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Protect yourself From Selling Counterfeit Items on Ebay

Starting your own home business on eBay can be a fun and lucrative endeavor, especially if you find a popular niche, such as designer handbags or accessories. But many sellers are finding out that the items that thought were low-priced, high-quality designer goods are really very good imitations of the real thing. Besides the fact that the seller is now part of something much larger – and very illegal – selling counterfeit goods can get your eBay business shut down permanently if you get caught, even if you had no idea you were doing it in the first place.

The VeRO program was developed by eBay to help designer brands combat counterfeit items. Since eBay has a hard time policing the millions of listings on their website every day, VeRO lets the brand themselves do the policing. Since designer brands are usually the most knowledgeable about what is a legitimate product, and what is a counterfeit, you can find your auctions being suspended. This is an excellent way to prevent buyers from being duped in to paying high prices for fake designer goods – but where does that leave the seller?

Unfortunately, sellers don’t really have much recourse in this situation. Often time, they are left with an overabundance of counterfeit goods, and nothing to do with them. The companies that manufacturer these knock offs aren’t usually responsive to requests for refunds, since they’re often times nothing more than a few individuals using stolen fabric from the actual designer to create these goods themselves. Most of the time, they are overseas, and therefore cannot be prosecuted, or even tracked down for a refund.

Instead, sellers need to know how to tell a counterfeit from an original designer accessory. Becoming an expert on every designer overnight is impossible, but with some common sense and good resources, you can double-check every good you want to sell, before you purchase it yourself. To start, there are few companies that offer their handbags and accessories for whole sale. Neither Burberry nor Louis Vuitton offer their items to the public for resale; their products are only sold through licensed vendors. That means there is nowhere to find discounted Burberry of Louis Vuitton items, so right away, you should scratch these brands off your list. Anything you find from a wholesaler with these names on them, are 100% definitely counterfeit.

Other popular brands include Gucci, Prada, Dooney & Bourke, and Coach. While these are often sold at discounted rates from overstock, use your common sense. Dooney & Bourke bags are probably the most low-end of the bunch, so it wouldn’t be uncommon to find a wholesaler offering them for a low price. However, Gucci and Prada typically do not sell handbags or accessories that are under the $500 mark, so if you find a wholesaler who is offering these brands for pennies on the dollar, steer clear – this is almost always a counterfeit scam.

When in doubt about a particular item’s authenticity, simply ask the wholesaler for the serial numbers that are listed inside every handbag and accessory. Some of the designer brand websites offer a tool that allows you to enter the serial number right on their site to see what handbag was manufactured to match it. Other brands have a toll-free number you can call with the serial number to verify its authenticity. If the serial number is a forgery, or is linked to a product other than the one you intend to purchase, you know you are dealing with counterfeit items.

Do not fall prey to the counterfeit designer good scams. Often times, sellers will knowingly sell these fake goods because they know the items sell, which is a bad idea. It’s just not worth it to make a few extra bucks. So use your common sense, and know what you’re buying and selling.

Vickie Sayce

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