SOG Bears Down on Unauthorized Resellers

SOG is combating unauthorized online resellers of its product with legal action. The move is the latest in a years-long attempt on SOG’s part to better regulate its pricing and distribution for knife aficionados.

Unauthorized resellers are a perennial thorn in the side of knife companies. These are usually sellers who operate through online retailer Amazon, which allows third parties to sign up and sell goods through their site. Because Amazon and similar sites are so big and unregulated, it’s easy for these sellers to acquire product from elsewhere and sell it below MAP (Minimum Advertised Price).

Additionally, SOG was running up against the other classic problem knife companies face when it comes to online sales: counterfeits. It’s not always easy to confirm that what they’re buying is an authentic SOG product when shopping online through unauthorized resellers. “These rogue sellers of SOG-labeled product are doing a disservice to the consumer and are damaging the SOG brand by selling possibly counterfeit product and offering none of the warranty and support for which SOG is well-known,” says Chas Fisher, VP of Sales at SOG.

The company has been energetically sending out Cease and Desist letters to the biggest offenders on Amazon, and they tell us the tactics have already yielded dividends. According to SOG, they have reduced the reseller activity by a massive amount; at last count the number of resellers has shrunk from 3000 to just 150. But they don’t intend to stop yet. “We will vigorously explore all available remedies to put these shady resellers out of business in order to safeguard the consumer, support our authorized retailers and protect the SOG brand,” Fisher says.

The move is part of a larger shift on SOG’s part to move away from some of the issues that have arisen in recent years and possibly affected its reputation in the enthusiast sector. To that end, the company also recently terminated its relationship with Wal-Mart and will not be selling anymore product through the big box store.

Knife in Featured Image: SOG Aegis