500,000 Counterfeit Products Sold to eBay Consumers

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The Counterfeit Report claims “The eBay counterfeit product listings reflect actual sales of over 500,000 counterfeit items to eBay consumers.” eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) says not.

New research from The Counterfeit Report says that:

The eBay counterfeit product listings reflect actual sales of over 500,000 counterfeit items to eBay consumers. Particularly shocking is the investigation focused on less than a dozen items. Not purses, watches or fakes shoes, but items consumers wouldn’t suspect. The majority were fake – easily identifiable items that don’t exist in the manufacturer’s authentic product line, but bear the manufacturer’s trademark.

The Counterfeit Report purchased and received over 2,000 manufacturer confirmed counterfeit and fake products from eBay sellers. While the eBay sellers usually remain, eBay chose to block The Counterfeit Report’s accounts and test purchases in an effort to end the whistleblower activity. Negative “counterfeit” feedback left by The Counterfeit Report for the counterfeit sellers was removed by eBay.

An official at eBay writes:

Mr. Crosby (publisher of The Counterfeit Report), who is neither law enforcement nor a rights owner, professes to operate a website to promote counterfeit awareness. But in reality, he is only looking out for his own business interests and his own bottom line. Instead of working collaboratively with eBay to combat counterfeits — as we invited him to do — Mr. Crosby chose to operate outside eBay’s policies and file demonstrably meritless claims and litigation against the company. Recently, Mr. Crosby filed suit against eBay seeking alleged damages, which resulted in an arbitrator ruling in eBay’s favor and awarding fees incurred defending against what the arbitrator ruled were ‘frivolous claims.’

Counterfeits are not welcome on eBay. We’re committed to combatting the sale of counterfeit goods and have consistently been an Internet industry leader in working to stop the online sale of counterfeit goods. We utilize a combination of sophisticated detection tools, enforcement and strong relationships with brand owners, retailers and law enforcement agencies to combat bad activity and present our customers with a safe, trusted shopping experience. In addition, for merchants in particular, eBay proactively partners with retailers and manufacturers to combat the sale of stolen or counterfeit goods

In the rare case a buyer believes that he or she has purchased a counterfeit item, eBay’s Money Back Guarantee applies to virtually all transactions and will cover them accordingly.

Hard to sort out the bodies.

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