7 Best Practices for Fighting Counterfeit Sales Online

protect yourself from fake online sales

The sale of counterfeit goods has always been a problem in the physical world since time immemorial. When it comes to the online market, brands are faced with unique challenges when dealing with online counterfeit goods. However, some practices have been successfully implemented by brands to combat the sale of counterfeit products online.

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Let’s now see 7 best practices for fighting counterfeit sales online.

1. Achieve global visibility

You must quantify the amount of threat posed by counterfeit sales before you can begin to deal with it. Counterfeiters perform their work across multiple online channels, including auction sites, B2B exchanges, message boards, and eCommerce sites.

All of these locations must be monitored. Since only ten online marketplaces comprise 80 percent of all the traffic, you can easily cover a significant area if you are watching these places.

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2. Keeping track of the points of promotion

Even if you manage to locate and shut down the counterfeit distribution channels, the counterfeiters are always looking for new avenues for operating. Therefore, it is important to monitor the marketplace for promotional events hosted by them.

Counterfeiters use promotion techniques that are similar and as effective as that of legitimate marketers. They use black hat SEO tactics, social media links, paid search advertising, spam, and cybersquatting to successfully divert traffic to their offerings.

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3. Be proactive in taking action

Aggressive actions may help take down counterfeiters, who are often successful because they remain unchallenged or only concern themselves with small targets.

Brand owners should first identify which product is attracting the biggest offenders and address them before others. Then, they should monitor cyberspace to locate any unauthorized use of their branded names and terms.

Make use of the intellectual property protection policies that online channels and marketplaces have to report unauthorized listings. Make use of your associations with powerful brands and organizations to visibly fight back against the counterfeiters.

4. Tackle online counterfeit sales in a holistic manner

It will be easier to fight counterfeit sales if the whole enterprise is involved. Brand owners must put up cross-functional task forces to address the problems in coordination with each other.

The participants recommended that these task forces include marketing, legal, risk management, channel sales management, loss prevention, supply chain management, manufacturing, and other units.

These groups should develop strategies that should be flexible enough to deal with counterfeiters’ covert strategies.

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5. Offline defense measures should be informed by online intelligence

Offline anti-counterfeit measures for combating counterfeit sales such as factory raids and physical investigations can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, it is important to prioritize your resources before applying them.

Online intelligence can help you zoom in on the most prominent trademark infringements so that you can know where and how to use your offline methods to maximize their efficiency.

6. Take swift actions globally

Launching online brand protection stratagems globally instead of locally can be more effective. Ensure your trademarks are registered at the international level, especially in countries with a ‘first-to-file’ policy. Use third-party brand protection solutions to monitor and enforce laws in the countries’ internal markets.

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7. Keep your customers aware:

The customers of a brand can be the best ally in their fight against counterfeit sales. Inform them of the risk of buying from illegal and unofficial sources and recruit them in the process of reporting suspicious sellers and goods.

Use web-based tools that can help in verifying the authenticity of the products and their sellers. Provide feedback forms for reporting suspected violations.

Some brands form relationships with top internet security providers to flag down counterfeiters. These services deliver warnings to users if they are about to purchase from a website known to be dealing in counterfeit products.

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Taking action against counterfeiters can be a straightforward process. You do not necessarily require complex organizational changes or extensive hiring since many third-party online brand protection solutions can help fast-tracking the process.

An online brand protection company can act as efficient supplements to the measures already in place and coordinate with the internal teams assigned for the task.

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