Counterfeit products have always been a problem in society. It is tricky to distinguish between real and fake with an untrained eye. The call for industry-wide solutions to thwart counterfeit goods continues to ring louder, and brand authenticators may be the next frontier.
Brand Authenticators Are Needed
There are many ways to approach counterfeit products. One could try to roll up the gangs fabricating and distributing those goods, although that is both time and resource-intensive. Another option is to rely on technology like blockchain or DLT to ensure authenticity. That approach has gained strong momentum, although more work is needed.
Brand authenticators may alleviate some of the concerns regarding counterfeit items. Various brands and retailers have such job openings today. They often pertain to luxury items, as those are counterfeited the most. Everyone has seen knockoffs of Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Gucci, etc. Moreover, they are often sold at bargain prices, reducing trust in the actual brand and its steep price tags.
The call for brand authenticators comes at a crucial time in the commerce industry. Counterfeit products are soaring in supply and sales. It is an estimated $500 billion business globally. Moreover, it becomes a growing problem during holiday shopping sprees, when consumers pay less attention to telltale signs of fake products. Those buyers will often report the purchases of fake items online, but the damage has been done.
Consumers must remember that deals too good to be true often are just that. It is impossible to buy items worth $2,500 for $800 suddenly. Although luxury brands sometimes offer discounts, they are never over 50%. In addition, erroneously bought counterfeit goods tend to appear on online resale marketplaces. That affects many platforms, including Amazon, Rebag, FASHIONPHILE, etc.
The Battle Continues
While there may be plenty of job opportunities for brand authenticators, the real problem remains. Counterfeiting items remain very appealing and profitable. Criminals will produce two new batches elsewhere when a large shipment is seized or intercepted. It is a growing problem mainly affecting luxury, sports, and automotive brands. However, it also occurs across electronics, medicine, supplements, etc.
Introducing brand authenticators is a worthwhile venture. It will require people to be trained quickly and in large groups to help thwart fake items. Pressure continues to mount to get counterfeit goods off the market, but much work is needed. In addition, there are issues regarding legal battles, trademark infringements, etc.
Popular marketplace StockX has verified over 35 million products and will double down on new technologies and human inspection. A similar mission exists for eBay, a popular platform for pre-owned luxury and high-value items. All efforts are robust and potential game changers, but it may take a while before the effects become visible.