**I am unable to respond to all emails received (too many). I'm very sorry. Thanks for your understanding!
In case you aren't aware of this, many of the "100% guaranteed authentic" designer & big name brand items you see on Ebay are 100% FAKE! Replicas are sold all over the internet so they end up on Ebay. This guide is to show you some more information on the counterfeit situation and how easily these replicas are being purchased.
I would like to say that you CAN find AUTHENTIC goods on Ebay for wonderful deals, I know because I've gotten some wonderful deals myself on many authentic items (and I sell my authentic items on Ebay as well). But, you MUST be a savvy shopper and know details about the item you are interested in before making a purchase or you could be out hundreds of dollars for a fake item that could fall apart in a short time.
Think you are safe with a "money back guarantee"? Not necessarily. Many sellers with fake items WILL issue a refund to reduce the chances of you leaving negative feedback to warn others but many are just out to make a quick buck and then disappear so the supposed "money back guarantee" is not honored. This has happened to me twice. Money back guarantee..got the FAKE item and they would not issue a refund. AND they left me negative feedback for filing a claim.
But there are some VERY HONEST sellers on Ebay so don't ever jump to the conclusion that an item is fake if you aren't CERTAIN. Because claiming an authentic item is fake is a terrible thing to do and could really backfire on you (and you could end up being kicked off of Ebay or worse, sued). And it could potentially put an honest seller through a great big headache that they do not deserve. So when you claim an item to be fake...be absolutely CERTAIN.
THE COUNTERFEIT INDUSTRY IS ENORMOUS
To give you an idea of the size of the counterfeit industry....just the items that can by tracked.....it is at least TWICE the size of Wal-Mart. When you consider the amount of counterfeiting that is not trackable, that number is very modest. The counterfeiting industry costs $300 billion in the US annually, $500 billion worldwide.
"BUT MY ITEM CAME WITH A TAG AND AN AUTHENTICITY CARD"....
Replicas (knock-offs, fakes, counterfeit items) come with boxes, tags, authenticity cards, serial numbers and even receipts. They even come with fake shopping bags! So, its hard to know if the brand name item you are interested in on Ebay is actually authentic. So you MUST ask lots of questions!
AUCTION RED FLAGS:
Many counterfeit listings are 1 - 3 day auctions and will have lines in the description such as "Hurry! Don't let this opportunity pass you by!"
They are often PRIVATE listings (so that other members can't see your member ID to contact you to let you know you have won a counterfeit item).
S&H will often be inflated. Many times they figure their profit into the S&H while offering a "money back guarantee minus S&H". So, they get to keep the extra $10 or $20 they have padded into S&H.
Sellers also do not like to answer questions about counterfeits so skip any seller who refuses to answer questions regarding authenticity. They will also describe an $1800 handbag as being made of "genuine leather". Well, for $1800, I'd hope so. They say this because the really cheap fakes aren't even made of leather. So they are buying from suppliers who are boasting about their replicas being made of genuine leather.
Many times they will often type "Auth" in the heading. "Auth" is not a real word so its not really guaranteeing anything. But then again, many sellers will say "guaranteed authentic" and the item is still very fake. Many sellers do not even know they have counterfeit merchandise because they are fooled by the suppliers. These people AREN'T the bad guys - they have been DUPED by the bad guys. So, if this appears to be the case, go easy on these sellers.
"BUT MY SELLER HAD 100% POSITIVE FEEDBACK AND IS A POWER SELLER".....
Most of the sellers I see with counterfeit items have great feedback and often 100% positive feedback! That is because most people see the tag and authenticity card and believe they have an authentic item so they leave great feedback. Then, when it starts falling apart or someone tells them it is a knock-off, they've already left positive feedback and can't go back and change it.
Being a POWER SELLER means nothing as far as whether or not they are selling counterfeit items. It just means they sell a certain dollar amount of items per month, real or not, and keep their feedback score at a certain level. That's about it.
