Online shopping has become quite popular among the Internet-savvy younger generation. While the E-Commerce industry has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, the sale of counterfeit products remains a huge problem for online shoppers. In fact, various surveys have shown that a third of E-Commerce customers are getting fake products.
The recent explosion of sale of counterfeit goods on E-Commerce and social media platforms is nothing short of staggering. Sellers of fake goods have flocked to sites like Facebook and Instagram to peddle their products in huge numbers. The current strategy employed by a huge number of counterfeiters is to use social media as an advertising platform - it’s somewhere they can find potential customers, who are then redirected to E-Commerce stores where sales can be made.
What Kind Of Counterfeits Are Being Sold On E-Commerce
Almost 20 percent of the products sold on E-Commerce websites and apps are counterfeits, and the possibility of spurious products is the highest for perfumes and cosmetics, reveals a survey by LocalCircles.
LocalCircles conducted a survey in which they asked 30,000 respondents about their online shopping experience and whether they had faced the problem of fake goods.
One-fifth of the respondents said they had been delivered fake items. While a small group of people also said that they wouldn't recognize whether the product they received was genuine or fake, reports The Times of India.
When asked about which E-Commerce website ships the maximum percentage of counterfeit goods, 37 percent of respondents said Snapdeal, 22 percent Flipkart, 21 percent Paytm Mall and 20 percent said Amazon. When questioned on product categories with most fakes, 35 percent said fragrances, with a similar result for cosmetics, 22 percent of respondents said sporting goods and 8 percent said bags.
Controversy Of An International Website Selling Counterfeit Products
Cases of counterfeiting are damaging to the original brand’s reputation, which also affects sales. This is especially a big issue for companies dealing with luxury or personal branded goods, collectibles, and art products. They could lose their claim to exclusivity to counterfeiters, which is much more important to them than losing sales.
One such case being of Amazon. The queen of E-Commerce has found it difficult to have a strong grasp on counterfeit products making its way to its site. Even with the supposedly more secure Amazon Prime, fake products have found a way to get the ‘authentic’ mark on them.
In April 2017, Chanel sued 24 Amazon sellers for selling replica items as the brand’s products. The judge awarded Chanel $100,000 in damages for each of the replica counterfeits.
Along with Amazon, AliExpress by AliBaba is considered as the source of the majority of counterfeit products. Advancement in technology has made it easier to generate fake receipts, tags, and authenticity cards used to sell counterfeit products on AliExpress.
About three years ago, AliBaba was slammed with a suit by Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent which claims that the company is doing nothing to curb the display of counterfeit products on its website. Some fake Gucci bags were advertised on AliExpress for between $2-$5, when the original retails from $795 and above.
Controversy Of An Indian Website Selling Counterfeit Products
In December 2017, the US-based footwear brand had filed cases against the E-Commerce marketplace, Flipkart, and four sellers on its platform for allegedly selling its fake products.
Bags, belts, perfumes and cosmetics are the ones that are counterfeited the most[/caption]
Skechers also raided seven warehouses in Delhi and Ahmedabad to recover fake merchandise from sellers Retail Net, Tech Connect, Unichem Logistics, and Marco Wagon, the company said in its petition submitted to the Delhi High Court.
The matter did not stop here and during the middle of all this, offline footwear brand Metro Shoes had dragged Flipkart for allegedly encroaching trademark rights by its private label – Metronaut.
From The IKF Desk
Trying to distinguish between the sale of counterfeit goods on an E-Commerce platform and the authentic product sale from an online ad can be pretty difficult. After all, counterfeiters go the extra mile to ensure they look legit, complete with the original brand’s logo. But here’s how you could differentiate between the two, being a consumer - You can watch out for things like ridiculously discounted price, inaccurate information, unfamiliar designs, unknown factory as place of manufacture, carry out due diligence research and of course, report busted fakes. Nevertheless, staying safe and ensuring the products we purchase are authentic is very crucial, not only for us, but also for the young, the old, and the unborn.