Over the past few years, third party sellers have become more and more popular; particularly online. Companies like CoffeeKind and subscription services, which act as a middle man between the roaster and the consumer, have been popping up all over the Internet.
Well, it seems there is yet another addition to this elite group of third party retailers. Late this morning, Heart Coffee Roasters tweeted, “Anyone know about this website Kettled? They are definitely selling our coffee on their website without any permission.”
Then Ritual Coffee sent Heart a reply that revealed some of their coffees were on the site too.
Then things got even crazier when good friend of the Table Todd Goldsworthy, of Klatch Coffee, tweeted their coffee too is on Kettled without any permission!
Yeah—this goes deep y’all. And guess what—it goes even deeper. I decided to do some poking around and found that Kettled is claiming to have an incredible lineup of roasters that they work with; I say “claiming” because, as it turns out, none of the “featured brands” on Kettled’s site have given Kettled permission to feature their brands nor, indeed, are those featured brands working with Kettled.
Heart, Ritual, Klatch, Coava, Bow Truss, Halfwit, Bird Rock, Tandem, Water Avenue, Wild Goose, Barefoot, Blue Bottle, Equator, Sight Glass, FourBarrel, Handsome, Onyx, Torch, Sight Glass…
Kettled is using their logos, images and text from their websites, and even selling their products… without their permissions.
I mean… I think that deserves another GIF, don’t you?
As if that weren’t enough… And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “It can’t possibly get any worse.” Yes. It does.
One roaster forwarded me the shocking email that Kettled’s founder sent them:
Hi ANONYMOUS COFFEE ROASTER,Kettled.com just landed you an order!We think you’re awesome and so we’ve been promoting your brand. At Kettled we don’t bug you until we’ve brought you a customer, and now we have. We know, we’re bold, just like the coffee we drink.We’d love for you to ship this order while we go get you another. We just ask that you ship fresh product via a trackable method and then click the link below to plug in the tracking number. If we provide a great experience we may just have a lifetime customer here!At the end of the month we’ll square up by simply cutting a check for your public price less our 35% commission. Oh, and we’ll add another $5 per line item to cover shipping costs. Think of us as a low maintenance wholesale account with a few decades of e-commerce experience.
If you’ve got questions, just hit reply. Looking forward to extending your brand, one satisfied customer at a time.
Let me break this email down for you: 1) Kettled copies a company’s information, images, and logo from that company’s website and pastes it on their own; 2) Kettled lists a company’s product in their web store; 3) Kettled orders coffee from roaster’s website, but doesn’t pay for it; 4) Kettled sells that coffee to consumers on their own web site; 5) roasters are required to send the coffee to the consumer themselves and Kettled reimburses them for less than the cost of shipping; 6) at the end of each month, Kettled writes a check for what they owe to the roaster with 35% skimmed off the top to serve as their “commission”; 7) and all of this without telling any of the roasters they contacted who or what they were.
I don’t think I need to say this, but this is clearly no way to run a company. Furthermore, in all truthfulness, Kettled could get sued several times over.
A bit of legal advice for the founder of Kettled, when that day probably eventually comes: plead insanity.