WHERE THE FAKES COME FROM:
You can go to a website called Tradekey . com where you can find an overwhelming amount of counterfeit merchandise coming out of China. There are THOUSANDS of brand named products being counterfeited and sold at this website. NOTE: Authentic items are ALSO made in China. Just because an item has a "made in China" tag does NOT mean it is counterfeit!
The people you will find selling fake items all over the internet are often referred to as SUPPLIERS. Sometimes they will tell you they have authentic items "from an OEM factory". ("Original Equipment Manufacturer"). This is one of the biggest red flags you will find, the words OEM factory. Suppliers are trying to make their products sound "official" by saying they came from an OEM factory while they do not realize that the TYPE of product they have (i.e. designer handbag) is not produced the same way as computer software or automobile parts. Sure there are plenty of actual OEM products for sale on Ebay. But there are also a lot of fakes being referred to as "OEM". So, be careful.
An example of an actual OEM item would be a Motorola cell phone or parts for it. Some are packaged to be sold in a retail store and therefore come in a fancy colorful box. Others are packaged to be a replacement so they will be in a plain white or brown box. Counterfeit sellers will use the term "OEM factory" item to throw you as to why their product may look slightly different, whether it is the item itself or the packaging. While this can be true, an item CAN actually be an OEM item (if it is the TYPE of item that is produced this way), many sellers and suppliers will use this term for a replica so I just want to alert you to this term.
Some suppliers will at least admit their items are replicas ("mirror image quality" "AAA quality" or "99% authentic"is another word for knock off or replica). If a seller tells you they are getting their handbags or designer goods from a supplier or an OEM factory, you can be fairly certain you will receive a fake. A designer item is not going to be packaged for wholesale, therefore you will not find a designer handbag from an OEM factory! Prada is not going to make some nice bags to sell at Neiman Marcus and some lesser quality ones for guys to sell out of their trunks. The key word in OEM is equipment! I had a seller on Ebay sell me a fake bag and he told me it was from an OEM factory in Guangzhou, China (the counterfeit capital of the world) and that is why it didn't have tags and may look a little different. What he didn't realize is that he was readily admitting that he had counterfeit designer goods by using this term for a HANDBAG and stating that location, even if he wasn't actually aware of it himself (i.e. tricked by a supplier).
Sometimes sellers are just naive and are misled by these suppliers all over the internet making authenticity claims. They are told the products are authentic so they fall for it...then they describe them as being authentic in their listings.
SITES TO CHECK OUT TO SEE WHERE COUNTERFEITS ARE BEING SOLD
You can go to Tradekey and Ioffer and see millions of counterfeit items/brands being sold. Tradekey is the CAPITAL of the online counterfeit industry. Stay away from these sites if you are against fakes.
And there are literally THOUSANDS of counterfeit sites all over the internet. Some will say they have replicas, other will say they are "100% Authentic". Wholesalercn alone has over 3,000 fake designer handbags on their site. Also, ladyreplica, sunnyreplicas, discount-luxury and fashioncentury . com to see how many counterfeit items are being sold (particularly handbags)...and this is just a FEW of hundreds of retail websites selling fake designer items. (Some of these sites may no longer be in existance, they are constantly being shut down.)
People all over the world can easily go to Tradekey, buy counterfeit merchandise and turn around and sell it. EVERY SINGLE brand you see at these sites are COUNTERFEIT! Some at least ADMIT they have replicas (read the FAQ). Almost ALL designer items at IOffer . com are counterfeit also. Occasionally you find an authentic item but its rare. This is why the situation on Ebay is so bad with counterfeits. They are readily available for purchase. You no longer have to be in the mafia or buy them out of some guy's trunk on Canal Street in New York to get them.Almost ALL of the high end or luxury NAME BRAND items for sale at these sites are counterfeit. As you can see, many suppliers call them authentic. What happens is that many sellers on Ebay locate these types of sites and they purchase goods specifically to sell on Ebay. Some sellers actually fall for the authenticity claims from these scoundrels and then they pass along the "100% guarantee" right to you. And of course, nothing is authentic. It is all cheap, fake and highly illegal in this country.
