Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ebay fakes

Ebay needs to get a grip of its community as sellers are exposed as hawking fakes.

I've used Ebay a few times, not much of a fan. My mum likes it, but she likes 'CSI' and is obsessed by Las Vegas, so really I'm not sure what that says.

BBC One's Watchdog last night showed that some of the sellers that eBay calls its most reliable sellers ("pillars of the eBay community") are selling high quality counterfeits, but that's not really the point.

Among the products bought by the programme's researchers were counterfeit Prada shoes sold as authentic. The real shoes would cost around £190, but a £40 bid for a pair of "genuine" new ones was successful.

Two bogus Christian Dior bags that were sold as 100% brand new and authentic were snapped up for £75. The bags apparently appeared to be bought from different sellers, in fact they were from the same one. Watchdog said these were the worst copies the programme obtained, with shoddy detail and - here's the big clue – the bags were stuffed with Thai newspapers.

Also bought was a good copy of a Chloe bag and some highly sought after Adidas Y-3 trainers. Small details revealed these to be fake: no shoe should have the same number, but these did.

The report comes on the back of others about people being ripped off by the unscrupulous on eBay.

Ebay really does need to do more to protect customers from being conned and to protect itself. While the early model seemed ground breaking and exciting, it now seems worryingly prone to attack from the unscrupulous.

eBay says counterfeit goods are not allowed. But several big-name manufacturers feel the online marketplace – the most visited commercial website in the UK - isn't doing enough to police the problem.

Mike Roylance of Adidas said: "There are some really serious criminals behind this. We're seeing people going out to the Far East to bring containers in just to sell on eBay. They're making millions - it's big, big business."

eBay has a system for monitoring counterfeit goods, but the onus is on genuine brands to alert them of the ones to remove. That's the wrong way around.

When eBay does take down adverts for fake goods, it is easy for the traders caught out to do exactly the same again using a different name.

Since hearing the programme's findings, eBay has taken down ads from the sellers identified as selling counterfeit goods.


At 4:43 PM, Anonymous the online pixie said...

Your Mum sounds like a woman of infinite taste and good breading.

Has she got a blog herself? The online pixie sends his regards to Mama Gordie!


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