Counterfeit Goods

Buying a Handbag on Online – Safe or Sorry 

Michael D. Stewart, Esq.
Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart


     Purchasing luxury goods on sites such as EBAY and OVERSTOCK.COM can be fraught with peril given the number of counterfeit goods being passed off by sellers.  The number of sales of such goods as watches and handbags makes it difficult and costly for companies to “police” their goods online to find and stop those selling “fakes”. 


     The problem has been rampant in the brick and mortar, or at least street and stall world in places such as New York’s Chinatown, whereby fake handbags, pens, and watches are sold in stall after stall.  While certain companies were able to make a concerted effort to prevent infringement of their goods in Chinatown (ROLEX watches are no longer on display in many stands) others companies were either unable or unsuccessful in doing so and now look at fakes as a type of cost of doing business. 


     Online, companies such as BUYSAFE.COM are trying to alleviate the problem by bonding sellers who sell these types of goods.  Further, EBAY uses a system called VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) whereby owners register and notify EBAY of violations which are then removed from the site. 


     Even given the above type of protections, buying luxury merchandise on-line can lead to the purchase of counterfeit goods. 


     As opined by Christina Binkley in today’s THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, one of the best options for consumers now is a company called PORTERO.COM, an online auction site that verifies the authenticates the goods that it lists, as well as provides a money-back guarantee for fakes.  Expectedly, there are additional costs involved in buying from a site such as this. 


     Buying luxury goods online and avoiding “fakes”, like buying in the “real world”, can be difficult, especially on auction sites where owners list their goods for sale.  However, as in the “real world” where there is a certain guarantee of genuineness from buying from a store such as MACY’S, so to online will it evolve that certain sites such as PORTERO.COM and others like it will come to carry a guarantee of genuineness.


     Commonsense online should also come into play – that CARTIER watch for $20 might be to good to be real. 




Michael D. Stewart, Esq.
Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart









The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart

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