You can buy it on eBay

Permalink | January 30th, 2006

You can buy it on eBay

You can buy it on eBay … but “it” may be a fake. Angry users are finding that more and more knock-offs and fakes are populating eBay’s listing, and the internet auction giant feels no obligation to do anything about it.

Of course, fakes are sold everywhere, but the anonymity and reach of the Internet makes it perfect for selling knockoffs. And eBay, the biggest online marketplace, is the center of a new universe of counterfeit with virtually no policing.

EBay, based in San Jose, Calif., argues that it has no obligation to investigate counterfeiting claims unless the complaint comes from a “rights owner,” a party holding a trademark or copyright. A mere buyer who believes an item is a fake has almost no recourse.

“We never take possession of the goods sold through eBay, and we don’t have any expertise,” said Hani Durzy, an eBay spokesman. “We’re not clothing experts. We’re not car experts, and we’re not jewelry experts. We’re experts at building a marketplace and bringing buyers and sellers together.”

Buyers and large companies feel otherwise — Tiffany & Co. has recently sued eBay for facilitating trade of fake Tiffany’s items. Should the suit prove successful, eBay’s core business model will be seriously threatened.

[via NY Times]

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