|Mon Aug 11 2014 15:01:03|
eBay Helps Chinese Sellers Flood Site with Fake Old Things
By: Ina Steiner
The term "new vintage" grates on the nerves of collectors and sellers, and not just because it's an oxymoron. Items that are manufactured to look like vintage goods makes it more difficult to sell the "real thing." And it's a major problem online, especially on online marketplaces.
So it came as a big surprise to read in the Atlantic that eBay was in effect helping Chinese manufacturers flood its marketplace with fake old things. Adrienne LaFrance, Senior Associate Editor at The Atlantic, said eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig told her that eBay sends manufacturers data about what people are searching for on eBay so they can quickly manufacture items to meet those needs.
Wenig told her eBay is helping fuel China's export business, and said, "It's really remarkable to see how quickly the manufacturing base adapts to the demand signals they get."
LaFrance went on to write:
In other words, that red wool-blend Cross Colours hat on eBay might not be the relic from 1989 it appears to be, but instead a newly manufactured replica. (It is, of course, against eBay's policy to sell counterfeit items.) Yes, there's a huge and thriving "new vintage" manufacturing sector built around - and tailored to - your online searches. It's why, for instance, you can find something like an original 1960s-era Pan Am tote bag, and its new "vintage style" counterpart.
You can read the article: "Why Ebay Tells Manufacturers in China What You're Searching For - A look into the nostalgia machine powered by big data" on the Atlantic website.
Let us know what you think of eBay "feeding the machine."