Watch Out for Knock-Offs, Says Study

December 15, 1999

Watch Out for Knock-Offs, Says Study

A recent survey says 4-8% of the 7,000 Web sites advertising Gucci, Rolex and Mont Blanc products are selling counterfeits.

Cyveillance, a business intelligence analyst in Arlington, VA, studied more than 50,000 Web sites selling luxury goods, up from 20,000-25,000 luxury e-tailers Cyveillance counted in 1998. The study shows the number of counterfeit sites keeps up with the growing number of luxury goods sites.

"If on-line sales were to represent just 5% of the $150 billion market for luxury goods, losing even 2% of that total means hundreds of millions in lost revenue for these luxury brand companies," says Brandy Thomas, CEO and chairman of Cyveillance.

To determine whether or not a site sells counterfeits, Cyveillance suggests looking for secure servers, disclaimers and return policies, and keeping in mind that if prices seem too good to be true, they probably are.

- by Stacey King