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Hello, newbie here getting started on my venture...happy to have stumbled upon this highly informative forum. I have been lurking for a bit and figured it was time to start asking some questions here to further my research.

Just wondering the process of using logos on, let's just say tshirts for sake of the question. Team sports logos to be specific...(NFL, NHL, etc...) Maybe a stupid question but are these fair game to use or do I need to get license to use them? How do I go about that?

Second part to the question... if I am sourcing through Alibaba, how reliable is the "get quote" feature where you type in what you're looking for and suppliers then respond with quote for their items and all eager to work with you? Are a lot of them scam artists? Or generally pretty legit? Is it ok to request samples and drop shopping or do they get turned off by that?

Look forward to learning as much as I can here before getting off the ground, appreciate the advice in advance!
#copyright #logo #usage
  • Profile picture of the author jmh777
    If you are using them to make a profit, I believe you would need permission.

    For part 2, I think it's pretty close, I bet it's always a little under though, just to make sure you buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author beets79
    One more question.... do I need a business number or any type of legal paperwork to sell online? Or once you find a product, just upload to store and start selling? Sorry...trying to wrap my head around logistics...seems the trickiest part. (aside from finding a niche.)
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  • Profile picture of the author beets79
    No one knows the process of getting licensed logos?
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    • Profile picture of the author LABEShops
      If you are an authorized dealer for a brand, they will have an image release you will need to sign which will give you the ability to use their logos and trademarks (usually will some limitations spelled out in the image release). Some brands are easy to become authorized for, others are not - but all legitimate brands will only do business with legitimate resellers (see info in 3rd paragraph).

      Going thru Alibaba however does NOT make you an authorized dealer for any brand which means you cannot use their logos or trademarks AND you may be liable if you sell counterfeit, non-licensed merchandise which is known to be rampant on Alibaba. Any remainder merchandise you might pick up elsewhere would also have this restriction.

      And yes, you will need tax IDs, occupational licenses, and other legal documents to sell online and to become an authorized reseller for most brands. Check with your local chamber of commerce and they can tell you what is required in your area.
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      Owner of LABEShops.com & 20+ Niche Online Stores as well as Scifispace.com and other sites. Recommended Host: Evolve

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      • Profile picture of the author beets79
        Originally Posted by LABEShops View Post

        If you are an authorized dealer for a brand, they will have an image release you will need to sign which will give you the ability to use their logos and trademarks (usually will some limitations spelled out in the image release). Some brands are easy to become authorized for, others are not - but all legitimate brands will only do business with legitimate resellers (see info in 3rd paragraph).

        Going thru Alibaba however does NOT make you an authorized dealer for any brand which means you cannot use their logos or trademarks AND you may be liable if you sell counterfeit, non-licensed merchandise which is known to be rampant on Alibaba. Any remainder merchandise you might pick up elsewhere would also have this restriction.

        And yes, you will need tax IDs, occupational licenses, and other legal documents to sell online and to become an authorized reseller for most brands. Check with your local chamber of commerce and they can tell you what is required in your area.
        Great info, thanks so much..appreciate it! Might have to reassess my plan now and go with plan B. Just when you think you have a product idea....argh
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  • Profile picture of the author KenW3
    Originally Posted by beets79

    Just wondering the process of using logos on, let's just say tshirts for sake of the question. Team sports logos to be specific...(NFL, NHL, etc...)
    Originally Posted by beets79

    No one knows the process of getting licensed logos?
    You cannot use any logo or brand without permission. A team logo from the NFL or NHL, for example, is a trademark. Each team will have multiple trademarks, word marks, trade names and service marks. They own the rights to this IP (intellectual property) and you cannot use it without permission. There is a royalty paid to the owners of the IP if they approve the use of their property (which typically requires prepayment for the initial runs of product with their IP) from the samples you provide. Most IP owners use brand licensing companies as intermediaries to delegate authorizations and accept payments.

    Sports teams, including all college and many high school teams, use licensing as a way to earn income. You could hire a licensing agent to negotiate the best deals for you, or go direct to each trademark owner and ask them who handles rights to their IP. The largest independent brand licensing company is IMG.com. Professional sports teams are handled through their IMGLicensing.com site, college teams through IMGCollege.com, Golf brands through IMGGolf.com, etc. Reading through their web sites may assist in understanding the process.
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    • Profile picture of the author beets79
      Originally Posted by KenW3 View Post

      You cannot use any logo or brand without permission. A team logo from the NFL or NHL, for example, is a trademark. Each team will have multiple trademarks, word marks, trade names and service marks. They own the rights to this IP (intellectual property) and you cannot use it without permission. There is a royalty paid to the owners of the IP if they approve the use of their property (which typically requires prepayment for the initial runs of product displaying their IP). Most IP owners use brand licensing companies as intermediaries to delegate authorizations and accept payments.

      Sports teams, including all college and many high school teams, use licensing as a way to earn income. You could hire a licensing agent to negotiate the best deals for you, or go direct to each trademark owner and ask them who handles rights to their IP. The largest independent brand licensing company is IMG.com. Sports teams are handled through their IMGLicensing.com site. IMG has brand licensing agents available. Reading through their web sites may assist in understanding the process.
      Fantastic information, thank you..this helps a ton! Wondering if this is more difficult than it's worth.... (if I'd even sell the product I'm about, hmm...)
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by beets79 View Post

    Second part to the question... if I am sourcing through Alibaba, how reliable is the "get quote" feature where you type in what you're looking for and suppliers then respond with quote for their items and all eager to work with you? Are a lot of them scam artists? Or generally pretty legit? Is it ok to request samples and drop shopping or do they get turned off by that?

    Look forward to learning as much as I can here before getting off the ground, appreciate the advice in advance!
    In answer to your question, scammers abound on Alibaba. Have a look at: China’s Consumer Protection Watchdog Reports On Alibaba

    There are safe sites to use instead. I don't publish them online because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than just using a safe site. See: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?

    If you need answers to specific questions about product sourcing and importing, post them here: Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing And Importing For Profit. ― Veteran Importer Here.
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    Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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