Press Release

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.

money back guarantee

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."

nothing 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®)

  • SanDisk® does not make a 64GB microSDHC memory card. The microSDHC® standard is limited to a maximum capacity of 32GB, but over 40,000 fake SanDisk®, Kingston®, Samsung® and unbranded Generic microSDHC® cards were sold by test purchase eBay sellers in capacities above 32GB. Data is lost or overwritten when the actual capacity, often far less than the printed capacity, is reached.
  • Vans® does not make iPhone 6 cases – but they are common on eBay.
  • The Lunatik® TakTik® Extreme model case is not made for the Apple iPhone 6®, yet The Counterfeit Report made dozens of purchases of poor quality counterfeit Lunatik® products representing over 160,000 sales to duped eBay consumers.
  • The authentic Skunk2® performance shift knob is only available in a matte titanium finish. The Counterfeit Report reported 1,663 colored fakes listed on eBay in red, neo, blue, green, gold and chrome. And yet, the items remain.
  • This Monster® trademarked Tron T1 Headphone was never produced or sold by Monster Products, yet unsuspecting consumers can be duped out of over $300 for this fake Monster product.
  • Dr. Numb® Over-the-Counter 5% Lidocaine topical pharmaceutical is not manufactured in a 10gr. size. Unsuspecting consumers receive a fake product with unknown ingredients, and an obvious spelling error.

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.

The Dangers
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?

  • Never return the counterfeit item. The seller will deny it is counterfeit, it can easily be recycled and sold to another unsuspecting consumer, it is a violation of US Postal Regulations or Federal Law, and the only evidence for your refund claim.
  • Notify eBay immediately at (866) 540-3229, and open a refund claim under eBay's Money Back Guarantee.
  • If eBay doesn't satisfy your claim, dispute the credit card charge. You have the counterfeit product as proof of your claim and to support the negative feedback you leave for the seller to protect other consumers.
  • Some cases or arbitrary eBay decisions may require more aggressive action.

contact us

The Counterfeit Report®
PO Box 3193
Camarillo, CA 93010

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