Trading platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and eBay are full of fake products that are not only very popular because of their low prices.
Fake products are more popular than ever before. Many young EU citizens even order them on purpose, for example to save money or because they have received a recommendation. You can get an impression of how many people buy counterfeit products via common e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and eBay and how much of it ends up with German customs here.
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Counterfeit products are on the rise – Amazon, Alibaba and eBay make it possible
Ordering goods from abroad is no longer a big challenge these days. Through international trading platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba, consumers can access cheap products, which are often counterfeits, more easily than ever.
According to an IPC survey Amazon leads the field at. 27 percent of the approximately 33,000 participants surveyed said that they had made their last foreign purchase via the leading e-commerce platform. This is followed by the Chinese provider Alibaba with 17 percent, while eBay only has 9 percent.
Imports are also becoming increasingly noticeable at German customs. In 2022, the officers working there confiscated foreign products with a total value of almost 435 million euros. A year ago it was around 315 million euros and in 2020 it was only around 239 million euros.
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More than a third of young EU citizens intentionally buy fake products
However, it is no coincidence that the goods ordered are often counterfeits. According to a survey by the EUIPO, more than half of the approximately 22,000 participants surveyed from 27 EU countries, all aged between 15 and 24, said they had purchased at least one counterfeit product in 2022. 37 percent even confirmed that they did this on purpose. Three years earlier, the latter was a much lower 14 percent.
The particularly popular and most frequently intentionally purchased fake products were those from the Categories clothing, accessories, shoes, electronic devices, hygiene products, cosmetics, personal care products and fragrances. The main reasons given by those surveyed for purchasing were the low price and good availability of the goods they ordered.
In addition, social influencing factors such as the behavior of other people in the immediate environment or recommendations from influencers often played a key role. Many buyers simply didn’t care whether the product they purchased was a counterfeit.
Unintentional purchases of fake products are also not uncommon
However, misleading offers also often result in the purchase of counterfeit products. At least 37 percent of survey participants stated that they had unintentionally purchased at least one fake product. The main reason for this is the fact that it is often difficult to distinguish a counterfeit from the original.
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