For many years, eBay has invested significant time and money into eliminating the sale of counterfeit goods from its platform. Recently, one of the company's top executives had a chance to discuss eBay's efforts at the seventh annual Harper’s Bazaar Summit on Anti-Counterfeiting, held on April 26 in New York. The event drew a cross-section of 150 fashion industry leaders, including representatives from luxury brands such as LVMH and media such as Women’s Wear Daily and the New York Post, as well as designers such as Dianne von Furstenberg, president of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).
Harper’s Bazaar has taken a firm stance against counterfeiting in the fashion arena with its aptly named consumer alliance Fakes are Never in Fashion. To encourage discourse on the topic, Valerie Salembier, SVP and Publisher of Harper’s Bazaar invited Alan Marks, eBay Inc.’s Senior Vice President of Global Communications, to participate in a panel discussion on how to fight fakes. Several notable speakers joined Marks on the panel, including Frank W. Abagnale, subject of the film and Broadway show “Catch Me if You Can,” and Thomas M. Onda, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Levi Strauss & Co.
“Prevention, detection, enforcement and education are all critically important to fighting counterfeits,” said Marks at the conference. “eBay is an online leader in these areas, and Harper's Bazaar has done a great job bringing together industry leaders, government stakeholders and media influencers to help educate consumers about the broader impact of purchasing counterfeit products and to find new ways to collaborate and fight the problem.”
Marks noted that shifts in the retail market are spurring changes in fighting counterfeiting. “Online and offline commerce are blending, and consumers are changing the way they shop,” he said. “In this emerging new retail environment, collaborative industry efforts to fight counterfeits are more important than ever. Counterfeit products hurt brand owners, retailers and marketplaces such as eBay, undermining consumer trust and confidence. eBay is committed to playing an industry-leading role and being a strong partner in anti-counterfeiting initiatives." In fact, Marks noted that about half of the 150 attendees participate in eBay’s Verified Rights Owners (VeRO) program.
eBay’s platform includes many technology-driven anti-counterfeiting processes, and counterfeits have steadily decreased on the platform in recent years. The company’s policies, including VeRO, and efforts at human intervention have also made an impact. Following are some of the measures eBay takes in fighting the sale of counterfeits online:
- Proactively removing suspicious items from eBay
- Removing items reported as counterfeit by brand owners
- Working closely with law enforcement to prosecute offenders
- Enforcing selling limits on items favored by counterfeiters
- Restricting seller activity in certain categories
- Providing free tools for rights owners to efficiently identify an report items to eBay for immediate removal
You can find out more about how eBay fights counterfeits at http://pages.ebay.com/againstcounterfeits/index.html. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is pursuing anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy legislation. Retailers and ecommerce providers, including eBay and PayPal, are collaborating with the government on initiatives to fight counterfeits.
Raising Awareness and Celebrating Original Design
This summer, eBay and the CFDA are collaborating on a bold new anti-counterfeiting awareness campaign that also celebrates original fashion design. To deliver this message, the CFDA is creating a collection of original canvas tote bags, featuring the tag line “You Can’t Fake Fashion” to be sold exclusively on eBay, a proud member of the CFDA’s Business Services Network.
As part of the campaign, a collective of CFDA members – including President Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hillfiger, Catherine Malandrino, Yigal Azrouel, Band of Outsiders, Chaiken, Naeem Kahn, Helmut Lang, Adam Lippes, Rebecca Minkoff, Billy Reid, Rodarte, Narciso Rodriguez, Rachel Roy, Anna Sui, Jill Stuart, BCBG, Brian Atwood, Maria Cornejo and Elie Tahari – will create custom, one-of-a-kind designs for the bag.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind totes customized by CFDA members, a limited edition of standard totes featuring the same tagline will also be produced. The collection of tote bags will be sold exclusively on eBay through a special Fashion Vault sale in Summer 2011. Both the customized totes and the standard tote will be sold at fixed, Buy It Now price points; customized totes will start at $150 and the standard tote will retail for $35. All proceeds will benefit the CFDA Foundation.