Selling of counterfeit products has been around since ancient times. Wherever a market for something existed, you could be sure that someone would produce a fake to earn some profits as well. In fact, a 2015 study by the International Chamber of Commerce found that the global value of counterfeit goods was estimated to be around $1.8 trillion. When it comes to online fakes these are rising rapidly each year, with the vast majority of these originating from China.
The sale of counterfeits remains a great problem for consumers, the industry, and governments. The rise of the internet has made controlling the sale of these fakes even more difficult, as anyone can open an online channel to promote and sell counterfeit goods in a simple and completely anonymous way.
A question of anonymity
When it comes to the internet, every person can choose to hide their identity from others. As such, sellers can easily trick potential consumers into buying a product that is not real.
The process is further facilitated by the fact that these sellers can simply post pictures of the genuine product and pretend that they are selling those. This would be more difficult in a real land-based shop where consumers can feel and look at the product before they buy it.
In addition, certain online sellers can take specific measures to make their counterfeit product stores appear higher in search engine listings, which gives the impression that they are as real as the original trademark brand.
Reaching millions of people at once
Sellers using the internet to promote their counterfeit products can reach millions of people at once and from all over the world. And conversely, potential customers can access a seller’s shop with the click of a button.
This effectively means that people have a higher chance of buying a counterfeit item from a seller that lives outside of their country without them even knowing it. Such a potential for selling counterfeit products to anyone around the world makes tracking and controlling more difficult for authorities.
Credit Cards make purchasing easier
Another important aspect that needs to be discussed is the use of credit cards to make payments at online stores. Every person that uses the internet to find items to buy will end up using this payment method to purchase them.
In fact, credit cards has also become the preferred payment method for retailers, wholesalers, small businesses, and resellers that own a land-based store. As such, it can be said that these individuals are also at risk of buying counterfeit goods, and then passing them on to consumers that do not shop online directly.
Despite the fact that counterfeit products have been in existence for a very long time, these have been gaining more attention in recent years. Their negative impacts on consumers, the industries and its workers, and wholesalers and retailers are profound and significant.
The internet has managed to provide these counterfeit sellers with a seemingly unlimited market of customers, an easy way of marketing and promoting their fake goods, and a lot of means of avoiding being detected and caught.