The internet is being widely used these days for online shopping. But everything you see on screen is not always as it might seem. All major e-commerce platforms recently conducted their Christmas and Diwali sale, where shoppers spent around Rs 19,000 crore on online shopping. Over the last year, the sector has seen a 45 percent growth in sales. However, this is also the reason for alarm!
A News18 report says that fake manufacturers and counterfeit sellers are fooling customers and exploiting loopholes in the Information Technology Act. The report adds that more than 60 percent of sports goods available online are fake. Fashion or apparels, as some may call it have at least 40 percent of the products listed are by duplicate manufacturers.
After a raid operation conducted in Brahmpuri, Meerut, it was found that a large number of fake products were recovered from well-established sites including Flipkart, Shopclues, and Snapdeal.
In a video interview to News 18, a seller, Mohit Bandhu, confessed that the COSCO and NIVIA balls being sold were actually counterfeit. Police have registered an FIR against him and retrieved the counterfeit sports goods.
Flipkart said, “Flipkart is an online marketplace, an intermediary, that helps sellers connect with customers across the country. As a responsible company, however, we have a robust system of checks and controls to detect and weed out fake products. Flipkart observes a zero-tolerance policy on incidents where sellers are found violating customer trust and quality guidelines. We conduct our business with the highest standards of integrity and are fully compliant with all rules of the land.”
“We coordinate with brands on a regular basis to help keep the site clean of counterfeits. Through our Shopclues intellectual property protection programme or SCIPP, we make it conducive to brands and rights owners to reach out to us and to protect their IP. Our robust system under the ShopClues Surety programme also ensures that our merchants sell genuine products. We have a zero tolerance for counterfeit/fake products”, said a spokesperson from ShopClues.
Meanwhile, reports also suggest that Flipkart has been dragged to Court for allegedly selling fake products at a high discount. US-based athletic footwear brand Skechers said that some third party sellers were selling counterfeit products of its brand online.
However, when a seller is found selling fake products, the company follows the legal protocol and takes necessary action as per law. The seller is also blacklisted and barred from conducting any business with Flipkart in future.
While talking to News18, Brand Intelligence entrepreneur, Dhirendra Singh, said that products with over 50 percent discount online have high chances of being fake. Asked about the difference between an original product and a fake one, said, The original product comes in a cardboard box and there is a hologram on it. These spurious products don t have a guarantee, neither any hologram.
Have you ever experienced a situation where you ‘ve received fake products from an e-commerce site? Do you think there is any truth in the ongoing online debate over e-commerce sites selling fake products? Let us know.