Counterfeit culture has been on the rise in the UK. Due to the influx amount of Instagram and Youtube “influencers,” it is no surprise that many young people would want to purchase expensive things to mimic that “influence power.”

Realistically, most middle-class teens and young adults cannot afford the lavish lifestyle their idols can. This is where counterfeit products come in. That being said, while Amazon and eBay have been making statements for years claiming they are getting more strict with counterfeit and replica goods, are they really?

For years, e-commerce sites with a worldwide platform, such as Amazon and eBay, have been making promises to become stricter on the selling of counterfeit or replicated goods.

Really though, it is quite easy to search “wallet on chain” on either shopping platform and see a replica Gucci Dionysus handbag for under £40. Similarly, the search “small fashion backpack” pulls up listings of replica Chloe Faye backpacks for under £35 With such blatant rip-offs of handbags that retail well over £1000, why haven’t the platforms caught on yet?

1) They are not directly counterfeit. Yes, the shape and size may all be the same, but in most cases, these bags lack branding, which prevents them from being considered “replicas.” Brands such as Gucci and Chloe would have a difficult time trying to copyright a silhouette or colour. Unless the items are branded with those copyrighted names, there isn’t much that can be done to stop what some may call ‘fakes’.

2) It is not illegal to buy counterfeit items in the UK, but selling them is frowned upon. Most of these items are being sent directly from China and are not in stores or Amazon warehouses. If UK seller was to get caught selling counterfeit/replica goods, they could face federal charges! The reason it is so easy to obtain counterfeit items is due to the fact Amazon and eBay are available worldwide, and most overseas sellers are more than willing to ship out to anywhere in the world.

3) Finally, why should Amazon or eBay care? At the end of the day, both platforms are making millions per day, whether the goods sold on their site are authentic or not. The pressure to “fit in” has been heavy on tweens, teens and young adults for years now and it drives traffic to these sites.. So what if a teen wants a fake Gucci bag that has “GD” instead of “GG” plastered over it? They’re happy, and the website still gets money in their pocket. No harm is really done unless you were to ask the luxury houses themselves.

Amazon and eBay, while they claim to be working on cracking down on counterfeit items being sold on their websites, haven’t shown much change. However, they do promise refunds if a counterfeit item gets sold to an unsuspecting buyer. At the end of the day, most “counterfeit” items on their website are just unbranded duplicates of the luxury counterpart. If it isn’t actively hurting anyone and they are not getting sued over it… what does it matter to them?

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