If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(SeattlePI)   Why yes, Trader Joe's does have a problem with you buying its products in America and reselling them for profit at your store in Canada. "This is a little bit David versus Goliath and a little bit Occupy Grocery"   (seattlepi.com) divider line 95
    More: Obvious, Occupy Grocery  
•       •       •

7791 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Aug 2013 at 2:56 PM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



95 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-08-16 02:18:37 PM
I think it's kind of silly that the right of first sale doesn't apply to a can of beans.
 
2013-08-16 02:42:38 PM

dameron: I think it's kind of silly that the right of first sale doesn't apply to a can of beans.


Not a lawyer, but I assume consumer law is different than business law in this regard.  He was essentially treating Trader Joe's as his distributor.  A distributor can ban you from reselling their items.
 
2013-08-16 02:59:27 PM
Then Trader Joe's better take a look at Amazon.com. Double and triple mark up on Trader Joe's food products offered by shady sellers. I wonder how they store those food products before they ship them.

/Amazon will let anyone sell anything at any price anymore. I'm not sure where Amazon.com went but what's there now really sucks.
 
2013-08-16 03:00:18 PM
Uhhh....Wouldn't First Sale Doctrine apply here?  I cannot imagine that they actually have much of a case.
 
2013-08-16 03:01:40 PM

downstairs: dameron: I think it's kind of silly that the right of first sale doesn't apply to a can of beans.

Not a lawyer, but I assume consumer law is different than business law in this regard.  He was essentially treating Trader Joe's as his distributor.  A distributor can ban you from reselling their items.


He was paying retail purchasing as any end-consumer, transporting the goods across an international border at his own cost. That he chose to buy in bulk and re-sell what he bought is very much a first-sale doctrine issue, import duties and regulations aside. If Trader Joe's is really concerned they should open their own store in Canada.
 
2013-08-16 03:02:25 PM
Finally opening here in Austin, Texas.
Sept. 20th, w00t!
Time for some 2 Buck Chuck and some kickass hummus.
 
2013-08-16 03:02:50 PM
Seems like the ideal solution would be buy him out and make Pirate Joe's the first Trader Joe's in Canada.
 
2013-08-16 03:03:54 PM
Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.
 
2013-08-16 03:04:10 PM

"Once, to avoid being recognized, he decided to cross-dress. He was putting on a leopard muumuu, earrings and flowered flip-flops in a Rite-Aid parking lot ..."


media.mtvne.com
wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net


Hey alright, if he gets by, it's his. His all his!
 
2013-08-16 03:04:25 PM

downstairs: dameron: I think it's kind of silly that the right of first sale doesn't apply to a can of beans.

Not a lawyer, but I assume consumer law is different than business law in this regard.  He was essentially treating Trader Joe's as his distributor.  A distributor can ban you from reselling their items.


I would think the difference is that distributors would make you sign a contract before selling to you. This guy has no contract with them, so I don't see how they have any right to stop him.
 
2013-08-16 03:06:03 PM

doubled99: Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.



www.traderjoes.com

It's like cake...but it's two kinds of cheese...gggggaaaaaahhhhhhh
 
2013-08-16 03:08:52 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: doubled99: Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.


[www.traderjoes.com image 408x364]

It's like cake...but it's two kinds of cheese...gggggaaaaaahhhhhhh


i1.ytimg.com
 
2013-08-16 03:09:20 PM
Why would they care as long as he's paying retail? I don't get why you'd put an end to a profitable customer.
 
2013-08-16 03:15:02 PM
If somebody gets food poisoning from some cake cheese that this guy left in the back of his truck for two weeks, and it's in Trader Joe's packaging, guess who gets sued?
 
2013-08-16 03:16:22 PM

DubtodaIll: Why would they care as long as he's paying retail? I don't get why you'd put an end to a profitable customer.


Because if he is not handling it safely he would be damaging there brand if a bunch of people got sick or whatever?
Trader Joe's is ok. I don't get the fanaticism though.
 
2013-08-16 03:16:33 PM
On the one hand, he's paying the price they're asking.  Where do they gain from banning him?  Presumably they're charging prices which allow them to profit, and he's supporting that profit and making some of his own.  On the other hand, stores should have the right to ban customers for any save a small number of reasons, even it it's against the store's own interests.  In other words, it's their right to be stupid.  So, sure, shoot yourselves in the feet.

Maybe they should offer him a franchise, if they have such a thing.
 
