Consumer Recall & Counterfeit Report: eBay Consumers Due Millions In Counterfeit Product Refunds

June 22, 2016, Los Angeles, CA – As a consumer, you would expect to be notified that you may have purchased a dangerous, fraudulent or deadly product on eBay® (EBAY). Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen.  And, it didn’t happen when General Motors® (GM) discovered ignition switch problems, or airbag manufacturer Takata® (7312:JP) buried dangerous airbag problems for years. People were hurt, and people died.

eBay buyers are entitled to millions in refunds under eBay’s “Money Back Guarantee” and may not know it, even when eBay® knows the buyers purchased a fake product, says The Counterfeit Report®, a popular consumer protection and education website.

While consumers would expect to be notified by eBay® that they may have received a fraudulent, dangerous or deadly counterfeit product and are entitled to an eBay Money Back Guarantee refund — the fact is, that doesn’t happen.

Money Back Guarantee Image

In reality, a buyer viewing their eBay Account Purchase History is misled with the message below for removed counterfeit items and are notnotified by eBay they may have a fake, be in danger, or eligible for a refund. The counterfeit purchase on eBay is hidden from the buyer with the eBay statement; “If you’ve already sent payment, the sale should process as normal and you don’t have anything to worry about.” 

Nothing to worry about

The opposite may be true, and buyers could have a lot to worry about. The purchased item may be a dangerous or deadly product. The Counterfeit Report® website shows consumers a visual guide to hundreds of difficult to identify and deceptive counterfeit products, many purchased on eBay.

The Counterfeit Report received over 2,000 counterfeit products from eBay sellers, representing over 400,000 counterfeit items listed or sold to eBay consumers. During the investigation, eBay publicly admitted to Business Insider to allegations of altering feedback, blocking accounts, changing resolved disputes, overturning refunds and removing counterfeit comments and warnings protecting consumers from dangerous products.

The Counterfeit Report purchases included trademarked counterfeit auto suspension parts, Apple iPhone chargers, which have been implicated in starting fires, injuries and a death, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, electronics, sporting goods, children’s toys, and fragrances. Some products, bearing the manufacturers trademarked name, never even existed in the manufacturer’s product line, but still remain listed on eBay.

Here are just a few counterfeit product examples including dangerous or potentially deadly products purchased on eBay by The Counterfeit Report and remain listed. Inexplicably, The Counterfeit Report is alerted to some these counterfeit products by eBay’s own direct email advertising system.

view the Counterfeit Product Alert
Your life literally could ride on this automobile suspension part.

Group-A-Autosports®, the manufacturer of the authentic item, does not manufacture this lower control arm in red, blue, green or neo-chrome (shown).

Yet, the counterfeit item was repeatedly purchased on eBay, often from the same seller with dozens of listings. The counterfeit items were promptly reported to eBay along with the manufacturer’s written counterfeit confirmation, but the sellers remain and the dangerous counterfeit product listings continue.

Counterfeits damage the legitimate manufacturer’s brand name and reputation.

view the Counterfeit Product Alert
Counterfeit Apple iPhone® USB Chargers have damaged equipment, caused injuries, fires and one death, yet are common on eBay.

Could you identify this counterfeit Apple charger purchased on eBay? Over 4,100 have been sold by just one of the many sellers on eBay.

Counterfeit eBay sellers may claim an authentic Apple iPhone® charger, but send a deceptive Apple trademarked counterfeit. The counterfeit UL certification mark shown here further deceives consumers, but counterfeit products are not evaluated by UL for safety.

The Counterfeit Report purchased various counterfeit “Apple” Chargers from eBay sellers and promptly submitted complaints and counterfeit confirmations to eBay, yet the sellers remain, and dangerous counterfeit product listings continue.

view the Counterfeit Product Alert
Counterfeit memory cards may damage your equipment, corrupt data, or destroy your once in a lifetime photos.

Consumers are easily deceived by counterfeit memory cards which are visually difficult to detect without test software and are usually much lower memory capacity than stated om the package or card.

Labeled as a SanDisk® 64GB microSDHC memory card, this product does not exist in the SanDisk product line, and is confirmed by SanDisk to be a fake.

While an obvious fake, counterfeit microSDHC® memory cards in capacities above 32GB, the maximum capacity for authentic microSDHC cards, are offered on eBay displaying many popular trademarked brand names including SanDisk®, Samsung®, and Kingston®, as well as unbranded “generic” cards. eBay inexplicably allows to obvious fake items to remain. Over 40,000 saleshave been identified through The Counterfeit Report’s test purchase research.

Fake Fragrance Image
view the Counterfeit Product Alert
Counterfeit fragrances are common on the internet and eBay.

Consumers would be alarmed to know that counterfeit fragrances and cosmetics have been found to contain hazardous ingredients including arsenic, beryllium, DEHP (a plasticizer with health risks) and cadmium (a carcinogen), urine and antifreeze, along with high levels of aluminum and dangerous levels of bacteria.

Is this something you would want to put on your body?

Counterfeit Rainbow Loom Kit
view the Counterfeit Product Alert
Several counterfeit versions of the popular children’s Rainbow Loom® craft kits were purchased on eBay.

The counterfeits are unsafe for children, may shatter into sharp edges and have not been tested in accordance with U.S. Toy Safety Standards (they may contain lead and other dangerous substances) says the manufacturer. Counterfeits do not comply with any ASTM, CPSIA, EU, or Japan’s toy safety standards.

Manufacturers are vocal that not enough is being done to stop counterfeits on e-commerce websites including eBay, Amazon® and Alibaba®. While individual listings may be identified and removed in what is best described as a whack-a-mole process, they just pop up again with the same sellers. eBay earns over $2 billion in profits and needs to do more than the bare minimum to stop counterfeits on its website. eBay consumers would be much better served if eBay put consumer protection before profits with aggressive proactive research, harsh penalties for sellers, and appropriately staffed anti-counterfeiting efforts.

What should you do if you receive an eBay counterfeit? 

  • Never return the counterfeit item. It is a violation of US Postal Regulations, Federal Law, and the only evidence for your refund claim.
  • Notify eBay immediately at (866) 540-3229, and open a refund claim under eBay’s Money Back Guarantee.
  • If eBay doesn’t satisfy your claim, dispute the credit card charge. You have the counterfeit product as proof of your claim and to support the negative feedback you leave for the seller to protect other consumers.
  • Some cases or arbitrary eBay decisions may require more aggressive action.


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