After being burnt by fakes, I want to educate and stamp out fakes. At present, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the house of Dior are suing eBay for the huge amount of fakes up on eBay, alleging over the past 5 years, 90% of the handbags on display at any one time are fake. eBay are of course claiming otherwise, but my suggestions about the ability to eliminate results from certain countries have been ignored.
- To have questions answered about authenticity and the source of a particular item
- For reasonable shipping price and quotes
- For genuine merchandise
- For a refund if the product proves to be fake
- To not have to pay for shipping back a counterfeit product- if the seller tries to make you do it, open a dispute against them in your 'dispute console' under MyeBay.
- To prove the item is fake if you think it is- the burden of proof lies on the buyer, unfortunately. If recovering your money is that important, you will go and visit shops and experts ASAP (within three days), contact the seller about a refund, and/or open a dispute.
- To check feedback- has a seller sold things thought "fake" before? Is there enough feedback to work out if this person is selling genuine merchandise?
- To ask questions and do your homework- Would there be a lot of genuine Dior in Singapore/China?
- To pay via legitimate channels and obey eBay rules so that you can take advantage of its remedies.
- To file complaints in eBay against sellers who sell fake merchandise
- To use common sense- as if you can buy a Louis Vuitton wallet for $10...unless it's well-used.
Never assume a seller with a lot of feedback sells only genuine merchandise, or that one selling a lot of merchandise is genuine. On two occasions I have dealt with sellers who will give me a refund after I claim the item is 'fake'/'a copy'...sellers fear being tarred with the 'fake' brush. If they can escape it, for every one return, they'll have five suckers who won't be bothered. I have been sold fakes from the US, UK and Australia, 2/3 imported from Asia. Those selling a lot usually are selling a truckload of fakes- be very careful when buying from large sellers.
Never buy designer goods/label goods/anything of value from Asia- they're almost always fake/worthless. Be on the lookout for sellers importing direct from Asia. If the seller speaks poor English, this can also be an indication. High postage costs can be a giveaway.
- Designer goods are made in Italy, France, and the US usually. Why would Asia be able to sell you an imported designer good for a lower price than its sold from its home region?
- Any goods claiming to be made other than Western Europe/the US is a FAKE.
Avoid buying from perfume/designer goods/makeup from Germany/France/Austria/Switzerland, there have been a spate of fakes flooding the market via Turkey and eastern Europe of late.
Anything worth less than $25 excluding postage won't be covered by eBay if they rule in your favour. Sometimes some things aren't worth busting your gut over. Open a complaint to make eBay aware, say what needs to be said, then leave it.
Don't buy from sellers selling designer goods in a different country in your local currency, unless you're British/American. I have seen a spate of fakes on Australian eBay from UK/US sellers auctioning goods in local currency. Once they get the goods out of the country, it's going to be hard and expensive to return anything...which is what they're relying on when they sell these fakes. Usually though, the UK/US are such big markets, so it's not really an indicator of fakes.
Skincare is an interesting category, due to the regionalisation of the industry. For example, buying Dior skin whitening products in anywhere but Asia is almost impossible. Thus, the regional skincare coming out of Asia is likely to be legitimate, but, never let your guard down. If the deal seems too cheap or the products look suspect, they probably are.
Counterfeiters formerly were Mafia bred operations, financing warlords in the cold war in countries like Afghanistan. Now, the North Korean regime is a known counterfeiter, and Al Qaidia and other terrorist organisations are known to source revenue through counterfeiting operations. Buying fakes is supporting criminals and war.
They do it because they can. Counterfeiters sell stuff because people buy it. If we all stop buying, they have no market, and will close down, or at least struggle. If we return it, and make them pay for their business, all the minor knocks will hurt them in the long run.
eBay's policy on counterfeiting is clear: they don't really care until you're burnt. eBay has refused to put in place measures to protect users such as eliminating certain countries from search results. Their response on dealing with fake items is slow. Sellers found selling fakes rarely have repercussions. It's a total self-policing environment; so we've all got to chip in.
Have a good day, find a bargain, and be on the lookout.