2013-08-16 03:19:21 PM
Here it's safeway or trader joe's. On quality and variety grounds, I prefer to give my cash to the Germans.
 
2013-08-16 03:19:22 PM
I think their beef with him is not necessarily the buying and reselling -- hell, they're making their full retail markup on what he buys -- but his treading on the "Trader Joe's" trademark with either "Pirate Joe's" or "Irate Joe's." Using a "* Joe's" mark, particularly if he's not marking over the "Trader Joe's" logos on the packages, comes awfully close to usurping TJ's goodwill.

If his store was just "Fat Guy's Store Full of Stuff" (and especially if he marked out the TJ's logos on the packages," I don't think they'd have any beef with him. He's not competition; he's just a customer.
 
2013-08-16 03:21:32 PM

aimtastic: If somebody gets food poisoning from some cake cheese that this guy left in the back of his truck for two weeks, and it's in Trader Joe's packaging, guess who gets sued?


You can sue anyone for any reason.  Whether a lawyer will take your case, a judge will hear your case, and you will win are entirely separate.
 
2013-08-16 03:21:48 PM
I don't see the problem here. He's paying TJ's the same price that other customers do for the same goods and he's not competing in the same market. He's not taking their products and rebranding them or anything else. Why should TJ's care what he does with them after that? I can kinda sorta see an issue with highly perishable goods, but it's not like someone in BC is going to make a good case that the TJ's-branded milk that got them sick actually came from TJ's. And that's assuming he even buys that stuff, which is unlikely given the conditions he's trying to work in.

This is the sort of thing that happens when you have people from Legal and Marketing running the show, or at least bending the ear of those who do. These farkers have been screwing things up for the past 30+ years. I'm very happy to be in a firm that has no marketing department and our few legal counsel work on contracts or HR.
 
2013-08-16 03:22:05 PM

Maud Dib: Finally opening here in Austin, Texas.
Sept. 20th, w00t!
Time for some 2 Buck Chuck and some kickass hummus.


More like 3 buck Chuck now right?  Yeah I'll still be shopping there
 
2013-08-16 03:22:45 PM
He's pretty much hijacking their brand, which seems kinda douchey to me, but there really isn't dick they can do about it legally.  But...


Pirate Joe's prices
...............................................................Bought ( US).....Sold(Canadian)
Milk chocolate-covered potato chips......$2.99...............$4.99
Organic extra-virgin coconut oil..............$5.99..............$8.99
Lavender dryer bags..............................$3.99...............$5.99
Gluten-free granola, fruit & nut..............$3.49...............$5.99

The solution seems simple enough to me...set up a store nearby and run his ass out of business.
 
2013-08-16 03:23:58 PM

bopis: DubtodaIll: Why would they care as long as he's paying retail? I don't get why you'd put an end to a profitable customer.

Because if he is not handling it safely he would be damaging there brand if a bunch of people got sick or whatever?
Trader Joe's is ok. I don't get the fanaticism though.


Damage their brand in a market in which they aren't present? Because nit-picky lawyering always makes you look good in the eyes of the consumer.
 
2013-08-16 03:24:51 PM

doubled99: Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.


I've shopped there for 15 years, and I worked there for 5.  In fact, I have to be there in 26 minutes.

Concept: Better stuff, lower price, fun.

Compare prices for granola, nuts, cereal, energy bars, organic milk, and cheese.  Half the price of regular supermarkets, 1/4 of Whole Foods or other upscale places.

Compare quality of semi-prepared items (frozen meal kits, sauces): much better stuff - lots less sugar in the tomato sauces, less sodium in the frozen stuff.

And where else are you going to get Bulgarian eggplant spread, soy-and-flax tortilla chips, crab-stuffed flounder, challah, Greek yogurt, and really good Belgian chocolate all in one 6000-8000 sq ft store?
 
2013-08-16 03:25:14 PM
I live in Vermont.
Canadians shop down here because of the price of goods.
I shop in Canada because of the quality of the goods.

I don't mind if they come down here and slum out.
 
2013-08-16 03:25:55 PM

Uzzah: I think their beef with him is not necessarily the buying and reselling -- hell, they're making their full retail markup on what he buys -- but his treading on the "Trader Joe's" trademark with either "Pirate Joe's" or "Irate Joe's." Using a "* Joe's" mark, particularly if he's not marking over the "Trader Joe's" logos on the packages, comes awfully close to usurping TJ's goodwill.

