5/21/2008 11:50:00 AM
Counterfeiters use online auctions to target UK
Counterfeiters are using online auctions to flood the UK with unofficial mobile phone products, new research shows.
Online brand-monitoring specialist Netnames provided the research which revealed 1,505 different types of unofficial mobile products sold in the UK in just one week on eBay.co.uk.
One in five of the products were offered from the Far East, with some individuals selling hundreds of items alone, raising fears they are cheap, poor-quality fakes.
The research found that the Nokia N95, LG Viewty and Samsung F700 handsets were the most targeted, with thousands offered, all as unlocked devices, during the week. There were 2,250 different sellers of the Nokia N95 and a large number of N95 batteries on offer.
One senior manufacturing source told Mobile: ‘You have always got people trying to come up with replicas of successful products. But it is not something we have highlighted as a major problem as yet, and we hope it remains that way.’
The 325 sellers of LG Viewty handsets were all based in the UK and, unlike the N95, there were no individual sellers handling a disproportionate number.
The Samsung F700 also fared better than the N95, with the majority of sellers originating in the UK, and no individual sellers selling large numbers of products – the maximum for the top sellers during the monitoring period was only four items.
Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer of Netnames, said: ‘Manufacturers – even if they decide not to act on the information – at least need to be aware of and monitor the counterfeiting of their goods.
‘If a consumer has a bad experience with a product with your branding on it, it will not necessarily occur to them that it is counterfeit, it will simply create a negative perception which can quickly spread across product reviews, blogs and other social media creating untold brand damage.’
A spokeswoman for Nokia said: ‘Nokia takes all possible steps to protect its customers, consumers and business from counterfeit activity. Our enforcement activities are continuous and on a global scale.
‘This is unfortunately a serious issue that affects many companies with successful products.’