Private Label Rights – Know Your Rights

June 22, 2013

Private Label Rights

questionAbout a year ago I shared a recent, at the time, buying experience of private label rights.

Prompted by a question following another post, and the fact that my observations on this experience are no longer online, I decided to reprint the story here…


I’ve come across a number of discussions recently about the use of private label rights, particularly on the Warrior Forum.

There was a fascinating debate taking place between writers of PLR. It concerned how writers research the topic they intend writing about.

The two sides debated the “rights and wrongs” of research by copying and pasting notes from other articles as a basis for their work.

The forum thread was initiated by Tiffany Dow, a writer who I admire not only for her written work but also for her business ethics.

I like to work with PLR material and this thread had started a couple of days after I had bought a PLR coaching program. This particular coaching topic is evergreen and although I don’t have immediate plans to use it, I bought when the opportunity arose.

So, because of the forum thread and looking through my recently acquired product, any other mention of private label rights was likely to catch my attention.

And so it did.

A sales page then caught my attention and I thought this may stimulate ideas for me to add to my recent purchase (as well as adding to my workload!)

I hit the buy now button and duly acquired personal rights and (pleasant surprise) the private label rights which were being offered as a one time offer. Feeling happy with this other product, especially the PLR, I started to explore the content.

Or I thought it was another product.

Because when I opened the files what did I find?

The very same product that I had bought a week or so previous!

Not a great deal of work had been done to change the “second” product. A sales page had been created (that was no surprise as the original didn’t come with one); the writer’s name was changed but that was about it.

I had two reasons for being annoyed (putting it mildly); one was the price of the product for personal use.

It devalues the product out of all proportion to the content.

Of course, a buyer can charge whatever they want, especially as there was no mention of a recommended price from the original seller.

But even so…

The second reason was that I had just bought PLR to this course at a ridiculously lower price than the original.

After taking a deep breath, I considered more rationally what had happened and a number of questions came to mind.

I searched out my original purchase. No matter how much I looked for it, I could not find the rights to resell PLR.

I could have left it there but…

I contacted the owner of the original product and simply asked for clarification as to whether I could resell PLR to the program.

Within minutes I received a simple answer…”No“.

Pausing for thought, I then proceeded to pass on my findings to him.

He responded by saying “…taking action on this….”.

I’ve no idea what action he intended to take but I wasn’t finished.

The “second” product I had purchased was being sold via Clickbank. I opened a couple of tickets requesting a refund.

As a manager of Support Desks, I’ve had experience of dealing with Clickbank on behalf of customers, but this was a first for me.

In the tickets I provided an explanation for my refund.

There was one last course of action I decided to take.

The “second” product had been sold as a WSO on the Warrior Forum. Although I didn’t know if this particular WSO had broken any of their rules, it had certainly gone against the rights granted by the creator of the product.

So I opened a ticket in the Warrior Forum, providing as much information as I could. I ended the ticket with “What you do with the information is completely up to you“.

I don’t know the outcome of this incident.**

Except that I note the WSO is still being offered although I don’t know whether the OTO of PLR is still on offer..

Maybe the Warrior Forum haven’t completed their investigation (my ticket is still open) or maybe they don’t care.

I received my refund from Clickbank but the incident left a sour taste.

A number of issues are raised with this incident.

The WSO was being promoted by some very respected marketers. I guess they weren’t aware of what was happening and, in all honesty it would be difficult for them to be aware of it.

Although some of these same marketers always advise to try a product, or at least know the owner well, before promoting. Hmmm…they don’t follow their own advice?

It’s also a salutary reminder to always check the rights to products with PLR, MRR or Resale Rights and abide by those rights.


** Update: The upsell (of the PLR) was taken off the market and I’m aware that the WSO is no longer available to purchase.

Let me know your thoughts on the matter and leave a comment below.



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7 Responses to “Private Label Rights – Know Your Rights”

  1. Justine Antoinette Says:

    Yes I’m a big fan of high quality PLR John and it’s a really interesting topic in terms of how you use it. Licensing aside, let’s face it, knowing that PLR is on the table, you never know when you’re going to purchase something twice and a risk for we marketers know about is always present.

    I was however surprised to hear that someone was silly enough to offer a PLR product on the Warrior forum or any of those well known forums – where all of us online marketer hang out.

    I’m actually tossing up a couple of approaches to how I sell mine moving forward at the moment to try and avoid customers feeling duped like you did. One strategy I’m considering using is just selling exactly as it is packaged, so that those who come across this item and may have access to it already will immediately identify it as such. There’s no shame in selling someone elses product and giving it that recognition. This still won’t stop people buying duplicates, but we can only manage what we can.

    I guess those wanting to be recognised as experts in that field feel compelled to rebrand and call it their own. However, I guess this is the point at which you really need to ad some value to make it unique and make it your own to ensure anyone who has already purchased the item will in fact get more value from it and be a happy camper.


    • John Coates Says:

      Hi Justine

      The fact that the product was being sold as a Special Offer goes against WSO rules.

      I would agree that giving away a PLR product without making any changes to it is acceptable, although I prefer to make some alterations.

      But when selling a product, I believe the customer should receive value for their investment and making substantial changes helps achieve that.

      There is always the possibility that, if yours is the second product they purchase, the customer could request a refund. Not good for business financially nor for your reputation.

      Warmest regards



  2. Laurence Says:

    John you certainly brought up some good points.
    There is food for thought. Buying PLR and changing it?
    Putting our name on it and re-selling the same thing as our own.
    Only with a different title. A lot of people buying would be disappointed
    As you were.I have quite a lot of plr??? I also notice on the Internet now, many people are all selling the same thing???

    May your little daughter have a wonderful time


    • John Coates Says:

      Hi Laurence

      We all enjoyed the concert – some very talented young people.

      Warmest regards



  3. Mary Says:

    Thank you John for this article.It is really unbelievable, but also the “sign of the times”.

    I have noticed that there is so much diluted information on all my topics. I started to notice this before I started on line. And within my “niches of passion”, there is quit a bit of wrong information and illegal claims.

    I am not sure what to do about it accept to only buy from thoseI TOTALLY TRUST or make my own.

    Also, I can’t help but rewrite everything I have bought anyway, and just pick out ideas I hadnt thought of.

    It is a lot of work though.

    This article really has saved me a lot of time and trouble with this topic, Thnks!!! Mary


  4. Kay Franklin Says:

    Yes I would expect it to be removed from the WF. It is against their terms for a WSO. Shame on the people who abuse PLR and the WF like this.

    It is always best to change PLR and make it your own. There was an excellent post about what to do with PLR written by Lynn Terry that I hope you wont mind me providing a link to:


    • John Coates Says:

      HI Kay

      They are great ideas on how to use PLR.

      I particularly like the tip on using videos – this completely changes the product beyond recognition.

      Warmest regards



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