The American consumer is being warned that buying a pair of expensive new shoes is more than just a matter of choice.
The rubber stamp has been the source of much frustration and confusion for many customers, with retailers often struggling to supply shoes in their usual size.
So, when the rubber stamp came to the fore, retailers were scrambling to fill orders and to sell as many pairs of shoes as possible.
The problem was, they couldn’t find enough rubber stamps to meet demand, so some stores, like Walmart, began printing more rubber stamps and distributing them to retailers.
This led to a lot of frustration and the company has since been fined $1.5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission.
And now, a group of retailers, including Walmart, is seeking to ban rubber stamping altogether.
In a letter to the FTC on Wednesday, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a trade group for retail giants like Walmart and Home Depot, argues that the use of rubber stamps is a form of counterfeiting.
They argue that using a rubber stamp on the front of a receipt or on a shopping bag is fraudulent and the use violates the FTC’s trademark protection.
The group is not alone in their argument.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also has expressed concerns about the use and the danger of rubber stamp use, and they recently issued a formal warning to retailers, citing a spate of incidents where the company used rubber stamps on shopping bags.
But what is the real problem with rubber stamp shopping bags?
According to the Retail Business Alliance, more than one in four shopping bags sold in the United States in 2017 had a rubber-stamp sticker attached.
The stickers are often a clear plastic that appears to be printed on a paper label.
When the item is placed in a shopping cart, the sticker may be removed and replaced with a different sticker.
This is called a “reversed stamp.”
While the retailers argue that the stickers are not an infringement of trademark, they do have their limitations.
The CPSC says that the practice can be harmful to consumers because it “takes the place of honest and reliable labeling and results in a false impression of the goods, which leads consumers to believe they are buying genuine goods.”
It is also possible that the retailers’ use of the stickers could be confusing.
The retailers argue they are a tool to “ensure the product’s authenticity and prevent confusion between products.”
The RILA, meanwhile, argues the stickers can be used to trick shoppers into buying a product that may not be the one they wanted.
The group says that it has seen a spike in complaints to retailers about customers buying products they later find to be counterfeit, such as a product with a sticker that looks like it was printed by a third party.
The RILG says it has also seen a rise in complaints about people trying to counterfeit the Rubber Stamp Association logo.
The RIAA argues that many consumers don’t realize that the sticker they receive is a product label and are “reluctant to accept the false impression that a product has been modified.”
In a statement, the RIAB says it believes the use is harmful and “could seriously compromise the reputation of the industry.”