Whether you're a sports fan or not, you probably have an inkling of the sheer market size of the sports industry. Sports merchandise alone, that is.
According to Grand View Research, the global licensed sports merchandise market was valued at 33.48 billion in 2022. This has led several entrepreneurs and small businesses to dive deep into selling sports memorabilia on third-party sites.
This article will review aspects of selling NFL items on eBay and examine some items that can be sold on the site.
What Is eBay?
If you're unfamiliar with eBay, it's a website that hosts sellers and buyers of all kinds.
On eBay, you can sell and buy basically anything from army memorabilia to toys and figurines from the 80s. Think of it as an online attic.
So Can You Sell NFL Items On eBay?
Yes and no.
In 2016, The NFL passed a rule that banned the sale of NFL items on third-party sites such as eBay, Buy.com, and Amazon marketplace.
This was probably an effort to curb the sale of counterfeit goods; however, despite the ban on the sale of their products online, they left a loophole of some sort.
If a merchant is to sell their products on their own e-commerce site on a site like Shopify, and they own the URL. For example, they could still sell the products.
Additionally, this typically wouldn't extend to products you already own and wish to resell (due to the “first sale doctrine”).
Does this also include licensed items?
This rule encompasses all licensed items. If you were thinking of selling unlicensed items, not only would you be in legal trouble if the League found out, but the sale of such products is prohibited.
Do I Need a License To Sell NFL Items Online?
This is a question that many retailers have.
The NFL is a copyrighted/trademarked company; most of its intellectual property and otherwise falls under the parameters mentioned earlier.
Many sellers know that companies such as the NLF and Disney don't take too kindly to people using their property without permission, especially when it's for profit.
In this case, however, as a retailer, you usually purchase products from a licensed distributor. I.e., someone who the NFL has already licensed. You don't need a license to sell the products in such a case.
*When will you need a license?
Some instances that may require you to acquire a license are when you want to be a distributor /make items for the NFL.
The rules and guidelines for that rule can be found here.
However, If you plan on selling NFL items on your own e-commerce site, which is what the League prefers, you need to know the following rules/guidelines according to e-commerce bytes.
As a website owner, you can sell NFL products on your website, but only if your website complies with NFL guidelines.
- All NFL products must have an image of the product, and the product description must indicate who the product is manufactured by. This means the distributor must appear in one of these locations; manufacturer field, title, descriptions, or bullet points.
- Your site must be completely devoid of any non-licensed products that are being represented as NFL merchandise. Any counterfeit items present on your site disqualifies you from being able to sell licensed NFL products on your site.
- You cannot have any NFL logos or team logos present on your site that are not part of an image of the product without express permission from the NFL.
- You cannot have any images or verbiage on your website that indicates that you are an official representative or distributor for the NFL without the express permission of the League.
- You can use 3rd party sites, like Amazon.com or Google Merchants, to advertise our NFL products as long as the final transaction occurs on a URL you have sole ownership of.
What Type Of NFL Products Can You Sell On Your Site?
The types of products you can sell vary from jerseys to sweatpants and t-shirts. Your only limit is your imagination. As long as it's legal and poses no harm to the community, you are free to sell the products.
Creating Your Website To Sell NFL Items
Benefits of having your website
The benefits of selling NFL licenses are many. From brand recognition to being able to interact with your customers, however you want.
Here are some pros of starting your own business over using a third-party site.
1. Increased Exposure – By having your own website, you are able to connect to a much broader demographic than if you were selling just on eBay. You can also use other online marketing strategies like SEO and PPC campaigns to drive more people to your website.
2. Brand Recognition – Having a standalone website will allow you to build your brand recognition and reputation and enhance customer loyalty towards your business.
3. Design Flexibility – You can design a website however you like and add any features you may need to better serve your customers. With a third-party website, you have to work with what you're given.
Understanding the E-Commerce Platforms Available,
There are several platforms available. Deciding which one you will go for will depend on your business needs.
- Shopify – is an e-commerce site that gives you all the tools you will need to start and maintain a successful online store, such as website management, payment processing, inventory tracking, and more.
- WooCommerce – WooCommerce is a plugin that turns your WordPress website into an e-commerce store. It offers various customizable features and integration with third-party services like PayPal and Stripe.
- BigCommerce – BigCommerce is another platform that can be used to create an online store, providing everything from marketing tools to payment processing options.
Designing Your Site to Sell NFL Items
After choosing which platform to host your store, now is the time to start designing. You will need to:
- Choose a Theme – When creating your website, choosing a theme that complements the type of products you are selling and your store's overall look and feel is important.
- Add Visual Elements – Utilize visuals to draw attention to your products and create a more visually appealing website. Add product photos, videos, infographics, and other visuals that will help bring your NFL items to life.
- Streamline Navigation – Ensure customers can easily navigate your store by adding visual cues and making the checkout process simple and intuitive.
The next step is establishing a Shipping Method for the NFL Items.
1. Choosing a Carrier – Decide which carrier you will use to ship your NFL items, such as USPS or UPS. Research the options available and determine which best meets your needs and budget.
2. Calculating Costs – Calculate the cost of shipping each item and include this information in the product listing. This will help your customers know exactly what they are paying for when they buy an item from your store.
3. Tracking Orders – Use a tracking system to track orders and ensure customers receive their packages on time. In addition, a tracking system can be utilized to help prevent losses, such as lost or stolen packages.
Considerations before you can start selling on eBay.
When selling NFL products on eBay, it is important to research your market before listing any items. Ensure your prices are competitive with other sellers and offer discounts for bundles or bulk purchases.
It is also advisable to use high-quality photographs to display the merchandise, as well as add accurate descriptions so potential buyers know exactly what they're getting before making a purchase. The bigger the picture, the better the product will perform, as such images help the consumer see what the product can look like on them.
A good description is also important.
The description should explain the features, no matter how mundane the product seems. A good description can help you make more sales.
Promote Specials On-site
many online stores utilize on-site marketing to incentivize shoppers. This can include offering free shipping and ensuring that all pages on the website show the same.
Ensuring your store is optimized for mobile phones – according to YouGov, 45 % of global shoppers use their phones to shop.
If your site doesn't give your customers a pleasant experience, they are less likely to want to purchase.
Ensure your site has a search bar
When you look at big e-commerce stores, they utilize a search bar. Customers will find it easier to search through your catalog as a result of this strategy.
Before listing an item on eBay, ensure it meets all requirements for safely shipping and storing NFL merchandise.
In addition, you should have a clear return policy in place in case of any concerns. This will help protect both you and the buyer from any legal issues that could arise from using counterfeit products or not following current safety regulations.
Overall, selling NFL items online can be a great way to supplement your income.
Just make sure you do your research, understand the regulations and policies that the League has in place, and offer quality products. Good luck!