Have you noticed how many of the listings on Ebay sound EXACTLY the same? Its not just because they are copying the wording of other sellers, they are provided with a description from the supplier, specifically for Ebay sales or other online sales. They are provided with s&h amounts to charge and even copies of receipts. Beware of any standard sounding listing like you've heard a million times.
DON'T FORGET TO GOOGLE!
You can also Google any brand of interest and put the word "replica" or "fake" next to it and do a search. More than likely, something will come up. Even brands & items that you wouldn't expect.
HOW IS CHINA & EBAY GETTING AWAY WITH ALL THESE FAKES?
The laws in China are much different than they are over here. They do not have the laws against counterfeiting like we are SUPPOSED to have in this country. They even have large MALLS in Asia that sell nothing but counterfeit designer goods.
Ebay has a "hand's off" policy when it comes to counterfeits and they say policing for fakes is "too time consuming" (i.e. "costly"). So, they leave it up to the copyright holders & members to report the items. (Look up VeRO on Ebay help.) Ebay has also made HUGE improvements to their response to counterfeit items reported but there are still tons of counterfeits being sold on Ebay daily.
There aren't enough people complaining as so many people are willing to buy and use counterfeit goods. Why? Because they don't REALLY understand it. Visit the International Anti-Counterfeit Coalition's site (IACC) for more info.
CHILD ABUSE & SWEAT SHOPS
Not all "sweat shops" are the same. While children are employed legally in foreign countries to make goods in factories, a LEGAL operation is overseen in a different way. COUNTERFEIT sweat shops are not overseen in the same way and the children are treated MUCH WORSE. Think about it...do you think a well known US company is not going to oversee how their goods are being made knowing it could turn up on 20/20 & CNN? The counterfeit industry does not have this, it is a free for all and they do as they please. There are hidden videos taken showing children getting hit in the face or the back of the head for making an error or for not working fast enough. ARE YOU OKAY WITH THIS?
COUNTERFEITS SALES LINKED TO TERRORIST FUNDING
Counterfeit sales may also be funding TERRORISM (according to Interpol and other agencies). Manuals were recovered from terrorist organizations where they SUGGEST selling counterfeit luxury items to raise funds! And it has been well known for a long time that counterfeit sales helps to fund US gang activity.
Don't care about child abuse, terrorism, theft and gang activity? Well, think about how you feel when you work hard on a project only to have someone else take the credit, the bonus and the promotion. Doesn't feel too good does it? This is how the trademark/copyright holders feel.
FAKES ARE NOT GOOD FOR THE BUYER'S WELL BEING:
Many people think "if it looks the same, why do I care?" Well, decent people should care because it is ILLEGAL. Plus, it doesn't REALLY look the same (not to people who know the difference) and it doesn't last anywhere near as long...and deep down inside the person feels like a fraud. Deep down inside, they know they are doing something that isn't right and they are trying to deceive others. How can this be a good thing for anyone's self esteem?
Even if they are not aware of it, every time they look at their fake bag or fake designer shirt, the person will be reminded that they do not have the real thing but some other people do. This is not good for anyone's well being. Not to mention how it affects the US economy and the children who are making these things for very little pay (if any) and who are being physically and mentally abused for not making them fast enough.
So, if you have no conscience and don't mind being a fraud to your friends, family and co-workers with your counterfeit items, think about the abused children who are making them and the terrorists who use the money made from them to fund their activity.
LAWSUITS & NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLES:
Guess who HAS finally had enough? The companies who originally produced these items - the trademark/copyright owners. The VeRo program on Ebay helps reduce the number of counterfeit items being sold but is obviously not doing the job completely. So, companies like Tiffany & Co. are buying these supposedly "authentic" items by the hundreds and they are not only suing Ebay but are going after the sellers. So, sellers, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO MIGHT BE BIDDING ON YOUR FAKE ITEMS.
JUNE 30, 2008:
A French court ordered eBay to pay 40m euros (£31.6m; $63m) to luxury goods group LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy) for allowing online auctions of fake copies of its goods.
Here is some info from the New York Times on this issue:
"Of course, fakes are sold everywhere, but the anonymity and reach of the Internet makes it perfect for selling knockoffs."
