File photo (REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach).
( REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach)
Following Amazon’s recent decision to ramp up the efforts to get rid of its online store of counterfeit goods, eBay has this week announced similar plans.
The initiative includes a so-called “verification program, aimed at strengthening the confidence of the consumer when it comes to shopping on the site and on the purchase button.
Initially focused on high-end products, such as brand handbags, and other fashion-related items, the system will be fed by a network of professional authenticators in charge of checking whether an item is the real deal or a cheap knock-off.
Sellers handling expensive products can sign up for the service for authentication, although they have to pay a fee, the amount of which is currently undecided. As soon as they register, a notice shall be attached to each of the products of the seller on eBay to inform the customer that if they purchase an item, will be examined by an official authenticator prior to shipment. Of course, if the item is not fake, the transaction will be cancelled and the customer refunded.
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If the seller does not want to enroll in the program, the buyer can request an inspection, but the fee will be charged for them in the place.
Finally, if a shopper gets a product after inspection and found to be fake, eBay promises to pay the buyer twice the amount of the original purchase price.
Discussing the new system, Laura Chambers, vice-president of eBay Consumer Sales, said: “For buyers, the service adds another layer of confidence to enable them to shop with confidence. And for sellers, the service will be the most beneficial for people who are looking to part ways with their high-value items, but does not necessarily have a long-established selling history on eBay.”
Rooms added, “For our more established sellers, the service may not be as significant because they have probably established a reliable reputation, but it will certainly be available for all sellers.”
The new authentication system will be tested in the coming months, with eBay aims to make widely available toward the end of 2017. As it helps to boost sales of high-end items, everyone is a winner, including eBay, which takes a cut of each sale.
Amazon unveiled in November that it is stepping up efforts to get rid of her own site of fake goods, calling on brand owners to register their products with the Seattle-based company. As soon as an item is in its registry, any seller who lists the product for sale has to prove to Amazon that they have a legal right to sell it online.
The effectiveness of these initiatives remains to be seen, but the two e-commerce giants clearly feel themselves forced to find new ways to ban counterfeit goods from their online stores in an attempt to preserve and strengthen the confidence of the users, while reassuring brand owners and sellers of the real goods that they are looking for them also.