challenged. We will need more info on product and volumes of sales, without identifying yourself of course...its THAT apple product right?
Someone may have bought one or more of your products and complained to them direct, or the company purchased the product, it is unlikely that they have just seen you selling it and applied to ebay for your address, they got your details through a purchase..

Normally they are scare tactics, you have to be personally caught in the act of selling, eg by undercover trading standards etc to really face going to court, in general...
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Last edited by oompaloompa; 09-22-2009 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 09-22-2009
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He has imported x6 items that are being held by Australian Customs. There's been no sales or setup according to that letter he's uploaded.

I gather all your details are you,David?
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Old 09-22-2009
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oh, in that case its even better for you OP, ignore...
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I would suggest mate that you ignore them completely, let customs hold onto the items, and stop using that address for imports for a good 6 months - a year at best.

This is essentially a cease and desist notice, so you should in effect stop importing ANYTHING as customs has it out for you, stop using the name and address that is on that seized item(s) of yours.

Furthermore don't respond to this, play it ignorant. Responding by signing the document, and even paying the fine (dont dont dont) is essentially FULLY ADMITTING LEGALLY THAT YOU ARE GUILTY OF PIRACY/COPYRIGHT VIOLATION. So don't even touch it.

Until you receive a signed LEGAL DOCUMENT with the power of an attorney-at-law with warning, and preface or grounds of elevating the matter to court, you then legally aren't meant to respond to anything.

The fine is essentially to pay them to shutup and get off your back for annoying them (as a result of importing counterfeits/lookalikes, etc.), and if you return sign that letter, its like a legal safety barrier they can bring to court as evidence that acts as a (you promised you wouldn't do it again, as said in this letter - physical form of evidence thing), so don't return send that letter at all!

Unless this was legally BROKERED STOCK, with an letter of credit or similar involved, and an intermediary party (a broker), it really is as what they stated in the letter, an "attempt to import," but they haven't actually caught you in the job red-handed (as in physically receiving the goods. So so far, unless you receive an attorney-at-law signed notice, the company doesn't have solid legal grounds in which to sue you for compensation/damages.

Any other specifics, please feel free to post them, I'll do my best to translate them from a legal point of view.

All the best mate. ^_^
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Thanks guys......I feel much reliefed with your expert advise.
What you guys have said are really what I wanted to hear.
I really thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.

Greenbean/Oompaloompa, I have 6 of them confiscated. Nobody has proof of me physically selling it(unless they apply to ebay of course).

Flipstartdirect - yeah I haven't received the goods because they're now with Aust. Customs waiting to be destroyed. There is no more specifics because that's the whole letter.

But the worse part is, before I receive this letter from App1e's representative, I've received the same letter from Aust. Customs saying pretty much the same thing and demanded me to sign to consent the item to be confiscated. I've already signed it and returned it to Aust. Customs. I take it they're gonna destroyed the goods and I'm OK with that. But will these private representatives apply to customs for a copy of my signed document and use it against me in court? Can they?

Thank you guys so much! I look forward to your replies?
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I kept thinking this afternoon 'How did they work out $1500 for 6 items'????

I wonder if they have a market rate for the fines?
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It's a pro-rata value of the RRP of the (real) item plus extra for their costs.
Pity you did that for Customs. never do that again

Just a hint, from now & forever, never have your home address associated with your business. Make other arrangements.
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you signed it?? bad move, make the best of a bad situation now, you should hear no more about it and it will be destroyed but if anyone writes again ignore it, if they have no proof you have sold any, they cannot do much and must assume you bought for personal use, without knowledge of their status, especially if you are first time offender. Do not now get any vero copy goods sent to you address in future, get a po box, if you want to do it again, but I urge you not to do this same brand, you have come very close to messing up!
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Sure. I will ignore them.

Customs..... a very scary word.....
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Customs have been dealt with regarding this shipment.

Now you play the game differently.
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If you want to import more goods, use a company name, and a PO Box or virtual address. Treat this as a 'real life eBay suspension' - DON'T USE any details that were on or linked to that import/shipment that was seized, such as address, name, phone number, etc (they can call china EMS/DHL/UPS or whatever shipping company your supplier used to request more details such as phone number, etc. (if they have it in for you) - and I'm assuming you just used the standard EMS shipping service; and not a brokered stock deal, because if it is then you're legally 'screwed.' So in your current situation, just ignore any non-legally binding/possibility to hold you accountable for such and such, documents. However from a legal point of view, if you do it again, and they link it back to you (that it was you before, and you again that tried to import more goods of this nature), then you can easily be escalated to court - that letter you return signed is now legally a physical form of evidence, comparable to signing a mortgage agreement or requesting a loan and not paying it back.

:(
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This may be a stupid question - What constitute s 'brokered stock deal'?

Is it the same as going through a customs broker to clear my goods?
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Old 09-22-2009
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I believe it is when someone buys a large quantity of an item to sell to others and give them a better rate. But I could be wrong, I'm not very familiar with that term.
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A brokered deal usually is done with items in the pallet load or shipping container sizes. However it can be done for small quantitys if the net value of the items is reasonably high. I used to do this for real iPhones that I shipped in by the bulk load. Anyway it requires an official customs and trade broker (they need to be licensed in brokering stock - have degrees, qualifications, etc.), lots of paperwork.

I'm assuming this isn't what you did, as it seems you just imported a package through china EMS or an equivalent and customs did a random search (maybe it was packed a bit dodgy), and they uncovered your goods.

However for purely informational reasons, the reason why people do brokered deals is that it is technically the safest way to do a deal with a supplier. You go to a bank of your choosing, and request a 'letter of credit.' This letter of credit is like a contract promising to pay an amount of money, IF TERMS ARE MET and the GOODS ARE SATISFACTORY. This means that when you receive the items you can inspect them, and even start selling them and wait for customer feedback, and only after a certain time period is met, or when you see fit, you can authorise the bank (the intermediary) to pay out the money to the bank account of your supplier. If the goods are bad/dodgy/poor quality/pake, then you; backed by the power of your bank, can legally force the supplier to resend better goods, or close the deal and they don't get any money, and you usually keep the bad/⊗⊗⊗⊗ goods as payment for your time wasted.

Brokered deals are best for those dealing with high-price electronics, (mobile phones, tv's, gps, computers, etc etc...) or bulk loads of a certain item (clothing, dvd's, etc.). It's good for items of an easily scammable nature, (if that makes sense). For instance with clothing you might receive clothing of poor quality; material wears thin, colour fades, awkward cut/sizings, and in other cases you cannot demand a refund? However a brokered deal through the legal power of your broker (he represents you, can demand the supplier send better goods, or close the deal, so it's great for when you are risking a lot of money.

And usually brokered stock doesn't cost that much, as brokers run on commission rates.
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Old 09-23-2009
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Thanks mate.
Yeah nah mine was just 6. Nowhere near enough for a brokered deal.
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