"We never take possession of the goods sold through eBay, and we don't have any expertise," said Hani Durzy, an eBay spokesman. "We're not clothing experts. We're not car experts, and we're not jewelry experts. We're experts at building a marketplace and bringing buyers and sellers together."
"EBay makes a lot of money from a lot of small unhappy transactions," said Ina Steiner, the editor and publisher of AuctionBytes an online newsletter. "If you've lost a few thousand dollars, you might go the extra mile to recover it. But if you've lost $50 or $20 you may never be able to prove your case, and in the meantime eBay has gotten the listing fee and the closing fee on that transaction."
The Tiffany lawsuit, in addition to accusing eBay of facilitating counterfeiting, also contends that it "charges hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees" for counterfeit sales.
In 2004, Tiffany secretly purchased about 200 items from eBay in its investigation of how the company was dealing with the thousands of pieces of counterfeit Tiffany jewelry. The jeweler found that three out of four pieces were fake.
"The frustrating part is that eBay just stands back and lets these people make thousands and thousands of dollars" while taking a fee for each transaction, Ms. Rogers said. (The company's profits rose 36 percent in the last quarter from the year before, to $279.2 million.)"
After the spectacular case in 2000 when a fake Richard Diebenkorn painting was nearly sold for $135,000 on eBay, the company put in place a handful of safeguards, like the PayPal buyer protection plan, an improved system for spotting eBay policy violations, and improved detection of fraud in general. But when it comes to counterfeit goods, the problem has gotten worse.
TIFFANY & CO TAKES MATTER INTO THEIR OWN HANDS
"Bogus Tiffany merchandise sold on eBay led to raids by law enforcement in the United Kingdom that resulted in the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit items, Tiffany & Co. announced today.
The raids were conducted last month after an investigation by Tiffany’s regional security manager in the U.K. connected the bogus items to eBay auction sites and then alerted authorities. The seized merchandise included counterfeit Tiffany silver rings, necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry as well as phony Tiffany packaging materials, Tiffany said.
Counterfeiting is on the rise, “aggravated by Internet auction sites like eBay that enable criminals to operate counterfeit distribution rings anonymously,” said Dave McGowan, vice president of worldwide security for Tiffany."
10/11/07 - Hermes sues Ebay over counterfeit merchandise sales.
Louis Vuitton and Dior Couture, two leading brands of French group Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH ) is suing American online marketplace eBay in a Paris court over sales of counterfeit products.
Louis Vuitton and Dior Couture claimed that between 2001 and 2005, the fake goods had brought them damages of 20 million euros (one euro equals about 1.27 U.S. dollars) and 17 million euros respectively.
According to LVMH's statistics, in the second quarter of 2006, the group found 150,000 ads for Louis Vuitton handbags and 300,000 for Dior items, of which at least 90 percent are fakes.
....PARIS (Reuters) - L'Oreal
...Continuing its aggressive campaign to cut down on piracy of its products, Microsoft has filed eight lawsuits against Ebay sellers, accusing them of distributing counterfeit versions of the software giant's programs.
...watch manufacturer Rolex had sued eBay (over the sales of faked Rolex watches, and indeed achieved a partial victory. The case went up to the German Federal Court of Justice. Finally, the court ruled that whilst eBay was not liable right from the first sale of a faked watch on, it may come under a subsequent duty to monitor its platform for similar infringements once it has been informed that there have been respective illegal sales.
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HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCES:
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am so sorry but I am unable to help you with "how to spot the differences" on most of these items (too many items for one person to know) so please search the Ebay guides or Google for more info on your particular brand of interest as another person have extensive knowledge of a certain brand. Please see my other guides for more info on Kooba and Anya Hindmarch "I'm NOT A Plastic Bag". I work 50-80 hours a week so its hard for me to answer all the numerous emails I receive asking about whether or not an item is real or not. Please search the guides for a guide that is specifically on the brand you are interested in.
