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Jan 13, 2017
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Ebay to weed out counterfeit products with authentication program

Jan 13, 2017

eBay has launched a new authentication program to help customers buy and sell big-ticket resale items with less risk.

An example of a luxury handbag sold on eBay - eBay

eBay's Vice President of e-commerce Selling, Laura Chambers, described the program, "The basic premise is there will be an authentication service powered by a network of professional authenticators that sellers and buyers can take advantage of. eBay sellers who sell certain types of inventory, such as high-end handbags, will have an opportunity to opt-in to the authentication service for a fee when listing a product."

"In return," Chambers continued, "there will be messaging on their listing that highlights that the item will be reviewed by a professional authenticator before it’s delivered to the buyer. If the item sells, a professional authenticator will examine the item for authenticity. If the item passes inspection, the item will be forwarded to the buyer. To further bolster consumer trust in this program – if a buyer receives an item following inspection and it’s found to be inauthentic – eBay will refund the buyer two times the cost of the original purchase price."

E-commerce retailers like eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba have been struggling with counterfeits. Amazon filed a lawsuit against counterfeit sellers this past November. Amazon and Alibaba have adopted specialized algorithms to help weed out counterfeit handbags.

The program will begin its initial roll out this month, first focusing on luxury handbags from frequently-replicated brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Because of the high-cost of authenticating each item, eBay will concentrate on authenticating high-ticket items. The full program is anticipated to launch later this calendar year.

eBay has found that although only a tiny number of products end up being a counterfeit product, customers are still hesitant to purchase high-end items, not willing to take the risk against counterfeits. Ebay sellers recognize this apprehension, and look to third party authentication sellers, such as luxury or vintage stores or professionals, to authenticate products.

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