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AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Mon Feb 13 2017 17:14:31

Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow

By: Ina Steiner
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Yesterday we blogged about the challenges eBay and marketplace sellers face in dealing with false claims that they're violating brands' intellectual property. Now here's a look at how "real" counterfeits are hurting brands.

Forbes published an inspiring story about a daughter-father team, the Flecks, who invented and marketed "Makin Bacon" devices that let you microwave bacon without the mess. They built up a successful business starting in the early 1990s and went on to sell over 2.7 million Makin Bacons. But the feel-good story took a scary turn, and showed how Amazon is playing a role.

"According to the Flecks and to Jeff Rosenfeld, a lawyer they hired in January, Makin Bacon is the victim of an attack by Chinese counterfeiters that the Flecks fear will wipe out their business. In addition to decimating their Amazon sales, which quickly fell by 50%, the Flecks say the fake plates are hurting them at Walmart because customers who buy melting plates on Amazon think Walmart is carrying the same defective product."

It's worth reading the full story, then come back and let us know what you as online merchants think the maker of Makin Bacon should do, and what Amazon's responsibility is in cases like these.
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
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Readers Comments

Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Feb 13 17:41:45 2017
My first though after reading the article goes to do they have a patent on this item????? If not why not.

Second thought is they are waging a losing battle as Amazon and/or Ebay don't really care about the fakes either. Bottom line is more important.

Until the government stops playing snowflakes and sissy games and does something about the fakes coming into the country these people might as well close up shop.

Amazon and/or Ebay will coddle the sellers knowing full well that after banning them they will just open another account and continue.

Could you imagine if some counterfiter faked a Cheverolet and called it Heverolet. How long do you think it would take for something meaningful to be done.

Also it doesn't help when the post office actively participates in the frauds by giving unreasonable shipping cost to the chinese to send their junk here.

These people are fighting a losing battle at this time. Waste of time and money. Amazon and Ebay will give only lip service.
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Feb 14 10:34:33 2017
Like I said..until you deal with china..it's unfair to attack anyone else. China IS THE main cause of most fakes in the world. If you do not deal with China then I do not believe a word about fixing the problem.

Look at Amazon and ebay they destroy any us seller immediately..but allow and encourage China sellers to sell fakes.

Look up Lego figures on ebay and nearly every listing is Chinese fakes.

So the federal government wants to get involved? Start fining and putting ebay corporate leaders in jail for actively promoting fakes from china.

Until that happens I don't believe a word of it
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Feb 14 10:43:05 2017
Homeland Security needs to pay a visit to Ebay, Etsy and Amazon and TELL THEM to put a stop to this madness!

These counterfeits are just that, they don't rename it to something else, they even duplicate the packaging to make it look like the actual real item.

My categories and sub-categories have all but been destroyed by fake counterfeit items! Most are a cesspool of counterfeits from Chinese sellers and now its also expanding as US criminals are buying wholesale from the Chinese counterfeiters and selling the items too.

I have one sub category that has 950 items. Over 900 of them are fake, and they are selling inferior products for less than the wholesale price of the high quality authentic licensed items. How can a legitimate seller of licensed stuff compete when the criminals are selling for LESS than your wholesale cost.... Its no different than the Iranians chanting 'Death to America', as this is 'Death to the American Way and American Business!'

Do you part and DO NOT buy counterfeits and do not buy from these Chinese and Hong Kong criminals.. And EVERYONE should contact ebay via phone, their facebook page (ebay for business) and other avenues to let them know that we are aware of their partnership with criminal counterfeiters and WE WANT IT TO BE STOPPED!!!
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS
       
Tue Feb 14 12:44:48 2017
Good luck.  I actually have people come up to me at toy shows and cry that I _don't_ sell knockoffs.  Some people are so poor that they'll put up with anything to save a few pennies.  What's funny is that these are often the same people who go into white knight mode on the forums if you dare express dislike of an official product.

I wish karma would swing back around and knock some sense into the market.
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS
       
Tue Feb 14 12:48:43 2017
Amazon isn't going to do anything unless they turn over official copyright documents.  I report listings with "KO VERSION" right in the title and their stupid robots don't know what to do.
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Tue Feb 14 15:49:49 2017
I don't know anything about selling on Amazon. Do they have something like VERO that the Flecks can use to rid Amazon of the fakes? Can they go after the sellers of fakes via a copyright infringement claim?

Maybe they should consider changing their box design and Amazon listings to include wording to include "The first and only authentic design and materials."  
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Feb 14 18:37:29 2017
Hey folks, we all need to raise hell about this blatant counterfeiting at every opportunity.. And I can guarantee you if Homeland Securities IP Fraud Division moves it, things will change and fast.

