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Topic # 196046 17-May-2016 11:53
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As a customer of trading sites, I have often been critical in the past of some practices, like the use of expensive couriers even for small things with no option to choose regular post. For rural addresses this can often make the shipping charge twice or more the cost of the item.

 

I sometimes also get the other side of the story, though. My sister is a small trader entirely dependent on her Amazon income.  (She specialises in NASCAR memorabilia if anyone is interested.) Recently she told me about a new threat to the survival of herself and others like her.

 

Merchandising depends on trends. For example, the market for Starwars figurines is closely tied to the release of the films. There is a narrow window when demand surges. Traders need to ensure they have stock to meet these surges, but most cannot afford to sit on huge inventories so timing is essential.

 

With NASCAR, demand surges may be tied to the racing season, or individual races, or favoured drivers who do well, or many other things. Traders like my sister need to anticipate these and order stock in advance.

 

What is now happening is that overseas operators, mainly Chinese though other nationalities are also getting in on the act, are sourcing extremely cheap counterfeit copies of such merchandise and dumping that for prices below the cost price of genuine traders. My sister gave me the example of flags. These cost her $5 and they sell for $10. They actually are made in the USA and the quality is good. But the counterfeits are being retailed for $3! They are thin and flimsy and quickly disintegrate. People buy them thinking they are getting a bargain, then take out their anger on legitimate traders when the quality fails. The whole industry suffers as a result.

 

This practice is actually threatening my sister’s livelihood and no-one really knows what to do about it. The counterfeit traders also follow market trends and order their goods when they anticipate that there is going to be a surge in demand. They then dump huge quantities of the inferior merchandise, undercutting the legitimate traders. Then they move on to the next big item. My sister didn’t go into detail about that, but I assume they keep changing their identities and opening new trader accounts. Amazon is trying to combat this, but it is difficult.  

 

Counterfeiting has long been a problem, but this mass dumping of counterfeit items to meet temporary demand surges seems to be something new and apparently it is a serious threat. I mention this because I have just been made aware of it and it reminds me that there are two sides to every story. I wouldn’t want to be an Internet trader. It looks like a pretty tough life.

 

 





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  Reply # 1554069 17-May-2016 12:12
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The answer is with the trading platforms.  They need to take some responsibility, as ultimately the quality of their offerings will diminish if they allow this to continue.  Is there a way as an Amazon seller to make a complaint about a counterfeit store?




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  Reply # 1554070 17-May-2016 12:20
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I'm sure there is. My sister didn't give me all the details but the legitimate traders do have some kind of group they belong to and I think Amazon is trying to work with them, but apparently this kind of thing is very difficult to counter. However, I don't have personal experience myself and I don't know the details. I am just reporting what my sister said in passing.

 

 





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  Reply # 1554073 17-May-2016 12:26
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This has been happening for years......... The Warehouse was founded on importing cheap knockoffs. You can buy "Genuine" US made Fender guitars on Aliepxpress. 

 

I'm sorry your sister is being affected by this practise but she certainly isn't the first to be screwed over by this. Half of the problem is people don't want genuine they just want the cheapest.


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  Reply # 1554075 17-May-2016 12:26
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itxtme:

 

The answer is with the trading platforms.  They need to take some responsibility, as ultimately the quality of their offerings will diminish if they allow this to continue.  Is there a way as an Amazon seller to make a complaint about a counterfeit store?

 

 

Sounds like they can and do, but they traders simply disappear and pop up with a new company. This is all nothing new, go to a market in Aussie and see it.

 

To the OP I often read, and even on here from time to time about someone who has bought a cheap item complaining about it's quality, usually a month after they rave about how their item was half the cost of the equivalent. As far as blow back on the legitimate traders, well there are morons everywhere, and cheap, easy to access internet has given them a voice, just read anti-vac threads on Facebook for an example. I guess your sister needs to hope there are enough people out there that know the difference and are smart enough to see it, not hopeful with NASCAR fans though!


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  Reply # 1554076 17-May-2016 12:27
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Does she advertise her goods as being high quality, not some cheap knock-off that won't last?


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  Reply # 1554086 17-May-2016 12:30
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Problem is on things like that low value that even if people complain they will have to send it back if the fake seller is still there even and that costs more than the junk is worth.

Trademe is full of non NZ sellers now. Means returns will be a bitch and hard to sort NZ from not NZ.




