Sellers take advantage of Coca Cola’s “share a coke” program, list bottles for sale on eBay with names of celebrities and brands
Last year Coca Cola launched a program where users can upload a name and Coca Cola will print the name on the bottle and ship it to you for $5. While 99% of those using the program did it to print their name or someone else they knew, a few decided to list names of celebrities and brands and sell them on eBay. Some even tricked users as listing the bottles as “Authentic”, as it was a real coke bottle, but it was not a real bottle authorized by the brand.
Take for example this bottle for sale on eBay that had Pink Floyd on it:
Not bad right? You buy for $5 and sell for $45 while tricking people into thinking this is a expensive Pink Floyd item. Well this was not the only bottle he was selling. He was also selling fake Rush Coca Cola bottles with the band name and the members of the band, Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson:
These listings were the most recent. According to eBay sales data, the seller had sold a whole set already. I feel sorry for the buyer who paid $100 for a $5 item. I hope they did not give it as a gift to anyone.
Check out this listing:
See how the listing states “Authentic”. It is true, it is a real coke bottle, however you can clearly see how customers will get tricked into thinking this was a authentic Rush item. These bottles not only infringed on a trademark but also rights of publicity for the band members. Using Coca’s program to infringe on others intellectual property like this is also against the programs terms:
Products also may not include: (a) product names, trademarks, copyrights, or business names (including but not limited to, restaurant names); (b) celebrity names or specific sports teams having trademark protection; (c) major events, landmarks, religious or political phrases; (d) names of schools or institutions; (e) website names/references; or (f) political content.
You can find a couple more examples on eBay. I saw one last month with many other infringing names.
The funny thing on eBay also is that people are selling non-infringing bottles for 3x the price from the Coca Cola website. You can buy a bottle for $5 with the name “Kevin”, and then list it on eBay for $15 and people with buy it.
Want to see a live version? The same seller pictured above has relisted the fake Pink Floyd bottle. See link below: