Unfortunately, counterfeit goods are widely available, and sometimes they're purchased without the buyer realising – often from legitimate looking websites. We even see sophisticated counterfeit receipts accompanying products in an effort to 'legitimise' them.
If we knowingly allow the sale of counterfeit goods on the site, both the member and Trade Me incur liability.
We take intellectual property rights seriously, and operate an Intellectual Property Rights Programme working with over 800 rights holders, brands and their representatives internationally to assist them with enforcing their rights on the site.
Our Trust and Safety team uses what we call the ‘proof of intellectual property’ process to ensure sellers are selling items that are legitimate.
How do we find listings of concern?
Listings come to our attention in a number of ways – we may come across them during routine checks of the site, rights holders report them or members bring them to our attention via Community Watch.
When our Fraud Prevention Team believe there is some merit to a complaint or that a listing is 'high risk' they may ask for more information from the seller. In the case of suspected counterfeit goods, they'll request proof of authenticity – receipts or photos of the tags, labels or other detail.
What to do if we ask you for proof of authenticity.
If you’ve been asked to provide this information, no worries, the process is pretty simple. Follow the instructions in the email we sent.
If we ask for a receipt or pictures of tags or labels and you’re selling more than one of those items, you will need to provide the requested info for all those goods.
While we’re waiting to hear from you, a few restrictions will be applied to your account. You won’t be able to edit the listing, or use the question and answers facility. The listing also can't close with a successful bidder, and buyers can’t use the buy now. This all happens in the background of your auction and other members aren’t notified of the request.
Don’t worry though, this is only temporary and will be removed once the proof has been received and approved – so it’s in your interest to reply to our proof of authenticity request as soon as possible. Once you’ve sent the requested info, our goal is to review it within 24 hours.
In certain circumstances, you may also be asked to supply proof of your personal identification. This is an additional security check.
There's no need to send us proof before we ask, we don't pre-approve listings. It's important this process is only done following a request from Trade Me.
What happens next
Once the proof of authenticity has been received, it's assessed and (if it's accepted) the goods are passed and the listing can proceed as normal.
If a member can't provide proof of authenticity, we ask them to contact us.
Usually, they will provide an explanation the goods being old, gifts, receipts thrown out, etc, and the team will consider the reasoning and any other explanation the seller offers, and make a judgement call.
Our team can only work with the information in front of them, so rely heavily on the quality of the listing detail to assess goods. There are a number of factors within a listing that the team may consider when assessing if the goods are potentially not genuine, or if more information might be required to add certainty.
As a seller you should make sure you are fully and accurately advertising your goods, here are some handy hints:
- Fully describe the item in the listing description, including all faults – be detailed.
- Use your own pictures. Taking images from the internet also infringes copyright as you don't have permission to use them, and sometimes the images sourced are of counterfeit goods and can mean your items are may be incorrectly identified as potentially infringing. Images from the internet also don't show the actual goods for sale and so aren't an accurate representation of what's on offer.
The ins and outs of how to provide us with proof of intellectual property, and what this process looks like.