eBay reveals authentication program to address the site's counterfeit goods problem

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Few, if any, online stores are safe from the scourge of counterfeit goods, but you’ll likely find that the problem is at its worst on eBay. Now, the site has announced it aims to address the problem with its new authentication program, which should allow shoppers to buy expensive items without worrying that they’re not the real deal.

For sellers, the opt-in service – called eBay Authenticate – is available when creating a listing. It involves sending the item to a third-party professional authenticator when it sells, before being forwarded to the buyer. Choosing to offer the feature isn’t free, but eBay hasn’t yet said how much it will cost.

An added bonus for buyers is that if an item passes the examination but a customer later discovers it to be a fake, eBay will refund twice the original purchase price. And even if a seller hasn’t opted-in to the program, buyers can request that an item be inspected – though they’ll have to pay for the service.

eBay Authenticate is designed with high-end products in mind, such as designers handbags, luxury fashion items, and jewelry - so don't expect the service to be cheap. Still, someone buying or selling a $15,000 handbag probably won’t care about paying extra to verify its authenticity. Interestingly, eBay says fees would be differentiated by item category.

“This program simply helps our buyers have more confidence on the great, authentic inventory that we have on the site – and enable our sellers to benefit from that confidence,” said Laura Chambers, Vice President of eBay Consumer Selling.

The new system will be tested over the coming months and should roll out to all users near the end of the year.

Permalink to story.

 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
A former colleague of mine used to sell designer bags on ebay and constantly had to verify her goods were authentic. They were being challenged constantly by some unknown party and the system was just plain broken.

That was almost 10 years ago. What have these muppets been doing all this time?
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Would sure like to see this service for flash memory and other electronics.
Flash memory and other electronics are very easy to determine if they are legit or not. Serial numbers and other factory codes are always stamped on them. Not to mention, you can't fake the actual circuit board simply because it's far too complicated. It's not like someone can sell you a fake flash card and you not know it because you would be able to see the device name in My Computer and device manager.
 
Flash memory and other electronics are very easy to determine if they are legit or not. Serial numbers and other factory codes are always stamped on them. Not to mention, you can't fake the actual circuit board simply because it's far too complicated. It's not like someone can sell you a fake flash card and you not know it because you would be able to see the device name in My Computer and device manager.

Check Amazon for a 2TB usb thumb drive. There is a dirt cheap one, but its fake. Put it in your computer, it shows 2tb because they change the firmware or something. Counterfeit SD cards is a booming industry.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Check Amazon for a 2TB usb thumb drive. There is a dirt cheap one, but its fake. Put it in your computer, it shows 2tb because they change the firmware or something. Counterfeit SD cards is a booming industry.
Yeah, I've seen those. They don't appear in the computer as "Brand Name 2 TB USB Thumb" though, they appear as generic. Or are you saying they literally don't even have 2 TB of space?
 
Yeah, I've seen those. They don't appear in the computer as "Brand Name 2 TB USB Thumb" though, they appear as generic. Or are you saying they literally don't even have 2 TB of space?
They are 2gig thumbdrives reflashed to look like 2tb drives. Sandisk microsd cards are often counterfeit, and are very hard to spot. Wikipedia has pictures of counterfeit ones and its really hard to tell.
 

Nodeity

TS Rookie
Would sure like to see this service for flash memory and other electronics.
Flash memory and other electronics are very easy to determine if they are legit or not. Serial numbers and other factory codes are always stamped on them. Not to mention, you can't fake the actual circuit board simply because it's far too complicated. It's not like someone can sell you a fake flash card and you not know it because you would be able to see the device name in My Computer and device manager.
This is a silly comment, you need to verify before you buy, not after.
 
Would sure like to see this service for flash memory and other electronics.
Flash memory and other electronics are very easy to determine if they are legit or not. Serial numbers and other factory codes are always stamped on them. Not to mention, you can't fake the actual circuit board simply because it's far too complicated. It's not like someone can sell you a fake flash card and you not know it because you would be able to see the device name in My Computer and device manager.
This is a silly comment, you need to verify before you buy, not after.
Thats the whole point. How do you verify if you dont have it in your posession, and how do you get your money back if its counterfeit once its in your posession. E-bay has a great solution here it seems, but they dont say it will be offered for items like sd cards.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
This is a silly comment, you need to verify before you buy, not after.
You can look at the pictures provided by the seller. Usually counterfeit items are sold from China. If yo do happen to purchase a counterfeit item all you need to do is request a return and select counterfeit as the reason. A seller is only allowed one or two counterfeit claims before their account is suspended.
 

captainload

TS Member
This is a silly comment, you need to verify before you buy, not after.
You can look at the pictures provided by the seller. Usually counterfeit items are sold from China. If yo do happen to purchase a counterfeit item all you need to do is request a return and select counterfeit as the reason. A seller is only allowed one or two counterfeit claims before their account is suspended.
It depends on how much $$ Ebay is making off the fake products. They have big time counterfeit sellers that have been on there for YEARS. If the volume was high, which meant that Ebay's take was considerable, Ebay happily turned a blind eye. This new program is in response to Ebay settling out of court in a suit where they were charged with being complicit in harming legitimate sellers. Amazon is almost as bad so I'm sure they'll implement a similar authentication scheme soon.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
It depends on how much $$ Ebay is making off the fake products. They have big time counterfeit sellers that have been on there for YEARS. If the volume was high, which meant that Ebay's take was considerable, Ebay happily turned a blind eye. This new program is in response to Ebay settling out of court in a suit where they were charged with being complicit in harming legitimate sellers. Amazon is almost as bad so I'm sure they'll implement a similar authentication scheme soon.
Unfortunately that's the way companies are. They won't do anything unless required by law. I honestly don't know why Amazon is so bad with it's 3rd party sellers. What did it expect when it opened it's gates to china?
 
  • Like
Reactions: captainload