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Can an auction sell fake goods?

Auctions are a great place to bag a bargain on a usually pricey item, particularly with branded or designer goods. However, it is important to check that the items you are bidding on are genuine and match the descriptions the sellers are giving.

Back in 2013, 5% of all goods imported to the EU were fake; shockingly, a study by the British Government also revealed that one in five of all items tagged with luxury brand names on Instagram were fake.

Items such as designer handbags, celebrity autographs and sports memorabilia are common in auction lots. However, it can be challenging to guarantee authenticity solely from online images. Many counterfeit items are produced to a high standard and appear genuine to the untrained eye, so buyers are left to trust the seller’s word.

Selling counterfeit goods

It’s a criminal offence to sell counterfeit goods and mislead buyers into the authenticity of a product. Although, auctioneers can sell replicas or ‘knockoffs’ of branded items as long as this is made clear to the buyer and they know they are not purchasing a genuine branded product.

Counterfeit goods are produced to mislead people into believing the item is genuine. These products often use identical logos, trademarks, and packaging as the original item.

Whilst replicas may look very similar at first glance; they can be classed as counterfeits if they’re identical to the real thing. Therefore you will likely see slight differences in materials, colours, patterns, sizing or logos.

Despite this insight, it can still be hard to tell whether items are real or fake. Typically, registered online auction companies like ourselves do not sell counterfeit goods, and we have trained professionals both externally or internally to confirm the authenticity of lots before they go live.

Spotting fake goods

If you’re unsure of the genuineness of an item before purchasing it, you should take the time to contact the auction platform and request proof of authenticity. We advise all our customers to view the items or contact us for information prior to bidding.

We aim to give both sellers and buyers the best service possible and our team of approachable staff is readily available to assist with queries you may have about our items.

You can check out our current available auctions here.

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