eBay Won't Tell Holiday Gift Givers - You Bought a Fake
Deceived consumers never told they received a fake or dangerous product.
December 21, 2016, Los Angeles, CA - Holiday gift givers flocked to the internet in hopes of finding bargains, but that good deal may not be what you think. You may have received a fake from sellers peddling an estimated $1.7 trillion in counterfeit goods to unsuspecting consumers this year. How would you know if you received a fake?
Consumers would expect that eBay will notify them when eBay learns buyers purchased a counterfeit, dangerous or potentially deadly product from their website. eBay even posts the confidence building Money Back Guarantee below on each eBay listing page claiming "Get the item you ordered or get your money back." But in fact, that does not happen.
What happens when buyers receive a counterfeit product from an eBay seller?
Alarmingly, eBay doesn't tell you even when they know the item you received is a fake says The Counterfeit Report®, a popular counterfeit awareness and consumer advocate website.
The Counterfeit Report purchased over 2,000 trademarked name brand products from eBay sellers. All of the items were counterfeit. The Counterfeit Report also identified over 2.5 million counterfeit items on eBay and reported over 1.8 million to eBay for listing removal. The confirmed counterfeits included electronics, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, sporting goods, children's toys and fragrances, and all represented to be covered under eBay's Money Back Guarantee. Over 560,000 counterfeit items were reported already sold to eBay consumers.
Disturbingly, The Counterfeit Report found that if the eBay counterfeit product listings were removed, the buyers viewing their eBay purchase history were misled with the message below for the removed items but were not notified by eBay they may have a fake, be in danger, or eligible for a refund. The counterfeit item purchase on eBay is hidden from the buyer with the eBay statement; "If you've already sent payment, the sale should process as normal and you don't have anything to worry about."
The opposite may be true, and buyers could have a lot to worry about. The purchased item may be a dangerous or deadly product. At a minimum, a refund is due the buyer.
For example, buyers that received the items shown below received an indisputable fake -- these trademarked items don't even exist in the manufacturer's authentic product line.
(Clockwise from left – Photo: The Counterfeit Report®)
Not only does eBay allow counterfeit products to be listed, eBay allows the sellers and listings to remain despite repeat notifications of hundred-of-thousands of confirmed counterfeit items. eBay even sends direct email solicitations to consumers to purchase the fake items.
e-Commerce giant eBay is no stranger to allegations of selling counterfeit goods, not adhering to its own policies or cracking down on counterfeit goods listed on its website. eBay allows the sale of millions of dollars of counterfeit goods to unsuspecting consumers, while collecting transaction fees on each sale.
Companies that facilitate criminal activity and benefit from the proceeds of dishonest actions which impact jobs, consumer safety and public trust create a public perception of deception and impunity. However, reputation damage is only a small part of the problem: counterfeiting costs U.S. manufacturers over $250 billion and US workers over 750,000 jobs, while manufacturer's brand integrity is tarnished or destroyed.
Manufacturers are vocal that not enough is being done to stop counterfeits on e-commerce websites. While individual listings may be identified and removed, they just pop up again with the same sellers in what is best described as a whack-a-mole process. eBay earns over $2 billion in profits and needs to do more than the arguably bare minimum to stop counterfeits on its website with harsh penalties for sellers, aggressive proactive research, and appropriately staffed anti-counterfeiting efforts.
What should you do if you receive an eBay counterfeit?