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Counterfeits Lurk Among Online Discounts

Posted on 9.01.2008

Research by OpSec Security, a global brand protection and anti-counterfeiting company, found that on average, online auction sites were discounting popular back-to-school items at approximately twice the rate of discounts offered by authorized online retailers.  Deeply discounted pricing for new, back-to-school items is sign that counterfeiters are lurking. 
Competition among retailers to attract shoppers during this difficult economic time has led to especially creative promotions and discounting.  Determining product authenticity based solely on pricing becomes far more challenging for online shoppers when authorized retailers offer significant discounts.  This evens the playing field, making it easier for counterfeiters to sneak into the game unnoticed.
OpSec monitored the online auctions landscape for new back-to-school items, including laptops, sneakers, jeans and backpacks. All items searched were new, in-season products.  The study covered a 30-day timeframe between July and August 2008. Authorized online retailer discounts averaged 33%, while the average discount on auction sites was 58%.  The chart below describes average discounts on authorized online retail sites and on auction sites for each of the product groups studied.
What does this mean for Retailers & Brand Owners?
Retailers & brand owners should monitor highly trafficked online auctions and other ecommerce platforms to determine whether their products are being offered at deep discounts.  If counterfeit product is identified, leverage Right's Owners programs (i.e. eBay's VeRO program) to remove listings.  Proactively addressing these online issues will allow brand owners and retailers to maintain strategic pricing structures.


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