EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1679 - December 06, 2007     3 of 4

Consumer Reports Warns of Counterfeit Items on Sites Like eBay

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A Consumer Reports press statement on the problem of counterfeit items said consumers should be suspicious of third-party websites that offer deep discounts for products that are usually pricey. It said the easiest way to avoid counterfeits is to deal with reputable dealers authorized to sell a manufacturer's products. "EBay has been the target of lawsuits and threatened lawsuits from the likes of Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior, in part, for not doing enough to banish fakes," its press announcement stated.

Consumer Reports' latest investigation of counterfeit goods found that today's fakes are "not just the usual knockoffs like bogus Prada handbags": counterfeits include phony oil filters; diabetic strips that give erratic readings; and brake pads made of kitty litter, sawdust, and dried grass. The magazine also warned of some Chinese factories that conduct split-runs, "churning out legitimate products by day and black-market goods after hours."

"Counterfeiting helps to bankroll organized crime and the people involved in it don't adhere to any sound labor or environmental practices," said Tod Marks, senior editor, Consumer Reports. "Goods are showing up in different outlets other than the guy on the street corner, so more people could be exposed to products that pose a danger to their health and safety."

The full report on counterfeit goods appears in the January issue of Consumer Reports, on sale now. Consumer Reports is a nonprofit organization supported only by consumers

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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