If his store was just "Fat Guy's Store Full of Stuff" (and especially if he marked out the TJ's logos on the packages," I don't think they'd have any beef with him. He's not competition; he's just a customer.


As I understand it, Trader Joe's does not have any sort of presence in Canada.  They have a registered trademark and namesake here in the US.  Can they even go after someone in a different country that they do not even do business in for using a similar name and logo as them?  IANAL, but I think the answer is "NOPE!"
 
2013-08-16 03:26:13 PM

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: He's not taking their products and rebranding them or anything else.


remember that episode when Lucy and Ethyl made "home made" dressing?
 
2013-08-16 03:26:16 PM
I've tried the majority of Trader Joe's products, and let me tell you guys something...

Most of it tastes like shiat.

/especially the frozen pizzas, ugh
 
2013-08-16 03:27:37 PM

doubled99: Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.


The one in my town has been open for maybe 18 months. I went once. Was totally unimpressed and realized that if I want organic and a more reasonable price I'll go to the Wegman's just over the hill. Far better selection and pricing.

In fact, Wegman's put enough pressure on Giant that one of our Giants was just completely redone with a huge organic section as well. Needless to say its cheaper and better variety than Trader Joe's too.

And since I live in the fair Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, no two (four) buck Chuck eliminates the only other reason to go.
 
2013-08-16 03:32:32 PM

FrancoFile: Concept: Better stuff, lower price, fun.


Exactly.  The thing about Trader Joe's for me was not that the stuff was  better than elsewhere, it was that it was better value - e.g. great cheese, low price.  But with the markups at Pirate Joe's, I just don't understand why anyone would shop there.  He doesn't even have most of the good stuff, just the processed, shelf-stable crud.  You'd have to be a real fanatic.
 
2013-08-16 03:34:51 PM

Endive Wombat: As I understand it, Trader Joe's does not have any sort of presence in Canada. They have a registered trademark and namesake here in the US. Can they even go after someone in a different country that they do not even do business in for using a similar name and logo as them? IANAL, but I think the answer is "NOPE!"


I doubt they've just abandoned the trademark there and left it for grabs.  They're too big not to protect potential future opportunities.
 
2013-08-16 03:35:06 PM

thaduke: FrancoFile: Concept: Better stuff, lower price, fun.

Exactly.  The thing about Trader Joe's for me was not that the stuff was  better than elsewhere, it was that it was better value - e.g. great cheese, low price.  But with the markups at Pirate Joe's, I just don't understand why anyone would shop there.   He doesn't even have most of the good stuff, just the processed, shelf-stable crud.  You'd have to be a real fanatic.


Have you ever eaten this?
traderjoes.com

ZOMFGLOLBBQ is it wonderful!!!
 
2013-08-16 03:37:47 PM

ErinPac: Endive Wombat: As I understand it, Trader Joe's does not have any sort of presence in Canada. They have a registered trademark and namesake here in the US. Can they even go after someone in a different country that they do not even do business in for using a similar name and logo as them? IANAL, but I think the answer is "NOPE!"

I doubt they've just abandoned the trademark there and left it for grabs.  They're too big not to protect potential future opportunities.


You're probably right, but at the end of the day, when this is all said and done, First Sale Doctrine applies here.  He is paying the full retail asking price.  Once money changes hands for goods, Trader Joe's has no right to tell him what he can and cannot do with said products...especially in another country.
 
2013-08-16 03:38:10 PM

Endive Wombat: As I understand it, Trader Joe's does not have any sort of presence in Canada.  They have a registered trademark and namesake here in the US.  Can they even go after someone in a different country that they do not even do business in for using a similar name and logo as them?  IANAL, but I think the answer is "NOPE!"


FTFA: Records indicate that Trader Joe's has obtained a Canadian trademark, which it applied for in October 2010.

Now, how you can sue in the US to vindicate a Canadian trademark is beyond me. I'm guessing that because he comes across the border as part of the business operations, so he's subject to personal jurisdiction in the US, but I'm not sure any US court can hear a trademark claim based on Canadian law for infringement that happens in Canada.
 
2013-08-16 03:40:54 PM
I'm wondering if Trader Joe's isn't just protecting their brand? They probably want to move into Canadian markets eventually, so leaving this guy alone is pretty much out of the question. I'm no lawyer, but I'm certain that companies have to protect their brands and/or trademarks. If they don't, it sets a really bad precedent.

