Posted by Alex Jackson on January 13, 2017
Fakes and knockoffs are virtually everywhere on the web. You don’t have to search too hard on most retail websites before you find a deal on a high end item that is too good to be true. In a previous blog we discussed how to identify a reliable supplier, what to look for and some big red flags to watch out for; but what options does the end consumer have? How do they spot the fake? The explosion of internet retail has made buying options for the consumer virtually endless and made comparison price shopping a breeze, however with these advantages came some downsides. Today there are literally thousands of businesses worldwide that specialize in making knock offs: some are cheap and others almost a perfect high quality copy. These goods are flooding into the market via websites that wholesale these goods to disreputable retailers and in many cases straight from the counterfeit manufacturer. These knock off manufacturers will market their goods via eBay, Amazon and similar retail sites creating accounts making a few sales and then vanishing when the complaints start to come in only to reopen under a different name weeks if not days later. So what’s a consumer to do? Well in the case of many of these high end items authentication services are offered by the manufacturer on the store level but in a lot of cases this may not be practical or even credible, who’s to say there is a store near the consumer to take it to and what makes that stores employee an expert on authentication? eBay has come up with a potently good solution that may put a lot of nervous consumers at ease and actually help you close a sale or two at a higher profit margin. eBay recently announced their new service eBay Authenticate which will be rolled out later in 2017. The purpose and process is fairly straightforward, buy or sell a high end luxury item like a handbag on eBay send it to eBay they authenticate and send to the buyer. To many sellers this might just seem like another eBay cash grab simply another attempt to pad those monthly statements but let’s go a bit deeper here. Sell online for any length of time and you will eventually get that nightmare customer that claims you sent them a fake and they want their money back and when dealing with high dollar luxury goods the stakes are high. Now you have an additional level of protection against these fraud claims because a third party at eBay has already authenticated the goods. Another appealing and potentially profitable plus of this feature is the possibility of charging a higher premium for that item you are willing to spend the extra dollars to have authenticated. While the program is still in the test phase the concept is strong and may be a winner if eBay can get their ducks in a row and inform and educate the buyers and sellers about the program and it’s benefits. To any honest seller it seems like a no brainer after all you would not opt into the program unless the goods you are selling are the genuine article.