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eBay launches authentication service against fake luxury goods

By Vivian Hendriksz

Jan 13, 2017

London - Have you every purchased a vintage designer handbag off of eBay,(for as stellar price), only to wonder when the item itself arrives if its really the real deal? You are not alone. Online marketplace places such as eBay have unfortunately become hotspots across the globe for counterfeiters to unload their knock-off luxury designs to unwilling buyers.

However, eBay has taken its battle against fake luxury and designer goods to the next level with the launch of a new service: eBay authenticate. eBay is set to start authenticating luxury handbags, footwear and apparel later this year through its new program designed to boost consumer confidence. “We understand that some shoppers may be hesitant to purchase high-valued items online. This new service is designed to both ease buyer concerns and help our sellers acquire top dollar for their items,” said the company in a statement.

eBay to rollout new authentication service against counterfeiters

The online marketplace is set to use a network of experts to help verify that a Chanel 255 handbag up for sale is the authentic. Sellers will be able to pay extra for the authentication service to assures potential buyers they are getting what they paid for, or shoppers can choose to pay for the service themselves. If a buyer opts to use the service, they will be protected by eBay’s pledge that the sale will be voided if the item in question turns out to be fake and refunded up to “two times the cost of the original purchase price,” added the company.

At the moment eBay is currently constructing its new authenticate program, so fees for the service remain unknown. However, eBay is likely to charge difference prices for the service, depending on the item’s brand, size and origins. The program will be made available to all sellers in every category around the globe later this year, although eBay has yet to reveal an exact launch date. The company is currently running a pilot programme of the service and will share further information later in the year.

eBay new service comes as luxury startup The RealReal Inc, based in San Francisco, sold close to 400 million dollars (328.2 million pounds) worth of second-hand or vintage authenticated goods in 2016, close to double the sales made in 2015. Online marketplaces, like eBay, Amazon and Alibaba have been fighting against counterfeiters for a long time. Counterfeit goods were worth close to 10 percent of the apparel, footwear and accessories sold in the EU in 2015, accounting for a loss of 28 billion dollars. (22.9 billion pounds), according to a study from the EU’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

China, and other countries in South-East Asia, remain the largest sources of counterfeit goods, with clothing, footwear and accessories being listed among the most copied goods. However online e-commerce platforms have been working hard to ensure their efforts against counterfeit goods do not go unseen. Earlier this month Alibaba filed a lawsuits against two vendors who were allegedly selling counterfeit goods, the first legal action of its kind to occur in China, a few weeks after US regulators accused the company of not doing enough against counterfeiters.

Photos: Courtesy of Pexels and eBay