Black Friday lead up sees spike in counterfeits online, says Incopro

By Tosshan Ramgolam, brand advisor, Incopro 

Our research in the run up to this year’s Black Friday saw a huge spike in counterfeiting activity for one particular premium fashion brand on eBay. 15,989 high-risk and possible fake listings were identified during November compared to 8,588 in October – an increase of 86% over just one month. 

The research also identified a higher volume of counterfeiting on Amazon for a cosmetics brand. 562 high-risk listings were detected in November 2019 compared to 212 in October – an increase of 165%. 

The increase in infringement experienced on marketplaces is echoed on social media, with posts promoting counterfeits often hijacking both generic Black Friday hashtags and those set up by brands. 

The research noted the increasing use of ‘#blackfriday’ and ‘#promoblackfriday’ in Instagram posts to promote counterfeit watches during the four-week run-up. 

In order to protect consumers from buying fakes, marketplaces need to invest greater resources into monitoring and responding to requests for takedowns during the holiday season.  

Just a short three-hour window where a counterfeiter holds the buy box on Amazon (the option to buy now or add the item into the shopping basket) or a fraudulent eBay listing tops the platform’s search ranking is enough for dangerous goods to be purchased by hundreds if not thousands of consumers. 

Ultimately, platforms need to do more to protect consumers. If they don’t, greater regulation of the e-commerce landscape that places increased responsibility on platforms may become necessary.