Is this legal?

by TheGodfather 12 replies
Hello everybody...

Got sort of a legal question:

Is it legal to publish prices of your competitors on your site (considering that the prices you are publishing are publicly available) in order to give a comparison of your prices with your competitors?

If this isn't legal, is there a way I can demonstrate that my prices are way better then my competitions?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #legal
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    yes of course it is legal, think of all the price comparison websites out there etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGodfather
    thanks, that's all I needed to know... I just don't want my ass getting sued...
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    TheGodfather

    Perception is reality

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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author timpears
      Originally Posted by TheGodfather View Post

      thanks, that's all I needed to know... I just don't want my ass getting sued...
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      One would assume it's legal, but in this forum we don't ever advocate asking for legal advice.
      Big Mike speaks truth. Don't ever take legal advice from untrained and licensed lay people. It is illegal in most countries for them to do so.

      You should be able to pull up the laws covering this from the web. I don't see why it would be illegal, but if you are getting the information from their web sites, they will usually have a copyright notice at the bottom of the pages. So that just might make it illegal. I don't know, as I am not a lawyer. But that is why I have a lawyer on call to answer those questions for me. I don't understand why everyone doesn't have such a lawyer they can call without it costing them $200+ per hour. I pay a small monthly fee for this, and it is money well spent. Everyone should have that available to them. If you want more information on that, let me know and I will give it to you.
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      Tim Pears

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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Maybe things aren't as simple as they seem. Here's something to think about...

    Those price comparison sites often dynamically pull the current price from the websites they compare. If you're using static prices rather than dynamic, I wonder if you could be held liable for misrepresenting them if they change their price and you don't?

    Here's another thought . . . those price comparison sites are not comparing prices to their own products for the purpose of making their products look better than a competitor's product. Might intent have something to do with the legality of it? I don't know, do you?

    Maybe you should seek real legal advice instead of settling for the word of well-meaning strangers on a forum. Just a thought...
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author TheGodfather
    I just wanted to know if anyone had any experiences with such things with their site.
    I would pull the info statically and provide a disclaimer that the information was such on the date I took it on and I would display what date that was...

    Is there any other way to show how different my prices are?

    Except, perhaps saying: XY is WZ% cheaper with us then any of our competitors...
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    TheGodfather

    Perception is reality

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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
      Those price comparison sites often dynamically pull the current price from the websites they compare. If you're using static prices rather than dynamic, I wonder if you could be held liable for misrepresenting them if they change their price and you don't?
      The above is certainly worth considering.

      If you live in the UK and visit any of the big supermarket chains, very often you will find on the shelf price tag for a product a price comparison with a major competitor (or competitors) who sells the exact same product. Obviously they only do this when they have specific information that at the point in time of displaying - they have the lower (or lowest) price!

      Another example are motor car programmes (UK spelling) on the television, where performance and prices of different cars and models are aired.

      So it is probably not illegal in the UK (notwithstanding that you keep regular track of your competitors' pricing in case of variation). I cannot however, speak for other countries.

      Oh - I am not a lawyer - although I have studied consumer, civil and land law throughout my rather long life

      Just my thoughts,

      Jeff.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheGodfather
        Originally Posted by Jeff Henshaw View Post

        The above is certainly worth considering.

        If you live in the UK and visit any of the big supermarket chains, very often you will find on the shelf price tag for a product a price comparison with a major competitor (or competitors) who sells the exact same product. Obviously they only do this when they have specific information that at the point in time of displaying - they have the lower (or lowest) price!

        Another example are motor car programmes (UK spelling) on the television, where performance and prices of different cars and models are aired.

        So it is probably not illegal in the UK (notwithstanding that you keep regular track of your competitors' pricing in case of variation). I cannot however, speak for other countries.

        Oh - I am not a lawyer - although I have studied consumer, civil and land law throughout my rather long life

        Just my thoughts,

        Jeff.

        thank you for your input, this is more of a worldwide project so I plan to get several prices to compare from our world wide competition...

        But I think I'll stick to the part where I can just say that my product/service is XY% cheaper then elsewhere.... this will be enough to filer out any law suit i may get using the other method...
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        TheGodfather

        Perception is reality

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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    The law is WEIRD! Some things HINT at what they are like, or state it in the smallest of print. Companies sometimes compare prices while hiding the names, or other identifying characteristics of those they compare against.

    One has to wonder why. And you can not determine ANYTHING based on the behavior of others. I USED to think the lowest price an item was sold at would be over the cost. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, there ARE loss leaders! And I have seen one company come out with something that violated patents, etc... of another ONLY to find that there is a cross license agreement, they buy from the same supplier, etc....

    SO, I don't know about the legality of comparisons, but I would think twice.

    Apparently, most suppliers of comparisions do *****NOT***** get and provide comparisons! I know, you are saying WTF!?!?!?!?!? It's TRUE! Most are GIVEN price lists, and provide sales ads in comparison format! They are GIVEN the legal right! Any secret prices are withheld. BTW even AMAZON withholds some prices!

    BESIDES, how do YOU know what the price is!?!?!?

    1. It can change on the internet in an instant.
    2. There may be another site where it is cheaper.
    3. It may be a different model or have different accessories.

    At least with the comparison sites they have some control.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    ASK A LAWYER. (who specializes in this kind of thing)

    Why on earth would anybody ask for legal advice in an internet forum?...

    Jay
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    Bare Murkage.........

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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    Seriously I wouldn't worry too much, if you're going to be doing a small time (relatively speaking) affiliate site then it may not be economically viable to consult a lawyer etc. All I shall say is look at the sheer amount of clickbank product sales pages "ivybot" for one example who compare their price to other similar products. If you read their terms etc it mentions nothig about the validity of that data. If they are not concerned and they make hundreds of thousands of dollars selling that product then I wouldn't be too concerned myself about a little price comparison box. I have one on most of my affiliate pages and have never given it a second thought - I just update it regularly etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author ozduc
      Why would anyone bother to even mention competitors in their sales copy or on their websites is beyond me. All you are doing is drawing unwanted attention to them.
      If you start putting up prices with names of your competitors then you may be giving your prospective customers a reason to check out another company they may have never heard of. After checking them out they may see that their price is a bit more than yours, but they may offer a better service than you do.
      I would think it is much better to just concentrate on the positive side of what you have to offer than on the negative side of what someone else is offering.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    Also if we were asking lawyers everytime about small things such as this we would all be thousands in debt before we made any money. Just my view.
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