If you are fond of the idea of online retail store shopping at least make sure that the product you buy is genuine. Because it is seen that the e-retail stores at times gives out fakes and grey market imports of reputed brands to costumers at attractive deals.
According to a certain report by Writankar Mukherjee & Sagar Malviya of Economic Times, “Brands like Lacoste, Puma, Benetton, Canon and Nikon have warned their costumers to negotiate with top retail portals to deal with the menace along with taking legal actions.”
The fake products are having a negative impact on their brand equity and overall credibility of online retail industry and are thus going on heavy losses. Rajesh Jain, director & CEO at Lacoste India says, “While there is certain proportion of loss of sales due to such fraudulent listing, it also jeopardizes the brand name that matters to us.”
Lacoste has no online presence but amusingly fakes of its polo T-shirt is available on the e-retail sites ranged between 600 and 1,200. The original ones on the other hand are priced at 3,000 per piece in stores.
Managing Director of Benetton India, Sanjeev Mohanty said, “Most of these online websites tend to be run by fly-by-night operators without even proper offices. But we still take legal action against those who try to erode our brand equity.”
The Italian fashion and brand has been sending one legal notice every month and shoe and apparel maker Woodland is seems to be sending out 5-6 legal notices every month.
The fashion brands are definitely tensed about these fake products in the market. The consumer electronics and gadgets makers on the other hand are feeling insecure about the possibility of parallel imports and renovated products sold as new. Darshan Mehta, CEO of Reliance Brands remarks that they have received complaints about fake products. “But we have never faced such a scenario in the big online shopping sites,” he adds.
Saurabh Malik, business head at Indiatimes Shopping said, “Fakes are more relevant in the apparel category and do pose a danger towards the image of online retail.”
As a remedy to this situation, Indiatimes Shopping has made a partnership with those brands that are subjected to risk and duplicity. All those products will come with a certificate of authentication from the makers of the brand. Online shopping sites such as Flipkart, Myntra and Snapdeal say that they have started screening products from reputed brands, stating that they are not illegal.
Ganesh Subramanian, Myntra’s chief operating officer states,” Only authentic and original products are being sold in our site, which is why products like perfumes are not included as such items are more prone to fakes.”
Smartphone maker BlackBerry and camera brand Canon are two of the most active brands that are trying to initiate talks with the best retail portals to make sure that they are brought under the authorized online partner programme. “We have developed a digitally signed authorization certificate for the products sold through online sellers to ensure the products are not refurbished or grey import,” Alok Bharadwaj, executive vice-president at Canon India, said. This also became necessary since the online sellers were not strictly following our trade terms, running their own promotions or schemes, which were not as per our norms,” is what he further added.
We need to be careful when buying commodities online. Great wake up call for all of us. Let’s be careful. It is always advocated to buy from regular channels… and get appropriate guarantees and services from the original manufacturers.
Most of the online sites are either selling Sub-standard Chinese Products. Therefore, be careful before ordering. Genuine online sellers also get affected because of such malpractices! Customers are the losers. They can’t make out the difference between genuine and fake. Companies and authorized dealers have to put some workable mechanism in place to help the customers.
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