Be Informed, Be Wise
Pirated goods, counterfeits, or fakes are just a few terms that can easily ruin an online shoppers’ day. These terms pertain to items that are copies of the original created to sell at a drastically low price. In some cases, there are fake items that look exactly like the original. Making it difficult to determine if the item is a counterfeit or not.
To make things worst, if you’re an online shopper or is someone new to the online e-commerce industry, it’s almost impossible to determine if a product being sold online is fake or not. For example, popular online shopping sites such as LAZADA and Shoppee sells millions of items on their platforms. With that much listing, one would expect that those items are sold by the platform company which is not.
How does LAZADA/Shoppee work
To clarify how things work, both LAZADA and Shoppee only act as the selling platform. In layman’s terms, a place where sellers can sell. This means, there are thousands of different sellers enlisting their product on both platforms to sell online. And some of those will be counterfeit and fake products.
Fun FacT: Did you know that the world’s market and economy lose half a trillion US dollars globally due to imports of counterfeit and pirated goods yearly? Shocking isn’t it?
So for this article, we lay out the best guidelines for you to determine if that item that you are currently looking at right now on either platform is fake or not. A comprehensive guide on how to spot a fake counterfeit item on LAZADA and Shoppee.
So without further ado, here are our guidelines that you can use.
How to spot fake/counterfeit items on LAZADA
Read the Product Reviews section
In most cases, people who already bought the item will mostly post bad feedbacks about the product. You can find those feedbacks under the product reviews section. This is by far the fastest way to know if the product is bad, fake, counterfeit, or worth buying.
Check the Sold By section
A seller selling fake or counterfeit products will have negative feedback from the buyers. This will affect their positive rating as a seller and that’s a dead giveaway if you’re buying something bad. Our rule of thumb is, if a seller has a positive rating of less than 80%, it’s best to avoid buying anything from that seller.
There are a couple of key aspects that you need to take note of in this section. If a product that you plan to purchase doesn’t have any feedback, then your next best step to take is to observe this section. Look for the Positive Seller Ratings. As a rule of thumb, if a seller has less than 80% ratings, it means that it’s best to avoid buying anything from that seller.
Observe the Product Presentation
Simply observe the product presentation page. Does the item you’re interested in contain a couple of pictures? Provides more details about the product under the product detail section? Does the seller offer a promotional discount or bundle discount with other products? If your answer is no to all of these, then there’s a high probability that that item is fake.
Too good to be true Selling Price
Another dead giveaway that determines a product is fake is its selling price. If the price is too good to be true, then it’s fake unless if the seller mentions or explains why the price is so low such as seasonal discounts. A good example that showcases numbers 3 and 4 is this Sony WH-1000XM3 that is being sold for less than ₱4,000.
If you observe the product page, it displays a couple of product images and well-oriented product details. However, if you observe closely, the shop has less than 80% positive rating, the product is shipped overseas, and the price is too good to be true. FYI, Sony is still selling its WH-1000XM3 headphone for ₱20,000 all throughout its branches and flagship stores.
Another good example is this listing of Razer Raiju Tournament Edition on Lazada.
If you noticed, the product name is also obscure. Instead of Razer, the seller named the product “Ra zer” with space in between and the same thing goes with our first example, it’s “So ny” instead of Sony. Some sellers do this naming scheme to avoid Lazada’s counterfeit product detection when listing items. By doing so, Lazada’s product listing system will not be asking the seller to provide more requirements as legal proof that they are allowed to sell such items.
If you proceed to purchase this item, you can expect four possible outcomes, you will either get a low-quality clone of the product, the seller will either cancel the order or request you to cancel it, you’ll either get an empty shipping pouch or box, or a different product.
Fake Items on LAZADA
LAZADA is probably the number 1 online shopping platform in most of Asia, if not all. Making it be more prone to listings of counterfeit items. So if you’re shopping on LAZADA, here are a few ways to help you figure out if an item is fake or not.
Check “Sold By” Section
If there’s one thing that a buyer should check, it’s the seller’s credibility. Simply click the item that you want to buy or check then look at the “Sold by” section.
If the seller’s name under the Sold By section has the “LazMall/Flagship” badge, then rest assure that this is a legit item. Sold by the manufacturer or brand themselves.
What is LazMall Anyway?
LazMall is a different selling platform that’s accessible only through LAZADA. This platform enlists big brands, companies, or manufacturers that are verified by LAZADA. LAZADA then enlists them with their own flagship store under the brand or business name. So every item listed inside the LazMall platform is 100% authentic.
Check “Review/Rating” Section
For sellers that don’t have the “LazMall/Flagship” badge, one of the easiest ways to check if an item is good or fake is by checking the review/rating section. For this case, let’s take Romoss Sense 8 Power Bank, a widely sold product on LAZADA.
