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Boosting Trust and Prices with Tech-based Authentication Service

Online sellers who offer designer goods can increase sales and the selling prices of those items by increasing trust. We take a look at a paid service called Entrupy developed by a group of technologists and PhDs that lets sellers authenticate luxury items. It differs from eBay Authenticate, which launched last month, in that sellers retain control over the listing and pricing of their items.

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Big names like eBay and Amazon find counterfeit goods an endless challenge to their business models, as customers fear paying big prices for knockoffs of luxury brands. However, Vidyuth Srinivasan, CEO and co-founder of Entrupy, suggests his firm has a smart way to thwart counterfeit sales.

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Entrupy’s service enables the scanning of a physical good, like a handbag, with its proprietary scanner and passes that scan along to the firm’s database. There the AI authentication determines if the item passes muster as a legitimate brand’s item.

“Our AI-powered technology is currently 98.5 percent accurate, and that number is only improving,” Srinivasan said. “Thanks to machine learning technology, our algorithms are always getting better, building a more robust database of what makes a product authentic, and even more importantly, what details mark a counterfeit.”

Entrupy currently authenticates select Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Céline, Goyard, Dior, Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, Balenciaga and Prada styles, as noted on their site. “We work strictly with physical goods and thus far, across over 22,000 items authenticated in the last year, our customers have not received any takedown notices,” said Srinivasan.

Plans range from Basic, which costs $99/month, to the Everything plan, which costs $999/month. You can find pricing information here.

Sellers utilizing such technology should see gains across their business models. “Overall, our users save time with authentication, save money by not taking in fakes, and make more money by increasing sales velocity,” said Srinivasan, also noting the importance of instilling trust in consumers of luxury goods.

That velocity has Entrupy-powered sellers seeing quicker inventory turns. Instead of something taking 30 days to sell, Srinivasan claims sellers often see a ten-day timeframe or shorter in making a sale.

“If I have my heart set on buying a real Chanel wallet, I will buy the wallet that comes with a money-backed certificate of authentication every time. This hypothesis seems to hold true for many of our customers who sell online,” said Srinivasan. “Not only because of the certificate of authenticity, but because of more engagement between buyer and seller where the key point of discussion is the money-back guarantee directly from Entrupy.”

Some brands with the potential to benefit best from Entrupy appear ready to embrace the technology. “LVMH invited us to showcase our technology in Paris in 2016 and we received extremely positive feedback. Many other brands have reached out as well and some understand that we are in it to help the entire industry, as it’s the brands that benefit from curbing counterfeits,” Srinivasan said. “I’m frankly surprised that certain brands with a big problem haven’t reached out yet.”

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David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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