COMMONLY COUNTERFEITED BRANDS:
This is just a FEW. There are thousands more. (Please see my separate guide for more brands)
Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Antik Denim, Armani, Balenciaga, Bally, Bape, Tommy Bahama, BCBG, Be & D, Hugo Boss, Barbara Bui, Bottega Veneta, Botkier, Bulga, Burberry, Tory Burch, Celine, Chanel, Herve Chapelier, Christian Audigier, Coach, Chloe, Celine, Jimmy Choo, Columbia, Diesel, Christian Dior, Citizens of Humanity, Dolce & Gabbana, Dooney & Bourke, Escada, EVISU, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Isabella Fiore, Frankie B, Fred Perry, Givenchy, Goyard, Gryson, Gucci, Gustto, Ed Hardy, Hermes, Tommy Hilfiger, Anya Hindmarch, Hollister, Hudson, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Kooba, Lacoste, L.A.M.B. (Gwen Stefani), Longchamp, Luella, MBT, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Mulberry, Nike, Nat Nast, North Face, Pirelli, Polo, Zac Posen, Prada, Lilly Pulitzer, Polo, Puma, RocaWear, Seven for all Mankind, Seven Jeans, Kate Spade, True Religion, Rock & Republic, Ralph Lauren, Timberland, Tod's, Valentino, Versace, Diane Von Furstenberg, Louis Vuitton, Thomas Wylde, YSL (Yves Saint Laurent), ...
Breitling, Bvlgari, Cartier, Longines, Movado, Omega, Rolex, Rado, Seiko, Tiffany & Co., Raymond Weil, Weiss Jewelry, David Yurman, Montblanc, Waterman Pens, Dupont Lighters, Zippo, Rayban, Oakley Sunglasses...
Babolat Tennis Raquets, Callaway, Cleveland Golf, Ping, TaylorMade, Titleist, Head, Prince, Wilson
Frontline (pet flea med.)
Apple, Canon, Gameboy, Ipod, Lexmark, Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo, SanDisk, Sony, Shure Microphones
Roseville pottery, Majolica, Staffordshire Porcelain, Nippon ...
Gibson, Les Paul, Fender Guitar
MAC, L'Oreal, Kerastase, CHI hair irons...
Disney, Harry Potter Collections, Hello Kitty......even KRAZY GLUE!! Basically any desirable brand or item!
NOTE: If you are aware of ANY other brands that are not mentioned, PLEASE bring them to my attention so I can add them to the list!
COMMONLY COUNTEFEITED ITEMS:
Handbags, sunglasses, clothing, jeans, hoodies, shoes, jewelry, fake designer shopping bags, housewares, cosmetics, perfume, tires, auto parts, machinery, tools, antiques, artwork, medication (included prescription medication), computer related items, USB flash drives, software, DVDs, CDs, LCD TVs, sports equipment, golf clubs & supplies, ski clothes & equipment, soccer balls, USB flash drivers, pet related items, hair products, microphones, musical instruments, pottery, porcelain, trade dollars & coins, computer games, silk scarves, sports cards and memorabilia, autographs, scripts, event tickets, coupons, health & beauty items and many more, just to give you an idea of the magnitude of this issue.
There are over 5000 Ebay guides on counterfeit items! Do a search for "counterfeit" or "fake" under Reviews and Guides to see this overwhelming problem! And you may find a guide on your brand of interest!
REPORT COUNTERFEIT SELLERS!
Just leaving negative feedback is not enough! You must use the "report this item" link at the bottom of the listing if you receive an item that you are CERTAIN is counterfeit, not just a "hunch". And send an email to Ebay complaining about the illegal item. This is the only way for Ebay to be notified!
DID THIS GUIDE INFORM YOU IN ANY WAY?
If so, please take a moment to register to vote "YES" below. I would like to really have an idea of how many honest Ebay users who do not deal in illegal goods find this information helpful. As you can see by the "no" votes, there a whole lot of counterfeit supporters! Scary, huh?
Please visit the International Anti-Counterfeit Coalition, IPCybercrime, CounterfeitChic & FakesAreNeverInFashion . com to learn more & show your support!
**I am unable to respond to all emails received (too many). I'm very sorry. Thanks for your understanding!