US eBay Authenticate aims to stamp out fakes

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eBay have announced a new authentication program, eBay Authenticate, as they continue to boost consumer confidence when purchasing high-end merchandise.

The idea is that if you’re about to splash several hundred dollars on a designer handbag you don’t want to find out a year down the line that you were conned and it’s a fake. Equally as a seller you want a top price for your item and don’t want buyers put off thinking eBay may be a dodgy site and reluctant to bid on your product.

eBay explains “We know that many shoppers may be hesitant to purchase high-end products online. This service is designed to help quell some of those concerns – and in turn – enhance the opportunity for our sellers to get top dollar for their items“.

The way the service works is that when listing an item the seller can opt in to the authentication service for an additional fee at the point of listing. When a buyer makes a purchase, the product will be reviewed by a professional authenticator before it’s delivered to the buyer.

The listing will highlight that the product is covered by eBay Authenticate and, to give peace of mind, if subsequently it’s found to be fake the buyer will be refunded twice the price they originally paid.

If a buyer bids on a listing where the seller hasn’t opted into eBay Authenticate, the buyer will still be able to use the service but in this case they themselves will pay the fee.

Initially it’s expected that the service will be offered in categories such as fashion as it’s known buyers may be hesitant when considering products like high end hand bags, but the service could expand to other categories in the future, jewellery and watches immediately spring to mind as categories that could benefit.

eBay acknowledge that for more established sellers, the service may not be as meaningful given they’ve likely established a trusted reputation but the service will eventually be available to all sellers. The initial pilot program will be rolled out over the coming months.

6 Responses

  1. that is actually a fantastic idea.
    shame its ebay and all they have is an idea.

    the price is: a complete mystery.
    the method is: a complete mystery.
    when it happens: a complete mystery.

    hey ebay i have an idea: instead of fast and free, just teleport items instantly into peoples homes!
    the benefits are countless, it’ll be wonderful!

    i dont know how it’ll work, i dont know what it’ll cost, i dont know when it’ll be realised, but how clever do i sound thinking that up all by myself?

    think my teleport idea is way better than their unambitious authenticating idea, and just as likely to happen.

  2. The thing it won’t be able to stop presumably, is where a factory continues to produce goods after the initial genuine order has been paid for and shipped.
    I’m thinking of clothing here, due to experiences of friends in Eastern Europe who went to factories in Turkey as prices were low and quality high.
    The owner of the factory making clothing for Western fashion chains had a friend/relative producing the original labels, so once the initial order was completed, ‘genuine’ copies were then produced and sold for a fraction of the cost – doubtless this practice exists in other manufacturing regions.
    Would it even be possible to tell the difference unless the manufacturers started using slightly different or inferior fabric, and would it even be classed as fake if it was identical stuff from the same factories ?

  3. Hang on a sec:

    If an item is found to be fake, then buyer gets double the money back?
    Say they bought an item for £1000 and it was fake, the buyer gets £2000 back?

    Who coughs up the extra £1000? eBay or the seller? I’ve got a feeling that’s not going to be eBay, isn’t t?

    What happens to the fake product, do eBay burn it like they do at customs?

    What happens if the expert authenticator makes a mistake and marks a genuine product as fake? What if the fake product is such a good copy it’s virtually indistinguishable from the genuine article, it’s then marked as genuine and the seller makes a tidy profit? How good is the “professional authenticator”, is he infallible?

    So many questions, so many potential problems, I see no reason why a seller would want to do this?

  4. If I were worried about an item being fake I would buy from the known authorised dealer or distributer
    and who appoints or qualify these experts
    in our experience
    the “experts” take the easy option and say fake first

  5. could a seller sell a fake to an accomplice then share twice the money back ?
    then if only vetted and accredited sellers are able to use this service
    surely a one off licence or vetting fee by a vendor whould suffice


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