The explosion of e-commerce over the last year has been a godsend for brands and retailers that are struggling with store closures, but it comes with its own set of risks. For one, the combination of e-commerce growth and the holiday shopping rush has led to a significant increase in the amount of counterfeit goods being sold in the US.
According to data from brand protection agency Incopro, Black Friday saw a rise in the amount of counterfeits across sectors and platforms. EBay’s watch and jewelry category saw a 155% increase in high-risk listings (identified by Incopro’s fake-spotting algorithm) at select brands. On Amazon, some luxury goods saw a 121% increase in high risk listings and a 51% increase was flagged for some streetwear brands sold on the platform. Black Friday typically sees a growth in counterfeits being sold every year. Last year, there was a 156% increase in cosmetics counterfeits on Amazon from October to November, driven primarily by sellers in the space looking to bank off Black Friday sales.
“E-commerce has exploded this year, particularly around the holidays, and counterfeiters know this,” said Piers Barclay, chief strategy officer at Incopro. “In many ways, the counterfeiters are business-people, just like anyone else. So where there’s a lot of growth, that’s where they’ll be. Twenty years ago, counterfeiting was about selling something on the street corner. But the explosion of e-commerce and platforms like eBay has made it a lot easier.”
Brands and retailers alike are aware of this surge and have begun using a number of new tools to spot fakes. Stopping counterfeits doesn’t just benefit the consumer. Luxury brands lose around $30 billion per year due to counterfeiting, so preventing those sales is important for Amazon or any platform looking to court brands. With more brands going DTC in the last year, retailers need to safeguard those partnerships and continue bringing in new ones.
Amazon, for instance, announced last week a partnership with US government’s Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, in collaboration with DHL. The goal is to help prevent the shipping of fake goods into the country. Amazon will provide data to the IPR Center and US Customs to help them target likely counterfeiters for inspection before they enter the country… Glossy