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  Reply # 1554098 17-May-2016 12:52
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Dratsab:

 

Does she advertise her goods as being high quality, not some cheap knock-off that won't last?

 

 

I don't know but I'm sure she and others in her position do whatever they can to distinguish themselves.

 

 





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  Reply # 1554107 17-May-2016 12:58
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This is the free market. Show her quality is better and state other reasons to buy from her, or go out of business.





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  Reply # 1554126 17-May-2016 13:25
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I'm assuming your sisters' supplier is from an official source who has been granted a licence to sell this merchandise affiliated with NASCAR or whoever?  At the end of the day, it's up to the rights holder (i.e. NASCAR) to enforce their IP rights against the counterfeit guys.. This would protect their brand image (for producing quality goods) and ensure their licensees also get protection from the counterfeiters.  Sadly however, they might not think it's such a big deal and not worth the effort of chasing them. 

 

Things like flags to me would merely be the free market in operation as noted above.  Consumers are free to choose with their wallets and should be prepared to deal with the consequences of purchasing a cheaper/inferior product. 


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  Reply # 1554138 17-May-2016 13:52
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At the end of the day how many novelty and $2 stores sell Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Holden and Ford products, most of them will be fake. If your sisters wants to keep ahead of the game she might need to change to items that are harder to copy. 

 

 

 

I wouldn't have thought NZ would have very many Nascar followers TBH




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  Reply # 1554139 17-May-2016 13:53
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Again, I don't know the full details of the situation my sister was describing. There may be additional aspects I am unaware of. From what I do understand, it seems like the outsiders are not merely being free marketeers, but are engaging in behaviour that is possibly predatory and unethical and maybe even illegal. Maybe that is not the case and she just needs to harden up (though knowing her I don't think she would say something like this without good reason). I guess this can be looked at from an ideological perspective (it is just free market competition and survival of the fittest) or from a real world one (people are getting hurt and losing their livelihood). I have the impression that the cheap foreign products in this case probably are illegal as even flags bearing particular logos can be copyrighted, but another question might be how they can be made so cheaply in any case? Exchange rate and standard of living differences might explain some of it, but absent or unenforced labour laws could also be a factor. If those flags are cheap because they are being illegally manufactured by children who should be in school, or by impoverished workers from the countryside being held in conditions approaching slavery, then I think it is fair to ask if this is just free enterprise doing its thing? I'm not saying that is the case here, as I truly don't know, but I think it is a question that deserves to be considered.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1554141 17-May-2016 13:57
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BTR:

 

 

 

I wouldn't have thought NZ would have very many Nascar followers TBH

 

 

On a completely different note, you might be surprised at just how much of an international following NASCAR does have. This at least is what I have heard from different sources. It is not up there with football but it does seem to have fans around the world. I don't know much about it, though, because unlike my sister I am not one of those.

 

 





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  Reply # 1554150 17-May-2016 14:16
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One could argue the free market should not allow violation of protected trademarks ... but it is rife and probably applies downward pressure to prices across the board.

 

"The [strike]invisible[/strike] counterfeit hand of capitalism"

 

timmmay:

 

This is the free market. Show her quality is better and state other reasons to buy from her, or go out of business.

 





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  Reply # 1554152 17-May-2016 14:16
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People are buying.  Money is being exchanged.  It's just not from a local reseller.

 

 

 

You need to look at what value you are adding to the process, and not get annoyed if you are offering something people don't want to pay for.

 

 

 

People will put their money where they want to.  If it's deceitful and counterfeit, then maybe the buyer won't use that cheaper avenue seller again. 

 

If the counterfeit, or just cheaper/lower quality product meets their needs though, then you have a problem, as the buyer doesn't need the added value you're trying to sell.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1554156 17-May-2016 14:25
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The problem is that the crap sellers will use a nice photo and description to sell it, and then ship a lousy printed fake that barely looks like the pictures.

 

Loads of stories of aliexpress dresses and similar. Same happens with anything that is branded. Some absolute awesome quality sellers out of china, but also plenty of crap merchants that just copy things based on web photos they find etc.

 

Once the crap is with you, it is expensive to return it etc. Just puts people off buying online. IMO its a mistake how much random junk amazon let sellers sell on there. People in the US literally order boxes of junk from aliexpress, get them to their house/wherever, put all the barcodes on that amazon want and then ship it to amazon and make money. Plenty of "how to make money on amazon" videos telling people what to do with their listings etc to get away with it.





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