How Does Counterfeit Items Affect Online Sellers?
Counterfeit goods are either first-copies or replicas of the original item. Therefore, it is difficult for the masses to differentiate since these replicas are nearly as expensive as the original. Apart from the misinformation on the consumers’ end, these counterfeit goods can also damage brands that have spent years in research & development trying to evolve their products. Brand imitators sometimes use the original label when distributing their replica items to the public and so, it is the original that experiences a loss of brand equity, loyalty, and customer trust that they’ve gained for many years. Therefore, fake sellers gain financially at the expense of authentic brands. While the selling of counterfeit items is also imminent in the traditional market, marketplaces like Lazada are at a greater risk since anyone can conveniently create an account and publish a product listing. The focal point of this post is to enumerate ways on how brands (selling under Lazada) can protect themselves from Lazada counterfeits.
Ways To Identify Lazada Counterfeit Products
Due to the impact of counterfeit items on online sellers, it is just as important for them to know how to identify a counterfeit item just as the customer. Here are some ways to spot a fake item on Lazada:
- Prices that are too good to be true
This is a dead giveaway. An authentic product built with high-quality materials would leave the seller with little revenue if it is sold at a low price.
- Product reviews
If an item is fake, people who have recently purchased the product would post their negative feedback/experience under the reviews section.
- Look at the presentation
Authentic products usually have at least five images in the product listing. If not, this most likely means that the images were simply downloaded from the internet and the seller did not personally take the images of the product.
Product descriptions can also tell you whether a product is an original or a fake. An original brand would typically have a more specific and well-written product description. Meanwhile, a fake product would have a vague and more general description. This is due to the seller’s lack of knowledge about the product.
How To Arm Yourself Against Lazada Counterfeits
Become A LazMall Seller
If you’re worried about Lazada counterfeits of your brand being sold in the marketplace, one way to stay on top is to become a LazMall seller. Having this title immediately earns you the trust of customers because only brands and exclusive resellers can apply here. If you want to know the requirements in joining or simply learn more about LazMall, check out LazMall: Everything You Need To Know.
Get Legal Protection With Trademarks / Copyright
Despite having to personally invent your product, the law can only help you (in case certain Lazada counterfeit issues arise) if you’ve already registered your brand/trademark/copyright.
You can register your trademark in two steps. Go to https://bnrs.dti.gov.ph/registration/create to register your name. The site lets you search through the database if your desired name is already taken. Upon completion of your business name registration, you can then register your trademark at https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/services/trademark/filing/. This also lets you search through the database to see if your trademark is available. You can fill up the online application on the website but there is also an option to register in person.
Take note of the following requirements for the trademark registration:
- Two filled-out copies of the Trademark Application Form
- Attached drawing of your logo/trademark
- Payment of the fees (all the fees are available in the site)
The registration of business names and trademarks is done online. simply go the links below:
The site lets you search for an IP, register a patent, trademark, and design.
Choose your business entity structure under “Start a new business” and then click Start Now.
As of this time of writing, Indonesia does not have a smooth process of trademark registration yet.
The most convenient way is to seek the help of companies like Marcaria to process your trademark registration.
Complete and submit the form. Registration status is available upon logging into your account.
These are the rates:
Online trademark registration is still under development. Meanwhile, you can download the application forms at http://www.myipo.gov.my/en/apply-for-trade-marks/?lang=en%2F#toggle-id-30
These are the requirements:
- Two copies of the completed application form (you can download the forms here)
- The trademark size must not exceed 10 cm x 10 cm
- Payment of RM950.00 per class of goods
- Payment of RM1100.00 per class if the claimed class is incorrect (Classification of goods and services)
- Fee of RM50.00 for the registration of a second subsequent trademark
File the registration in person.
Communicate With The Seller
If you find a seller who is selling Lazada counterfeits of your brand, we recommend that you don’t immediately send a report. Instead, communicate with the seller and try to negotiate a deal. Inform the seller that you are the owner of the brand/ an authorized reseller of the particular brand as well as the possible consequences of selling a counterfeit item of a registered brand. Say that you are impressed with his customer reach and are willing to become his supplier.
Send A Ticket To PSC
If the counterfeit issue cannot be resolved through negotiation, you can then report your issue to Lazada PSC.
Click this form to create a ticket and inform the partner support team about the issue. This is just the quickest way to get to PSC.
You can also go to Lazada Seller Center. Under Support, click Help Center.
Click Contact Us. You should receive a response in the next 48 to 72 hours. Otherwise, reopen the ticket again.
Report To The Legal Department Of Lazada
If after talking to PSC, the issue still wasn’t fully resolved you can report it to the Legal Department of Lazada. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign Up For Split Dragon and Receive IP Notifications
If people are selling Lazada counterfeits of your products, your very business model is under attack. Fake sellers consume your advertising budget by bidding against you for your brands. With that, they are able to divert your potential sales and can even turn customers against you for the false presumption that the low-quality items that they bought were from you. Therefore, it is important to be constantly in the know if replicas of your brand are being reproduced and sold in the market.
Split Dragon may not be able to help you track down people that are manufacturing fake copies of certain brands but we can inform you whenever there is a potential counterfeit selling of your brand in Lazada.
Aside from the SEO and competitor tracking capability of Split Dragon, it can also do the following:
- Track any product listings that mention your brand name
- Provide takedown and cease-and-desist letter templates
- Offer end-to-end IP protection services
Tracking down counterfeit sellers can take a lot of time. Split Dragon lets you allocate your time for more money-making matters. You will receive email updates each time a product listing mentions your name in the Lazada marketplace. Email templates are also set in place for you so you can easily send notices to particular sellers.
The omnipresence of digital platforms and eCommerce has made way for the more convenient and faster method of transaction. Regardless, it also aided the boom of the counterfeit market.
Ever since India liberalized its economy back in the 1990s, there has been an immense growth in consumer goods production. The Indian Brand Equity Foundation forecasted that by 2026, the eCommerce sector would have already touched the US $ 200 billion.
Hong Kong and China are the two leading countries in the world that trades pirated and counterfeit goods. This is followed by India that has a 3.4% counterfeit trading volume per the report of the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.
Due to the impact of the counterfeit market (not just on Lazada sellers but also of the entire eCommerce sector), it is essential to the tools and knowledge that you need to combat potential cuts and losses brought about by fake selling.