Around the world, online sales experience an increase in the demand for counterfeit goods, as customers want to pay a lesser price for branded products. According to a report from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and the EUIPO (European Union’s Intellectual Property Office), this rise in demand reached 3.3% of online sales globally.
Research shows that the total value of counterfeit goods makes up to $590 billion (€519 billion) a year. Product categories that are more likely to suffer from the import of counterfeit items are jewellery, footwear, cosmetics, fashion, tobacco and equipment (metal-based).
A new trend amongst fraudsters is to use smaller shipments for counterfeit products. That way, the goods are not seen as suspicious at the border. On a global level, China appears to be the largest counterfeit- and pirated product exporter. 27% of all fake goods traces back to this top producer of fake items. However, China is not the only country producing fraudulent items. Countries such as Turkey, Nepal, Tunisia, Yemen and Morocco tend to produce a lot of counterfeit products too.
Not only customers, merchants sometimes are caught in a manipulation game too. It happens that they are purchasing fraudulent products. For example, a UK buyer purchased from a London-based seller. However, after receiving poor quality products from China, the UK buyer left a negative review. The Chinese seller proceeded to blackmail the buyer into deleting the negative review, in order to receive a refund.