Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Nov 12 2014 22:12:58

Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

By: Ina Steiner

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Manufacturers who back a site called the Counterfeit Report are unhappy with how eBay is handling the problem of counterfeits, and this week, they scored a major publicity win.

The Counterfeit Report, which ironically uses a logo that looks strikingly similar to the one used by Consumer Reports' Consumerist website, issued a press release accusing eBay of banning it for reporting fakes for sale on the site.

Craig Crosby, publisher of the Counterfeit Report, accused eBay of retaliating against him and said eBay removed comments that warned consumers of counterfeit listings.

eBay said its systems had identified him as a bad buyer. After all, what kind of buyer keeps making purchases on a site if they report having poor experiences over and over again. (How many readers can relate?)

Is eBay too easy on the issue of counterfeits for sale on its site?
 
On the one hand, we've received reports over the years that eBay ignores reports against sellers of counterfeit goods. On the other hand, we've received reports from sellers who say eBay's VeRO program designed to protect brands' Intellectual Property is one-sided in favor of manufacturers.

It certainly appears there are plenty of sellers and manufacturers who are unhappy over the issue of counterfeits.

You can read the full story in Thursday's Newsflash newsletter - and let us know how well you think eBay - and other marketplaces - handle the problem of counterfeits.




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Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Nov 12 22:51:59 2014

eBay admitted aiding Chinese manufacturers in the production of counterfeit "vintage" items. I guess that's their idea of "handling" the problem.  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Nov 12 23:38:40 2014

Ebay is on the side of aiding and abetting. Anyone asks, ebay is only a venue.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Nov 13 01:35:48 2014

My, how they can change their tune when the media become involved ...

Regardless, you can always tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 01:58:34 2014

That is the KEY thing.

If ebay is TELLING CHINESE MANUFACTURERS what to CONTERFIET, and CONTERFIETS are ILLEGAL to copy or sell in the US who will answer to this.
This is the connection that was not made in the article- if it is illegal to sell fakes in the US and ebay is telling Chinese manufacturers to make fake PAN AM BAGS then it is illegal and ebay is culpable.
If those guys saw Ina's articles about the Pan Am bags they would have really been able to put it together.
Send them links folks, do your part.
MH

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 13 03:37:16 2014

The Vero program is an epic failure in my opinion.  Once some company or person joins they pretty much can have various seller's listing pulled without regard to facts.  And while they may go after a few sellers, they don't go after others that are doing the same thing that they nailed the other sellers for.  Again, I'm not saying the Vero reprimand was correct in the first place.

I've had a few.  I've been told I didn't own my own pic.  I took it from their website.  I asked to see the pic on their website, I was provided a link.  I compared my pic, which I knew for a fact was mine, to theirs and I pointed out the differences.  Their come back was it was close enough to theirs so they considered it theirs.  

WHAT?  Well of course there are going to be similarities, it is after all the same product.

VERO is not adequately monitored.  Policy violations are handed out inconsistently and frequently without actual cause.

As for Ebay pulling listings that are counterfeits, well I don't think they do a very good job on that either.  There are things on the site that are clearly fake.  Over the years I've been know to report some of them.  In all my years I've never seen any listing I've reported get removed and I will typically watch them.  

So I firmly believe Ebay has lots of room for improvement in this area.  It is a serious issue and should be treated as such.  But they need to learn how to deal with facts not he said she said stuff.  Anything less is just wrong and innocent people get hurt that way.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 05:14:30 2014

