eBay Using Pro Authenticators To Spot Counterfeit Items

Image courtesy of Kazuhisa OTSUBO

Even though eBay is really just a middle-man, giving buyers and sellers a platform to transact business, it doesn’t want those buyers being conned into paying for counterfeit items, or sellers unloading potentially illegal knockoffs. 

To address that concern, eBay announced today that it will use a network of professional authenticators to inspect certain high-end products to make sure they aren’t fakes.

At first, the program will be tested with sellers who offer products such as high-end handbags, and agree to an authentication service for an undisclosed fee when listing a product.

If a seller opts in to the program, their product listing will include a message notifying borrowers that the item will be reviewed by a professional authenticator before it’s delivered.

Once an item sells, the authenticator will examine the product. If it passes, it is shipped to the buyer.

If it subsequently turns out that the product was indeed a fake, eBay will issue a refund to the buyer.

For some products, the buyer will be able to request the authentication, though they will be the ones paying the fee for that service.


“For buyers, the service adds another layer of trust to allow them to shop confidently,” Laura Chambers – vice president of eBay consumer selling, says in a statement. “And for sellers, the service will be most beneficial for those who are looking to part ways with their high-value items, but don’t necessarily have a long-established selling history on eBay.”

eBay expects the program to roll out broadly by the end of the year.

The company is just the latest to set its sights on combating counterfeit goods. In November, Amazon announced it had plans to escalate its efforts in 2017. The company kicked things off last year with new policies requiring some sellers to pay up to a $1,500 fee for each major brand that they sell.

Rival Alibaba vowed in 2015 to step up its efforts to prevent online sales of fake goods.

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