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How To Spot Counterfeit Items On Ebay

Updated on February 11, 2012

Counterfeit Ebay Items
Most people that are looking to buy something online are well aware that counterfeit items are very common on eBay, but what does that mean? Does that mean that all items on eBay are fake, does that mean that you are going to get ripped off if you buy an eBay item? Well the answer to that is NO, not if you do your homework about the item you are buying. The first question you need to ask yourself is, how much do you want to pay, and what do you expect for your money? If you want a designer brand name handbag for 10% of the retail value, new with tags and never used, then you better be prepared to purchase a replica, a counterfeit item. Some of these items are so close to the originals that there are no differences visible to the naked eye.

If you are totally against the idea of buying anything that isn't officially licensed, authentic genuine goods, then you will have to ask yourself what the hell you are doing looking for it on eBay in the first place. In most cases, you will get what you pay for, so if you want the real thing, be prepared to pay full retail price, or very close to it. This doesn't mean that you should assume an item is authentic, just because the seller has it priced as the real thing. The only way to be sure that your will get official licensed products, would be to buy them direct from the source. So if you are looking for a pair of Nike shoes, go to, if you are looking for a Manchester United Jersey, go to their website.

The most commonly copied items that are for sale on eBay are clothing and fashion items, from t-shirts and hats, to jeans and sports apparel. Certain counterfeit items are better than others, and there are various grades of replicas, many of which are nearly equal in quality to the original products. Counterfeiting is a big part of eBay's business, and without these replicas and the people who sell them, eBay would not be what they are today. Anyone that thinks that eBay is trying to stop the sale of counterfeits on their website, is quite naïve.

How To Spot A Fake
It is amazing how many people fail to recognize the easiest telltale signs of a replica. The first thing you should look at is the price, and if it is too good to be true... well then it is a fake. If you are looking for a designer handbag, I would like to let you in on a little secret ... People that can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a purse, don't sell their belongings on eBay. Just don't buy an item like this on eBay unless you want a replica, because 98% of them will be fake and the rest are likely stolen.

Another thing that is important to understand is that just because a seller advertises the item as "100% Authentic", this doesn't mean a damn thing. All sellers on eBay will claim that they are selling authentic goods, because technically it is against the rules to sell replicas. Really eBay doesn't care if you sell fakes, just as long as nobody complains, and they prefer you keep the price high enough that it isn't so obvious.

If you look at the sellers photos, you can sometimes spot a seller that buys from various websites based in China, because often they use the same product photos. You can run a search on Google images and see if you see the same photos. It is likely that a seller that can't be bothered to take their own photos, will also provide poorer customer service.

It is amazing how easy it is to get an autographed Michael Jordan jersey, or a football signed by Brett Favre, these kind of items are commonly sold on eBay for less than 100 bucks. I wonder how many people really believe that these are authentic, maybe they just don't care?

Ebay Policy Regarding Counterfeits
It is officially against the rules to sell fakes on eBay, and they spend a lot of time assuring people that they do not allow such things to take place. This is an obvious show of smoke and mirrors, as anyone with any idea can clearly see that if eBay removed all the fake items, there wouldn't be a whole hell of a lot left. The rules are in place to satisfy the lawyers, the rights owners and the customers that are not comfortable buying replicas. What eBay does is provide loopholes to ensure that sellers can sell counterfeit items, so they can continue to profit from the sales commission.


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