/ we have a TJ here in Albuquerque - it's alright for certain things, but the novelty wears off real quick. I'll still brave the crowds for the Christmas ale.
 
2013-08-16 03:47:18 PM

Endive Wombat: thaduke: FrancoFile: Concept: Better stuff, lower price, fun.

Exactly.  The thing about Trader Joe's for me was not that the stuff was  better than elsewhere, it was that it was better value - e.g. great cheese, low price.  But with the markups at Pirate Joe's, I just don't understand why anyone would shop there.   He doesn't even have most of the good stuff, just the processed, shelf-stable crud.  You'd have to be a real fanatic.

Have you ever eaten this?
[traderjoes.com image 216x332]

ZOMFGLOLBBQ is it wonderful!!!


I was about to say if you sell/stock this stuff you can probably make $5000 a month just selling this stuff, alone.
 
2013-08-16 03:48:18 PM

Uzzah: Endive Wombat: As I understand it, Trader Joe's does not have any sort of presence in Canada.  They have a registered trademark and namesake here in the US.  Can they even go after someone in a different country that they do not even do business in for using a similar name and logo as them?  IANAL, but I think the answer is "NOPE!"

FTFA: Records indicate that Trader Joe's has obtained a Canadian trademark, which it applied for in October 2010.

Now, how you can sue in the US to vindicate a Canadian trademark is beyond me. I'm guessing that because he comes across the border as part of the business operations, so he's subject to personal jurisdiction in the US, but I'm not sure any US court can hear a trademark claim based on Canadian law for infringement that happens in Canada.


Maybe this is some kind of a plan to get him to shut down operations because litigation would be so expensive for him???
 
2013-08-16 03:49:48 PM

doubled99: Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.


The bell ringing confuses me too.
 
2013-08-16 03:56:18 PM

thaduke: But with the markups at Pirate Joe's, I just don't understand why anyone would shop there.


It's in Kitsilano -- a rich neighbourhood in Vancouver. Lots of hipsters and vegans and health-conscious types.
 
2013-08-16 03:56:54 PM
Holy Carp... We had a TJ's move in down the street last year. I never knew what I was missing.

Just tried the dried mangoes in chili! WIN!

Chocolate Stout? Yes please.
 
2013-08-16 03:56:56 PM

xoxo: doubled99: Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.

The bell ringing confuses me too.


From the TJ's FAQ:

11. What do the bells mean at my local Trader Joe's?It's a kind of Trader Joe's Morse code. Those blustery PA systems just didn't feel right to us, so we came up with a simple system to communicate - island style. One bell lets our Crew know when to open another register. Two bells mean there are additional questions that need to be answered at the checkout. Three bells call over a manager-type person. Honestly, it's much easier than the ole message in a bottle trick.
 
2013-08-16 03:59:11 PM
Since I live near one, I just made my usual once every 6 months stroll through the store without buying anything. I truly do not even understand the concept of this store.

I've shopped there for 15 years, and I worked there for 5.  In fact, I have to be there in 26 minutes.

Concept: Better stuff, lower price, fun.

Compare prices for granola, nuts, cereal, energy bars, organic milk, and cheese.  Half the price of regular supermarkets, 1/4 of Whole Foods or other upscale places.

Compare quality of semi-prepared items (frozen meal kits, sauces): much better stuff - lots less sugar in the tomato sauces, less sodium in the frozen stuff.

And where else are you going to get Bulgarian eggplant spread, soy-and-flax tortilla chips, crab-stuffed flounder, challah, Greek yogurt, and really good Belgian chocolate all in one 6000-8000 sq ft store?



I've asked dozens of people the question, but yours is the best answer by far, thank you.

I guess I'm just not that into the "organic" thing as I think it's mostly a excuse to jack up prices, but still price angle is solid.

I'm just gonna go ahead and assume the last line is a bit of humor, as that's the kind of stuff I hear jokes made about for TJ's.
 
2013-08-16 04:05:03 PM

Maud Dib: Time for some 2 Buck Chuck and some kickass hummus.


OMG that hummus. Hummus is stupid easy to make with a food processor. But TJ's hummus must have some secret crack like additive that makes it taste so good. I just can't replicate it.

Hmmmmm, I wonder if I charcoal roasted the beans before I ground them..... Hmmmmmm.... (my charcoal roasted salsa has that crack quality.)
 
