Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 2 2017 21:31:04

Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

By: Ina Steiner

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In advance of Sunday's Super Bowl game, the National Football League (NFL) hosted a press conference with participation from ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Houston law enforcement to highlight the problem of sales of counterfeit NFL merchandise, online and offline. 

But the government reportedly wants to go further by pressuring sites like Amazon and eBay to hand over seller data.

In an article today titled, "Why the Feds are Losing the War on Fake Super Bowl Merchandise," Bloomberg said government officials are pressuring Amazon and eBay to share records of counterfeit removal requests "so they can get their hands on sellers' physical and IP addresses as well as their preferred payment methods. The data would be used to spot trends and focus enforcement."

Should the government force online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to hand over data about sellers who are accused of violating a brand's Intellectual Property? See today's AuctionBytes Blog post to see how this would have the potential to impact legitimate retailers.

What ways would you suggest marketplaces crack down on fakes?




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Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Feb 3 01:21:24 2017

If this applies to online sellers, would it be enforced solely against US based businesses, or both Asians and Americans?

Most of the counterfeit merchandise is coming from China. If our government cannot enforce any laws regarding fakes overseas, the war will never be won.

Of course, counterfeits are a cash cow for Asian countries, so their governments likely wouldn't cooperate.

Also do not think Amazon or (especially) eBay would be too keen about turning over names and addresses of the sellers that are putting money in their corporate wallets.  

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: made me look This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 04:38:03 2017

Of course, eBay and Amazon should cooperate with investigators as long as it will be a blanket investigation crack-down on everyone, no matter where they live. Also, not just SuperBowl merchandise. It has to include anything that is fake, like purses and other fashion items. Surely, eBay and Amazon will lose money, but it will be a cleaner marketplace. Someone needs to care about this. Manufacturing and selling knock-offs is not a victimless crime. I'd love to hear of a big raid, but I haven't heard even a tiny bit of news about sellers on these two sites being busted for selling fakes. We'll see...

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 05:07:34 2017

my 0.02. It would be nice if the quality of the genuine was better than the fake, but for most NFL stuff it's pretty much the same save for the fancy hologram logo and serial number. Same goes for genuine brand name shoes and lots of other stuff, all made in China. Let's face the sad truth that China is in fact the world's factory for practically everything at this point. In fact they are starting  to make stuff reasonably decent quality too at prices that are dirt cheap, which is very sobering indeed. Maybe Trump will deliver and make our country great again, but one thing is for sure it isn't going to come without pain!

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: Leesantiques This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 06:44:19 2017

From what I've seen over the past dozed years or more, Ebay has no interest in stopping the sale of fakes and counterfeits.  They only want the fees generated from such sales.  Very sad, in my humble opinion, but the simple truth is that Ebay and Paypal both benefit from the fraud being committed, and have shown only lip service interest in stopping this practice.

Lee

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Fri Feb 3 08:45:49 2017

Unless they physically have the item in hand (I think in the law it is called 'evidence') how do they know it to be fake?

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 09:02:50 2017

Absolutely not!

There's NO WAY these companies should just hand over this data without a valid search warrant.

And I strongly suspect that it's not "the government" that wants this data - it's the NFL.

I mean, heck, you can't even utter the words "Super Bowl" in the media without the express written consent of the NFL!

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 09:18:29 2017

Good luck getting either of these companies to cooperate. While I'm anything but an eBay cheerleader, at least in their case, it's more a matter of looking the other way. Amazon, on the other hand, not only seemingly condones it (as long as your an China-based seller), they directly participate in the problem. Remember the Mercedes Benz lawsuit? And this wasn't a 3rd party seller; it was Amazon itself acquiring and selling the counterfeit parts. Worse yet, it's not the first time Amazon has been taken to court over just this very issue.

Yes, it's a HUGE problem, but don't expect either of these corporate entities to lend a helping hand.

Extinctbay has it right: the vast majority of it comes in from China (and it's usually the companies that were hired to produce the legitimate stuff in the first place). However, unless the government can change and/or level the playing field, there isn't much that's going to stop it anytime soon.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: counterfeitebay This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Feb 3 10:08:50 2017

as an authorized seller of samsung chargers I am really sick of all these counterfeit chargers on ebay. Most of them are counterfeit. Not only do we have to deal with that but it drives up marketing bids on google as well.  If you look at the top postitions of samsung chargers being sold on ebay most are counterfeit.  

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Feb 3 10:20:04 2017

Amazon has no interest in fakes either.  Go type "TransFormers Masterpiece KO Version" and you'll find listings at 1/4 to 1/2 of the price of official Takara products.  I reported it to Amazon and their bots are so stupid that they couldn't see what the violation was.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Feb 3 11:14:10 2017

As go-figure mentions, the same factories in China that produce the (legitimate) merchandise also produce fakes. Absolutely true!

American companies will have an order to make a certain amount of an item. Once the order is fulfilled, the factory produces more product to offer on the ''gray market''.

