As an online business owner, the last thing you want to do is sell fake goods. You will get in trouble with the law, and the government will stop you.
AliExpress is where most online stores, including dropshippers and those with physical stores, buy their products. It is one of the biggest places to buy and sell things online, with millions and millions of items for sale.
But how do you make sure you don’t sell fake goods from AliExpress? Today, we’ll learn about these things. If you know how to tell if something is fake, you can protect yourself.
What does it mean to fake?
A counterfeit is described as the imitation of something. This includes copying the look, the logo, and the name of a certain brand. To be a fake, something has to be an exact copy of a brand or product.
It is against the law to sell fakes. Why? People who make things had to study how to make those things for years. They spend money on research and then on branding, which includes an advertising budget and paying models.
Then, a manufacturer decides to make fakes that look exactly like the real thing. They didn’t pay for advertising, and they definitely didn’t pay for research. All they did was figure out how it worked backwards, and now they sell it as if it were the original.
Since the product is fake, the original designer—let’s use Nike as an example—does not make money from the sale of fake items. Just imagine this happening to you if you designed and built a product from scratch and then somebody creates a replica of your product, how would you feel?
There are so many different kinds of fake items out there. Here are a few:
Most of the time, the fake item is of lower quality. After all, the person who made the fake item wants to sell it for a lot less money. The fake product may look good in pictures, but it is nothing like the real thing when you hold it.
Even so, you should know that fake items are bad and can hurt your health, especially if they are in the health niche. Fake power tools are dangerous because they can explode, which can lead to serious injuries or even death.
A few stats on the counterfeit business
There is a lot of money to be made in the fake business. In this fight, the real owners of brands are losing a lot. Let’s look at some numbers to help us figure out what’s going on and what the effects of fakes are on the real industries of different brands.
In 2017, it was estimated that brands had lost a total of $320 billion because of fakes. For the same time period, the value of all fake items is $1.2 trillion. By the end of 2022, it is thought that all fake goods will have cost $1.82 trillion.
This is a lot of money, and none of it goes to the people who make the original brand. A lot of these fakes come from China, which is the best place to make things in the world.
Authorities say that 87% of all fake goods found in US ports in 2018 came from Hong Kong or China. Here’s the problem: if you are from the US, you can’t sue a Chinese company for making fake goods. They live in China, so nothing will be done about it.
The Chinese government is doing what it can to stop this, but it’s not enough. Counterfeiting only works because there is a market for it and people are willing to buy it. There are a lot of sellers on AliExpress, and for every faker you catch, ten more will show up.
You can see that bad things happen where there is money. People who don’t do their own research will always be around. They won’t take the risks of doing research, and all they want to do is ride on the success of others.
Don’t buy from these companies. If you sell or buy fake items, you just encourage thieves to keep doing what they are doing.
How to stay away from fake goods on AliExpress
Now, let’s talk about how to stay away from fake goods on AliExpress.
Check the brand name and logo.
If there is one thing you can be sure of, it’s that no supplier or manufacturer is allowed to sell the goods of any brand. Brands don’t sell their items on AliExpress. Instead, they sell them in their own online stores or through approved distributors like Walmart.
Stay away from anything on AliExpress that says Nike or any other big brand name. Even though AliExpress doesn’t allow the sale of fake items, some sellers are getting away with it. Even if the brand name isn’t on the product, if it looks like the real thing, it is still a fake.
One example is dolls and other toys. If you ever see a toy with a Marvel character on it, it is a fake, even if the name of the character is spelled wrong. For instance, you might see a Hulk toy, but the name on the label will say “Halk” with an A instead of a U. This still looks like a fake.
Look at the comments.
Even if some reviews are fake, it only takes one unhappy customer to rate a seller and find out if the item is real or not. Take your time reading the reviews, because it will be worth it.
The good thing about big websites like AliExpress is that you can filter to see reviews based on how many stars they have.
Look at the below screenshot. You’ll see that you can only see reviews with one star. If the product you’re interested in has a lot of reviews, this is a good way to find out if there is anything bad about it or if it is a fake.
Use a tool from a dropship supplier.
Dropship supplier tools have a way to find out if the supplier does a good job and is legit. For example, you can use Spocket to find suppliers, and you can be sure that all of the suppliers listed there are real.
SaleHoo and Oberlo are two more tools you can use. Not all of the tools for dropship suppliers are free. Some of them cost about $9 a month. This money will be worth it because you will only work with suppliers who do a good job. You won’t have to deal with suppliers who slow down your shipment or sell fake goods.
Order the thing
You can only be sure that the product you want to dropship is real if you buy it yourself. This can take time, but at least you are sure that the items you are selling are not counterfeit.
Depending on where you live, you might not get your product for a few weeks. But you will see for yourself how well your supplier does. You can see how the item is packed, how good it is, if you can track the order, and a lot more.
If you order the items yourself, you’ll know how your customers will feel about the process. I was You will be asked How I will I was K.
Punishments for selling fakes
If you sell counterfeit, you will get penalized and even banned from a platform if you were exposed or caught. In this section, we’ll talk about a few situations that should make you think twice about selling fake goods.
Financial institutions don’t like to be involved in selling fake goods. This includes payment gateways like PayPal.
A lot of payment gateways will look into your website before they let you use their system to accept money. If they think your site might be selling fake goods, they will ask you for proof that you are a real reseller or retailer of branded goods.
If you don’t give this information, all payments to you through this payment gateway will be stopped. If there is proof that the item you sold is fake, you will never get that money back.
Fake items are getting less attention on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. They don’t like online stores that sell fake items.
This is why it takes a day for an ad to get approved. There are filtering systems that send ads and stores that look fishy to the legal department. If the Facebook employee can prove that what you are selling is fake, your account will be closed.
This will hurt you, especially if you already have a lot of fans. They will all be gone, and you will have to start over. And since you are banned, you probably can’t use the same email address or name to make a new Facebook or Instagram account. You will have to make one that looks real.
If your web hosting company or store platform finds out that you are selling fakes, they will close your store. If no one tells the platform, they might find out on their own.
If you read the terms and conditions of these store platforms and web host providers, you’ll see that they all say you can’t use their services for illegal things. In some cases, they might just ask you to get rid of the fake items.
What if all of the things you are selling are against the law? You need to close your shop. You know that your store is your best thing. You can’t sell it, and you can’t reopen it, either.
The worst thing that can happen is that you get kicked off the platform. You can’t apply again, and you’ll have to use a different service provider to start a new business.
You could go to jail or have to pay a fine.
If the brand owner finds out about you, like Nike or Disney, you could get in trouble with the law, especially if you sell a lot of items. When you go to court, they will be able to see how much money you made over the years and can charge you a lot for the sales they lost.
In the United States, the most you can be fined is $2 million. You can also go to jail for ten years. Different countries have different rules. Just don’t risk it. It’s not worth the trouble. You can make a few thousand dollars every now and then, but that’s not enough to go to jail for.
They will dislike you.
For one thing, your customers probably think they’ll get original items from you, but when they get them, they find out they’re fakes.
What kind of grade are you going to get? Also, can you imagine how many returns and refunds you have to deal with? Do you really want a headache like this?
On the other hand, your rivals can say bad things about you. It is so simple to send out a press release that will hurt you. If your products are fake, your competitors will just say so to get rid of you. They can also work with their partner influencers to make sure that their followers will avoid your brand name or store name like the plague.
Even though selling fake items sounds like a good idea, it doesn’t really do you or the manufacturer any good. You will lose this battle in the end. Also, you should care enough about this industry not to help it grow. You really cannot call yourself an entrepreneur if you are violating the law.