2013-08-16 04:05:50 PM
From Amazon.com:

ecx.images-amazon.com


Trader Joe's Happy Trekking...Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Chocolate, Cranberries & Cherries...15 oz. bag...Low Sodium...No Gluten

Price 13.95

I'm pretty sure Trader Joe's doesn't sell these 15 ounce bags for $13.95.

I expect Amazon.com to be hearing from Trader Joe's soon.

Interestingly, Amazon.com holds this merchandise for the seller until someone buys it. It's not just Amazon.com allowing a seller to post his offer then make the shipment himself. Amazon is participating in the transaction. If you want to see some more ridiculous markups that Amazon is profiting from, just search for "Trader Joes" on Amazon.com

   http://www.amazon.com/Trader-Joes-Trekking-Almonds-Cranberries-Ch errie s-15/dp/B007MBODVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376683240&sr=8-1&keywords=t rader+joes
 
2013-08-16 04:05:57 PM
Another article mentions he's used their images and trademarks on his website, even uses their shopping bags for his store, keeps Trader Joe's stickers on the cash register, borrows their painting/decoration style, and the store already has complaints of illness from his frozen food's.

They might have to refile in Canada, but the website elements could probably be prosecuted here, and it should be fairly easy for them to show potential damages to the brand.  It appears from their claims that they'd have to show it hurt their reputation in Washington, not necessarily that he was selling there.  They might have some sort of trespassing claim since he obviously knows he is not welcome in any of the stores and disguises himself to return.

I doubt they will just let it go, even if they have to adjust the claims they are making.  He's pretty blatantly using their name and symbols to drive his sales, not just reselling their product.
 
2013-08-16 04:13:11 PM

loaba: I'm wondering if Trader Joe's isn't just protecting their brand? They probably want to move into Canadian markets eventually, so leaving this guy alone is pretty much out of the question. I'm no lawyer, but I'm certain that companies have to protect their brands and/or trademarks. If they don't, it sets a really bad precedent.

/ we have a TJ here in Albuquerque - it's alright for certain things, but the novelty wears off real quick. I'll still brave the crowds for the Christmas ale.


If they actually had a presence in Canada they would probably have a case.  They have zero presence here and zero case.  They can ban him from their stores but I'd be surprised if their court case actually goes anywhere.

And to get around the ban all he has to do is hire someone trustworthy to run across the border once a week and pick up supplies.
 
2013-08-16 04:17:21 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: From Amazon.com:

[ecx.images-amazon.com image 224x300]


Trader Joe's Happy Trekking...Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Chocolate, Cranberries & Cherries...15 oz. bag...Low Sodium...No Gluten

Price 13.95

I'm pretty sure Trader Joe's doesn't sell these 15 ounce bags for $13.95.

I expect Amazon.com to be hearing from Trader Joe's soon.

Interestingly, Amazon.com holds this merchandise for the seller until someone buys it. It's not just Amazon.com allowing a seller to post his offer then make the shipment himself. Amazon is participating in the transaction. If you want to see some more ridiculous markups that Amazon is profiting from, just search for "Trader Joes" on Amazon.com

   http://www.amazon.com/Trader-Joes-Trekking-Almonds-Cranberries-Ch errie s-15/dp/B007MBODVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376683240&sr=8-1&keywords=t rader+joes


Not just Trader Joe's.   I'm pretty sure Amazon is not a authorized seller for Ikea
 
2013-08-16 04:22:38 PM
FTFA: When asked about the lawsuit and plans for Canada,Alison Mochizuki, Trader Joe's director of public relations, said, "Unfortunately, we don't comment on pending litigation."

You do realize that if, as Public Relations Director, you feel that the policy of not commenting on pending litigation is  unfortunate, you're more than welcome to modify the policy so it's not so restrictive.

/word should never have been used in that sentence.
 
2013-08-16 04:26:46 PM

Uzzah: I think their beef with him is not necessarily the buying and reselling -- hell, they're making their full retail markup on what he buys -- but his treading on the "Trader Joe's" trademark with either "Pirate Joe's" or "Irate Joe's." Using a "* Joe's" mark, particularly if he's not marking over the "Trader Joe's" logos on the packages, comes awfully close to usurping TJ's goodwill.

www.penwec.comwww.clipdeals.com


I doubt they're going after him because they're against anyone else using a name like [Something] Joe's.
 
2013-08-16 04:28:16 PM
I want my sodium and gluten, thank you.
 
Displayed 50 of 95 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report