The items are basically the same, they just may be missing a serial number or other identifier that an official retail item for the US market will have.

For instance, I purchased a set of Callaway golf clubs that had the look and feel of what you would find in any retail store. Only thing missing was the serial numbers.

It depends on the fact if the company whose name is on the item(s) has supervision in place overseas to both keep an eye on quality and confirm actual production numbers. Some companies are more strict than others.

So this would be another issue regarding fakes that would be difficult to enforce, since the authorized and unauthorized goods are basically the same.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Feb 3 13:02:48 2017

@ignatz - I wonder when the NFL is going to copyright the term "The Big Game" so all the merchants trying to get sales tied to the Super Bowl will also have to pay licensing fees.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Feb 3 14:26:58 2017

@sparrow

The Big Game has been played between Stanford University and Cal (UC Berkeley) for over a century.

When the National Football League attempted to license it, there was much backlash, as the game is 28 years older than the NFL.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 15:19:07 2017

If ebay and Amazon do not share this info they are partners to the CRIME!!! Oh, and they can easily identify the counterfeit stuff, as its its different designs from the licensed goods. Here is a good example as the NFL would NEVER sell something like this that says 'F the Rest...)... See ebay item 162286937471.. You can also target anything from China and Hong Kong as its all fake, and anything these sellers have that US sellers have.. Price is also a good indicator, as if they are selling quantities and are about giving it away, its FAKE! Good examples are these fake flag designs, fake apparel, fake bracelets (like paracord), fake Super Bowl rings (their is no such licensed item), but the criminal Chinese dominate.. This is great and I'll bet Trump is behind it.. It isn't just NFL, its every major brand and company in our country from Disney to the Auto-Makers to Country singer/stars and on and on and on... Its classless and unethical for ebay and Amazon to allow this blatant piracy of American brands.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Feb 3 16:30:43 2017

Ebafia's lame argument has always been that they have no way to know which are items are legitimate and which are counterfeits.

When I've conmplained, they've also replied that the marketplace feedback and SNAD complaints will eliminate sellers of counterfiet merchandise.

Also not true based. But even it were true, ebafia either lacks of technological competence or looks the other way when offenders re register under a new name and IP address.

If Ebafia and Amafia won't voluntarily cooperate, then once a lawsuit is filed the plaintiffs can subpoena all the seller records they want.

When they identify sellers of counterfeit merchandise with reasonable certainty, that seller or sellers can be added to the lawsuit as defendants. Then these new defendants - provided they're American -- can be compelled to turn over their records during the discovery process.

Ebafia's so called "sophisticated" fraud prevention measures are little more than hamster powered ferris wheels.

If the plaintiffs would sue these foreign sellers and these sellers failed to show, the plaintiffscould present their evidence and ask the court to prohibit ebay from allowing them or any of their future surrogates under different user IDs from selling on the platform again.

I won't hold my breath.

Ebafia and Amafia are the world's largest co conspirators (with 3rd party sellers) in selling counterfeit and stolen merchandise.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: Dano04 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 18:23:36 2017

What a joke! Every time I report to eBay about a counterfeit item they say they'll look into it, but the listing never gets removed. Someone merely suggest one of my items is counterfeit or fake and boom! seller privileges revoked for a 7 days! I've been doing this for 15 years I know what is fake or not. Of course I'm a US seller, not Chinese, Sooooooo?  

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 3 21:17:33 2017

I would really love to know why my tax dollars are going to fund profit protection to ultra rich multi national companies. The NFL has more then enough money protect its brand......why do I have to pay for it?

Half the copyright claims given to ebay sellers are on genuine merchandise they are selling too cheap anyway.

Tax money should fund PUBLIC SERVICES!

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 5 02:01:14 2017

Another interesting tidbit is that Asian suppliers will sometimes, if necessary to fill an order on time, purchase fakes to complete said order. If they're having trouble supplying, for example, enough pairs of sneakers, knowing who makes the highest quality fakes of their brand, buy enough to slip in with the genuine merchandise, none being the wiser!

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

This user has validated their user name. by: Siobhan

Sun Feb 5 19:03:21 2017

NFL - No Friends Left.

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 6 10:38:30 2017

Step 1 ban China selling online. 99.9% of the problem solved

Perminate Link for Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes   Government Pressures Amazon and eBay over Fakes

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 7 20:07:48 2017

''Unless they physically have the item in hand (I think in the law it is called 'evidence') how do they know it to be fake?''

Since when has eBay EVER considerd any real evidence before passng judgement and acting to sanction?  From feedback and DSR, to SNAD 'clams', to their reliance on VERO (who also doesn't bother with obtaining evidence before rendering accusation), they don't bother with fact.  Especially when it comes to sellers trying to defend themselves WITH facts and evidence.

UNLESS....it is THEY who are called on to be accountable.  Then suddenly, they claim inability to act based on LACK of (inability to obtain) said evidence.

Too bad there no laws against being blatently hypocritical in business.  

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