Marie.  Testify Sister! I have also reported OBVIOUS FAKE DVD Star Trek seasons Over and Over. NOT ONE has been removed.  I became an Unwilling Expert on recognizing fakes after I was sold Counterfeits by at least 5 different sellers. I bought them to SELL, not because I'm any Trek fanatic.  In one 2 week period I received 3 different shipments for Top Rated Sellers where every single one was counterfeit. That manufacturer's PR flack is totally correct that some of these Counterfeits are sooooo good that one needs to be an ''expert'' to know the Real from Fake.  Even so there are Dead Giveaways that Can be detected if the seller is using actual photos of the Real Deal.  Examples: Star Trek Voyager in PAPER boxes are All Counterfeit. Star Trek Voyager in Clear Plastic outer sleeve are LEGIT... unless you can see that the outer sleeve is 1-piece... then IT is counterfeit. Second Giveaway on this style is Counterfeit is if the Starship Graphic is off-center or crookedly mounted.(The Legit ones are in 2-pc clear covers where the Starship is PART OF the bottom 1/2 and cannot be crooked or off-center.)  Star Trek The Next Generation Fakes look exactly right.. from ten feet away. Exterior packaging on the Real ones are absurdly complicated. Even though the Counterfeiters worked Very Hard to make all the Discs and Inner packaging look perfect they got Sloppy in how they handle the exterior. The Giveawy on the exterior is that the Real Ones have a Bold Color Stripe on the top, bottom, rt. side of the Closed packaging. The color is only a Reveal of the Color of the inner packaging. On the FAKES it this Bold Color Stripe is Printed/Painted onto the silvery-look outer box. The other give-away that the outer box has a Lip on the ''cover'' that fits inside the rest of the box.  I know this sounds like too much detail, but I mean it is THAT EASY to spot from accurate photos.  I've reported these over and over with NO action on eBay's part.  What is the Point of eBay Tormenting Happy Successful Long-Term Top Rated Sellers over trivial concerns while Ignoring Federal Crimes?

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 05:59:25 2014

Ebay removes any items that are reported by a verified owner. This guy was buying items for the sole reason to complain and file disputes. Anyone who buys an item with that intent should be banned regardless of the reason. If this watchdog group wants to find fakes then they should do so though the proper channels with the permission of the property rights owners.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Nov 13 06:56:24 2014

And I've said it before and I'll say it again.  eBay is only a venue when they are in court with a luxury retailer.

And the VeRO program IS one-sided in favor of manufacturers. Ask Tabberone.  Many luxury manufacturers simply don't want their items sold on eBay.  These luxury retailers seem to be having a hard time going after the Chinese though, because Chinese fakes are rampant on eBay.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 07:13:26 2014

@Comments. So in your World View a Stolen Car is only a Stolen Car if the OWNER finds His Stolen Car and leads the Police by the Nose to see the Stolen Car?  Absurd on it's face. Counterfeit items sold on eBay spoil the "after purchase experience" in a way that drives buyers away in droves.  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 07:28:36 2014

Shocking to think that Fleecebay would banned anyone. HA HA HA

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Nov 13 08:38:54 2014

angryllama writes: ''Absurd on it's face.''

Precisely. The only thing I could add to improve that statement would be to include a few exclamation points.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 08:49:37 2014

eBay's site is filled to the brim with counterfeits

and they do very little to nothing themselves to police counterfeits and piracy,

The ebay Vero process is seriously flawed, because anyone can be a Vero member, we are a Vero member, with no questions even asked of us to actually verify we are the rightful owners of our product, as long as we are willing to take full responsibility of our actions against a seller and sign off clearing any and all eBay's liabilities resulting in any wrong doing on their part or ours , ( we actually have to Fax a signed document to ebay for each vero)  eBay's perfectly fine with that, Vero away, Vero anything we want, Vero, Vero, Vero,  and here’s another Vero take down just for you.

with ebay now in the clear, of any wrong doing, they then squish the poor seller like a bug,  they don’t care right or wrong.

I have a good laugh when I hear complaints of people trying to report fake products listed on ebay,
Simply reporting fake items to ebay directly, with the report button is meaningless, you can click that report button all day until your mouse wears out, it won't do a thing, ebay generally will not take any liability of taking down  a possible fake item

Of coarse they know their site is filled with counterfeit items, there’s a large market for counterfeit items, ebay knows not everyone can afford a real Rolex,  they need money, anyway they can obtain it,
So wacko ebay Vero is really a system just rancid with abuse, it's been like this from day one, and not a single thing has changed, and probably never will,  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: corpuschristi1956 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 08:50:13 2014

It obvious that the representatives that once helped sellers ward off scamming buyers were replaced with VERO resulting in increased wait times for sellers when they call for help as well as the removal of the human objective element. Robots of any kind will never be a fair process and instead allow the scammers to perfect their game. Just more evidence of a desire to rid itself of the one-of-a-kind venue so that the big boys will allow them to rub elbows with them. They still have another hurdle now that they have proven that they have no human element left. eBay does not want to be American either and despises the American way of doing business. China, India and now Russia should never be their main focus in any way shape or form. If they were to start a campaign relate to American sellers, their sales would be off the charts. I truly believe that everyone is sick and tired of giving our money to the rest of the world. What say you, eBay? You say that that you want your cake and eat it too? Make your choice as too whom you want to bed and show it with sincerity or sell. I bet they are going to choose the latter.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 09:11:03 2014

hahahahaha The title of this thread is LAUGHABLE hahahahaha They DO NOTHING except claim foul IF anything ever gets reported by an ebay snitch aka competitor