This stuff grew like weeds under Obama as nothing was done about it, but I suspect Trump will focus on this area to protect America, as the laws are already on the books and are just not being enforced.

This bull about them not knowing what is counterfeit is just that - BULL!
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 15 01:17:47 2017
There is nothing that can be done from what I have seen. The Asian markets are not held to the same ethical standards as US sellers are.  
The Chines also get cheap shipping rates from USPS. Example: Four pound package from China to anywhere in US is about $2.40. Four pound package for American buyers and sellers from east to west coast is $54.90. This is why Americans are being put out of business across the US, and manufacturing jobs are lost in this country.
The Asian market carries the most burden for lost jobs and economy in the US, not Mexico. I notice no one is talking about it, so I thought I would.  
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: sanddogg This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 15 07:55:32 2017
Remember what jack Ma says....'If you complain there will be WAR"
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 15 09:26:36 2017
I have been developing products for customers in China for over 22 years. Bringing products to market is no small endeavor, it can take anywhere from 5 to 14 years depending on the product. The only reason a patent is useful is not for protection or to protect your own product, but rather, when you do bring a product to market, and you get sued for infringement at least you have a patent to show.
A patent costs a fortune to enforce, and you would need a Chinese patent as well to enforce it over there. Many times whilst visiting Chinese companies I saw many knock-off products they were developing. Knowing I was a developer myself the Chinese companies proudly showed me the knock-off products they were developing. In short, even multinational companies with tons of money fail to enforce their patents. I have yet to see fake Rolexes, fake Coach, Michael Kors, and Nike successfully stop counterfeit products from being sold.    
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 15 10:58:18 2017
@Tiffee Jasso - I do believe the Chinese are getting better deals from USPS and I absolutely agree with you, but here is an actual ''postage calculation'' from Albany NY 12205 to San Francisco CA 94102 https://postcalc.usps.com/MailServices.aspx?m=6&p=4&o=0&dz=94102&oz=12
205&dpb=0&mdt=2017/02/15%2008:00
 

The incendiary $50+ you state is for EXPRESS 1-day delivery mail. Since 1998 I think I have shipped  maybe 2 or 3 packages (so few I do not recall) that way? of hundreds of shipments.

The ''usual'' Priority Mail charge is about $20. STILL far above what the USPS apparently is gifting to Chinese.

That said, I recall looking for a shower brush on eBay and finding bazillions for 99cents + 9.00 shipping charges direct from Beijing.  

HOWEVER I absolutely agree with you that the scales are WAY tilted toward the Chinese (and others) and the American sellers are NO WAY on a ''level playing field.''

As someone else said - many business people pinned hopes on The Donald, knowing that Hillary would only be more years of ''status quo''.

And another HOWEVER - ditto to the poster asking why these folks did not ''patent'' or otherwise protect their product.  I am not sure about patent protections - only one tiny thing in a fake would have to be different -- but I would think TRADEMARK or COPYRIGHT should have been followed, in which case ''counterfeit'' infringement protections could be pursued - just like high-end designers' handbags, for example.  

If these folks sold that many ''Makin Bacon'' should they not be able to afford a TRADEMARK and attorneys to go after the fakers via means such as VERO?

Now I am wondering ''what'' substances the people buying the fakes may be ingesting, as whatever is in the fakes leaches out into the bacon from the cooking temperatures.  Maybe in the US this is regulated, but can you really trust imports from a country that likely does not enforce any food safety regulations that it MAY have? The latest example is pet food laced with melamine, killed how many people's pet dogs and cats? http://news.vin.com/vinnews.aspx?articleId=20025 And does anyone remember hearing about Chinese mothers who were jailed for buying black market US baby formula when Chinese-made formula was documented poisoning babies? http://jezebel.com/in-china-foreign-made-baby-formula-is-the-latest-bl
ack-923860257

We
all need to actually tell our government representatives that we are sick of fakes. We are sick of having to read and decipher labels especially on food to figure out where it was made.  We all need, as much as we can, to BUY AMERICAN.  
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 15 11:06:40 2017
I also think the bottom line is that the knockoffs and fakes are coming in, because there is a market for them.

If nobody would buy, that would be the end of it.

Unfortunately there are Americans who cannot afford the luxury of buying more expensive genuine products; and/or do not realize there is a difference in quality between authentic and fake (except for price); and/or sometimes do not understand there even may be a problem.

Another highly related situation is that there are conscience-less people who do not care if their actions harm others, as long as they can line their own pockets $$$.    
Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow   Real Fakes on Amazon Are Hard to Swallow
by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Feb 15 21:24:26 2017
The trade agreements the USA has with China allows China to send items into the USA for far less than it costs legitimate manufacturers.
Perhaps the way to combat this is to raise the tariff on Chinese imports?


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