EverC/Ipsos Poll: 88% of Americans Think E-Commerce Marketplaces Should Be Liable for Counterfeit, Illegal Products Sold on Their Websites

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Two in five e-commerce users say counterfeit, illegal or unsafe products have negatively impacted their willingness to purchase products from these sites

A new joint survey between Ipsos and EverC found that almost nine in ten US consumers who use e-commerce marketplace websites think those marketplaces should be held liable for the products sold on their sites. The survey, with data collected by global market research firm Ipsos, examined consumer sentiment and trust toward online e-commerce marketplaces, their experiences receiving counterfeit, illegal or unsafe products, and other usage habits around these platforms.

The e-commerce industry is poised to grow into a $5.4 trillion market by 2022 and, with it, criminal activities are rising exponentially. Criminals are flooding the global economy with nearly $1 trillion worth of dangerous, counterfeit and illicit products, taking advantage of today’s largest e-commerce marketplaces. As a result, regulators are taking action by issuing costly fines and new regulatory actions, while the marketplaces themselves are losing the confidence and trust of consumers.

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“With the rise we’ve seen in e-commerce activity over recent years, more and more criminals are hiding behind e-commerce marketplace platforms to sell products that are counterfeit, illegal or unsafe,” said Noam Rabinovich, Co-founder of EverC. “These survey results demonstrate the existential threat that marketplaces are facing to their reputation and livelihood, not to mention the potential harm that consumers could face as a result of these illicit products. The best way to halt the problem is by catching these listings early-on and keeping them from ever reaching the marketplace.”

According to the survey, 41% of consumers say their experiences receiving fraudulent products have negatively impacted their willingness to make purchases from e-commerce sites. That number is even higher among 18-34-year-olds (52%), and more than half of the same group (56%) also reported receiving at least one flawed or fraudulent product within the last year from an online purchase.

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Fashion (44%) and electronics (33%) are the top two categories consumers reported most often being counterfeit, illegal or unsafe.

And while 68% of respondents hold the seller most responsible for illegal or fraudulent products, more than a quarter (27%) instead put the most responsibility on the e-commerce marketplace site that facilitated the transaction.

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