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Nov 13 09:34:55 2014

Counterfeits aren't just an ebay problem. My husband bought me a birthday present after careful research and due diligence on his part. However, he has very poor vision and missed the bit about the item being shipped from China (although he had been looking). While not a high dollar item, it was obviously a fake, at least according to who the manufacturer was for that Amazon listing. I did the first step of giving a 1 star to warn others off. Today I will research some more and notify Amazon and then perhaps the gentleman referenced in the article. I was ticked about it not being the 'real' thing, but also ticked that this Chinese seller offered 'free' shipping and the package was shipped through the USPS postage program between them and Chinese sellers. So the Chinese seller is selling fakes and are being assisted in their shipping by the USPS as well. I think perhaps a letter to my Congressman is also in order. Why do US sellers have to pay through the nose to ship items and the Chinese sellers get such a break? I just checked how much it would have cost ME to ship the same package to China and it would have been the entire cost of the item at minimum!

US sellers selling genuine goods never seem to get a break!

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 09:45:26 2014

I am starting to wonder if maybe ebay execs are stoners, sitting in a office with their bongs afire making policies and decisions.
I do not think it is possible for any sound minded or sober executive group to make this many moronic policies and decisions.
I am totally taken aback at the level of constant chaos at ebay because of poor, inadequate and incompetent executive management at ebay and it starts at the top.
The board of ebay serves what purpose? They do nothing if they cannot see the absurd and stupid management skills being shown at ebay by a group of cluster morons then they are just as corrupt.
Right now this company would be going belly up if it were not for the spin off of paypal, the stock price would be sinking.
If you are a seller you can report things which are not quite right to ebay about another seller who is gaming the system.
Do not hold your breath if you are expecting and action.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: Maui5150 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 09:56:06 2014

I have a Long Long Long history with this.

First and foremost I was THREATENED by eBay with Suspension and / or Permanent Banning for "Bidder Interference" on more than one occasion regarding either bid shilling or counterfeit items.  

Yes.  The Whistleblower being punished.  

I also worked closely with two companies and spent hours a week fighting counterfeit or knock off fashion items, and eBay NEVER took action against the offending companies.  They may have "occasionally" removed a listing 4 or 5 days after reported... often by the time "action" was taken, the listing had already run its 7 day course.  

In another case, a buyer of mine re-labeled and item and was selling it as a high end designer item.  eBay refused to act because I was not the manufacturer, even though I could show the item transaction from two weeks earlier, the distinct traits on the product that showed it was the same item I sold, and they let it go.

The only fact that matters... The higher an item sells for, the more commission they make.

It is in eBay's best interest to sell as MANY COUNTERFEIT ITEMS as possible.  

I was a formerly registered VERO member and can tell you working with eBay was slow and tedious as well as I got very tired of having to fax in signed forms

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Nov 13 09:57:48 2014

eBay refugee camp says "I am starting to wonder if maybe ebay execs are stoners"

Not a chance. There is a certain edginess and potentially some coolness to what you describe and that certainly does not apply to JD. :)

I view it as purely ineptitude and incompetence.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 11:01:03 2014

It seems to me that the Counterfeit Report is a good idea, ineptly executed. It's presumably well-intentioned, but their surprise at being banned for a long string of purchases and returns shows that they appeared to jump in with little knowledge or expertise in how eBay operates.

At minimum, common sense and a basic working knowledge of eBay would suggest that things purchased there should stay purchased: returning counterfeit items would of course eliminate the evidence that you were looking for in the first place, but returning legitimate items harms the sellers that you are supposedly trying to protect.

It will be good if they would fall back, regroup, and try to figure out how they can (1) work within the eBay system to identify the counterfeiters with eBay's cooperation -- probably the root challenge right there -- and (2) avoid collateral damage to both legitimate sellers and themselves as well.  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes   Watchdog Questions eBay's Handling of Fakes

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 13 11:04:14 2014

@REXFORD---

"I view it as purely ineptitude and incompetence"

"I view it as purely ineptitude and incompetence and greed"

There

I fixed it for ya

You're welcome

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