The past few days have been quite exciting here at buySAFE. Last week, buySAFE was featured on The Today Show. The "Designer Duds: Fake or Real?" segment, reported by Today’s consumer affairs reporter Janice Lieberman, discussed the growing e-commerce problem of counterfeit luxury goods. As expected, buySAFE was showcased as a terrific solution to the counterfeit goods problem.
Counterfeit/fake/stolen goods are obviously becoming a major issue for e-commerce, but in my opinion, this problem is actually a symptom of a much larger, more important, fundamental problem… Online, buyers have a very difficult time discriminating good sellers/product from bad sellers/product. The REAL problem is that the Web suffers from major information asymmetry issues. That is why bad guys are successful at defrauding consumers.
Please think about my diagnosis for a moment… If consumers could tell the difference from the good guys and the bad guys, would shoppers ever unknowingly buy a counterfeit item? Of course not! Fraud happens because of information asymmetry.
I think you will find the "Designer Duds: Fake or Real?" news segment very interesting. However, as you watch this clip, please understand that the counterfeit/fake/stolen goods fraud problem is due to a more fundamental e-commerce problem… Buyers can’t reliably tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys! In economic terms, this is called information asymmetry, and it is causing legitimate, professional merchants millions of dollars each and every day.
Kudos to Jeff Grass, buySAFE’s CEO, for a job well done!
Related blog posts and e-commerce articles: "Designer Duds: Fake or Real?" by Janice Lieberman on The Today Show and iVillage.com "buySAFE Invited By the French Government to Help Stop Online Sales of Counterfeit Luxury Goods" by Travis Brown on the buySAFE blog "eBay Bonding Service buySAFE Featured on Today Show" by Ina Steiner on AuctionBytes.com "buySAFE Appearance on 3/20/2007 Today Show" on AuctionBytes.tv