In the image above, we found a seller under the name Agila General Merchandise. To check if the one that they’re selling is good or counterfeit, simply check the Rating/Review section of the item.
Read the comments and it’s best to start with low rating stars. Checking the 1-star rating, it seems that the buyer is hesitant but his/her comment is contradicting his/her rating. This simply means that this item is good and not counterfeit.
Check “Price” Section
We have a saying, if it’s too good to be true it probably is and it’s best to live by with that wise words. The only exception to that phrase is if the seller is the flagship store. Here’s an example of that:
Back on November 11, 2018, the official flagship store of Kingston sold a 120GB A400 SSD on LAZADA LazMall for PHP918 pesos. Sounds good to be true? But it is, look at the LazMall badge.
We bought a few units for ourselves. So applying the three steps, one can already confirm if a product sold in LAZADA is original or counterfeit.
Prioritize Flagship Store | Compare | Analyze
Here’s another comparison of the same item but sold by two different sellers. Simply, a flagship store vs another seller. So basically, we’re comparing a counterfeit against an original one. Take the Romoss Sense 8 as an example, a widely sold item.
Noticed a few things? No? Make sure to check the following:
- Positive Seller Ratings – Anything less than 50%, best to avoid that seller. But for us, anything below 80% is considered bad.
- Ratings & Reviews
- Best to read 1-star ratings and then work your way up to 5-star comments to help you make a judgment.
- Selling Price
- Like what we said, if it’s too good to be true it probably is but not all the time. The only exception is if it’s sold by a flagship store.
Here’s another comparison using Samsung EVO Plus MicroSD Card 128GB as an example, another widely sold item. This time, we’re not going to include a flagship store. Instead, we will compare a seller against another seller.
In this image, we highlighted all the necessary sections that you must check before purchasing. Once done with the verification process of legitimacy check, then we can conclude that the one sold by IT Online Mart is the original, and the one sold by the seller name Bob Cat is counterfeit.
Fake Items on Shopee
Shopee is another online store platform that is similar to LAZADA, AliExpress, and Amazon. You can buy stuff from other sellers that sell an item on the Shopee platform. In fact, Shopee is gaining popularity and can be considered as the rival of LAZADA in Asian countries. Just this last November 11, 2018, there were almost 11 million items sold by Shopee.
Considering all of that, this also makes Shopee a store prone to counterfeit listings. For this section, here are a few tips on spotting counterfeit items.
Shopee Mall Means 100% Authentic
Similar to LazMall, Shopee also has a section where big companies, brands, and manufacturers are given a flagship store and are verified by Shopee. So anyone can expect 100% authenticity of the items bought from Shopee Mall.
Here’s an example of what an item looks like and what to look when an item is listed in Shopee Mall.
First is, look at the seller information below the item listing. Under the seller name, there should be a Shopee Mall badge. Next is, there should be the word “Mall” attached before the product name.
If all of the criteria that dictate an item are listed in the Shopee Mall platform, then rest assure that the item is 100% authentic.
Rule of the thumb, if there’s an item that you want and is listed on Shopee Mall then it is best to buy it. This is to simply prevent any counterfeit purchases. But that’s not always followed. We tend to risk on those sellers that sell the same item at a lower price.
So in the image below, we will show you a comparison of 4 different sellers selling the same item. A flagship store, a preferred seller, a normal seller, and a seller that sells a counterfeit item.
As you can see, there are a few things that share the same common criteria dictating an item to be original. Those are the ratings, the price, and the badges from the platform.
If you noticed, the flagship store, the preferred seller, and the normal seller have a similar selling price of the Samsung MicroSD. They also received good ratings from numerous buyers but if you check the counterfeit one, you’ll see that the item is being sold for a very low price.
Most of the time, people who bought the counterfeit one gives the seller a negative comment. So it’s always best to read comments before purchasing.
Now if you’re wondering, a preferred badge is earned and not bought. According to Shopee, “Shopee sellers become Preferred Sellers by invitation only. A shop should have high seller ratings, quality listings with competitive prices, and excellent sales and customer service record.“
To summarize everything, to make sure that an item is original and not counterfeit, simply follow our guide.
- Check Seller Credibility – Look for seller rating.
- Read Reviews and Comments – It’s always best to question the credibility of the seller and read the experience of other buyers.
- Evaluate Selling Price – Say an iPhone X sold for PHP5,000. Too good to be true? Yes, it probably is too good to be true. But then again, if the seller is the flagship store, then bust your ass and buy every stock they’re selling at that price.
- Analyze – After performing the first 3 steps, ask yourself. Will I buy from this seller? Will I risk my money to buy an item that I want for a cheaper price? You decide.
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