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Online sellers beware...

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by MarketerRon, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. #1
    The better Business Bureau has created another legal hurdle for online sellers. Your website must be compliant with their online interest-based advertising accountability program. You need to have a disclosure on your pages that notifies site visitors that you will be compensated if they purchase through one of your affiliate links. You should also let your site visitors know that you’re using online behavioral tracking technology. The Better Business Bureau says website publishers need to show this disclosure starting January 1, 2014.
    SEMrush
     
    MarketerRon, Jan 11, 2014 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #2
    I don't sell to individual consumers (my sales activities are B2B), so I never run into the BBB. I think of them as the people who are keeping local florists, realtors, contractors, etc., honest. But I did not believe that they have much impact on online sellers. Are they an important review source online?
     
    jrbiz, Jan 12, 2014 IP
  3. GORF

    GORF Well-Known Member

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    #3
    The BBB has no legal authority to create policies (laws) or enforce them.

    MarketerRon, do you have any links?
     
    GORF, Jan 12, 2014 IP
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  4. sundaybrew

    sundaybrew Numerati

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    #4

    AGREED - .....I have ten million reasons, WHY I refuse to pay the $500 a year to help me with my business........what a joke .......
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
    sundaybrew, Jan 12, 2014 IP
  5. Annea

    Annea Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I have no involvement with BBB, nor do I sell directly to consumers but have the disclaimer and necessary Google behaviour data collection pages on my site, just to be safe. I don't even collect behavioural data but I want to make sure that I'm covered and that I don't forget to add if I do collect that info in future. It seems that you can't have enough of that kind of stuff these days.
     
    Annea, Jan 12, 2014 IP
  6. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #6
    Yes, I realize that they have no legal authority. My question revolves around their influence, if any, on online sales. I assume that the OP believes that they are important to online marketers.
     
    jrbiz, Jan 12, 2014 IP
  7. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #7
    It sounds like I might need to add some verbiage to my Privacy page. Can you provide a link to more information about the "disclaimer" and the other statements that need to be made?
     
    jrbiz, Jan 12, 2014 IP
  8. MarketerRon

    MarketerRon Member

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    #8
    http://mwco.bbb.org/article/BBB-Compliance-Warning-for-Accredited-Businesses-44605
     
    MarketerRon, Jan 13, 2014 IP
  9. GORF

    GORF Well-Known Member

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    #9
    That is not a "legal" hurdle. That is only a requirement to maintain BBB accreditation.

    From that page:
    "Businesses which do not comply with this standard will not be eligible for BBB Accreditation"

    If you even care about the BBB and are a member, then you can follow their rules to be accredited. None of this is law. All they did was make reference to some Canadian laws. The 2 are not the same.
     
    GORF, Jan 13, 2014 IP
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  10. MarketerRon

    MarketerRon Member

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    #10
    Thanks for clearing that up.
     
    MarketerRon, Jan 13, 2014 IP
  11. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #11
    It sounds like you thought that this was a legal requirement? I knew that was not the case when I first posted on this thread because they are not a governmental agency; however, my question was whether anyone thinks that the BBB has much of an influence on online sales? I don't believe so, but was interested to hear comments on that issue.
     
    jrbiz, Jan 14, 2014 IP
  12. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #12
    to be honest, it sounds like a silly rule, same with the uk cookie rule.

    It should for all intents and purposes come up with a warning on your browser that says "some websites might make money from you clicking on their links, and some sites may record and track your activity." (or something along these lines) and you have to press accept in your browser in order to connect to the net.

    That removes the confusion entirely.
     
    matt_62, Jan 14, 2014 IP
  13. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #13
    The Better Business Bureau is a joke. The have no legal powers they are only an outdated business listing agency.
    As long as people give the BBB yearly fees they can get their sticker and use the BBB logo and rip as many people off as they can. All they have to do is “respond” to any complaints and they are considered “resolved” and the “BBB A Rating” will stay.

    The BBB has gone way down hill, their stickers used to be on every business door in the US now days they are fading fast.

    They are probably referring to the law that the US Federal Trade Commission aka FTC that you have to announce on your web page that you have affiliate links.
     
    averyz, Jan 15, 2014 IP
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  14. RobinInTexas

    RobinInTexas Active Member

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    #14
    I don't think they have much impact, but I check their site to see if there are any negative comments about a business or website, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I wouldn't suggest spending the $500 or any $$ for that matter for the membership, but I would try to comply with their ideas about "best practices" unless the cost of compliance was notable and without any benefit.
     
    RobinInTexas, Jan 15, 2014 IP
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  15. MarketerRon

    MarketerRon Member

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    #15
    Treat me kindly, I'm a newbie to online marketing, lol.
     
    MarketerRon, Jan 15, 2014 IP
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  16. BoostSoftware

    BoostSoftware Active Member

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    #16
    This is an important topic. It gave me a little scare for a moment, though. I'm glad someone brought this to our attention.
     
    BoostSoftware, Jan 16, 2014 IP
  17. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #17
    Welcome aboard! I am sure that you will find it to be a fun trip. Technically, I have been doing online marketing since 1996 or so. My first email address was in 1994, I believe. It has changed a bit since I started.
     
    jrbiz, Jan 17, 2014 IP
  18. James G.

    James G. Peon

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    #18
    Here is an article from an attorney explaining the Online Behavioral Advertising in some depth.

    http://disclaimertemplate.com/free-oba-online-behavioral-advertising-disclosure/

    Concerning the BBB; I consider it money well-spent. The sales I get because of it more than pay for the yearly cost.
     
    James G., Feb 22, 2014 IP
  19. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #19
    jrbiz, Feb 23, 2014 IP
  20. James G.

    James G. Peon

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    #20
    First, the BBB is not for everyone. If you are selling eBooks, PDFs, PLR rights cheaper products, etc., and your customers are a younger crowd, it is probably is not all that important. However, if you are a consultant, web designer, sell software, service provider, have an affiliate program or sell more expensive products or services, the BBB membership is worth it in my opinion.

    So it begs the question, how do I know?

    1. I get sent an email every time someone clicks on my BBB logo to check out my business.
    2. AND I ANSWER MY PHONE.

    I answer most of my calls, return calls and talk to my customers every day, and I have done so for the last 13 years on the Internet. So from time-to-time they will tell me why they chose to do business with me, and the BBB plays a part sometimes. At a quick glance, they can see I have an A+ rating without ever a complaint filed against me in 10 years. That means a lot to my customers because of what I sell and the age group they fall in.

    Yes, it’s true; I can only extrapolate and estimate the amount of business I get by having a BBB logo on my websites. But even a conservative estimate tells me it is a good investment. If you are serious about running a successful online business, and your reputation and credibility are important; being a member of the BBB is just one of many ways to help build trust.

    I think the BBB claims an average of 4-5% increase in sales by being a member in good-standing. My opinion is, it probably is closer to 3% for online businesses with off-line having the 4-5%.

    Because I sell attorney-drafted documents to business owners, website owners and law firms, both online and off-line, and it is generally an older group except for the website owners. And I suspect I will get more of a bump from the BBB logo than most websites will.

    ON A SIDE NOTE:
    If I had to choose between having a phone number and physical address posted on my website vs. a BBB Logo, I would choose the phone number and physical address by far. If you can’t afford a BBB membership fine, but not having your phone number and physical address on your website will cost you in the long-run.
     
    James G., Feb 23, 2014 IP
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