If you are somebody who sells products as part of a business, you want your goods to be authentic and not imitations. Selling counterfeit goods is against federal law and could result in legal penalties. Additionally, if a customer buys a counterfeit product from you and gets hurt from using it, it could lead to litigation against you.
The rise of online shopping is exposing more customers to the risk of buying counterfeit goods without knowing about it. CBS News recently reported on how this increased risk is unfolding.
The problems with overseas shipping
Overseas sellers are becoming a potent source of counterfeit goods. Many of these parties manufacture their products cheaply and away from the notice of American law enforcement. With the increase in shipping traffic, it has become easier for third party online sellers to pick up these items and sell them through a major online vendor.
The influence of counterfeit goods is wide ranging. The CBS article cites the founder of a magnetic putty company who discovered that hundreds of third party sellers are marketing counterfeit versions of his product. Unfortunately, these counterfeits are not up to U.S. safety standards and can cause health risks or even fatalities from use.
The impact on legitimate sellers
The spread of counterfeit goods can substantially damage the reputation of legitimate sellers. If people get hurt using counterfeit products, people will associate the defective goods with the seller of the real version. This may result in a loss of sales and possibly a federal investigation of the legitimate company.
Be cautious when ordering products
Do your best to verify the quality of products you order, especially if you do so to fill business orders. You may safeguard your personal and professional reputation. Maintain good records as well. If you end up the target of an investigation for selling counterfeit goods, your records should help show that you have acted in good faith.