The Buy Safe America Coalition, a diverse group of retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers and law enforcement who support efforts to combat organized retail crime and protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods, released a study revealing the devastating impact the sale of fraudulent goods has on American consumers, the U.S. economy, and businesses large and small.
“The Counterfeit Silk Road - Impact of Counterfeit Consumer Products Smuggled into the United States” sounds the alarm on a hidden danger for millions of consumers shopping online this upcoming holiday season. Counterfeit goods, most of which are being shipped directly to doorsteps from China, are flooding the U.S. market by way of third-party marketplaces that require little to no accountability to ensure the products they sell are legitimate, and more importantly, safe.
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Recent news stories confirm just how harmful counterfeit goods like batteries, toys, and N95 masks can be to consumers. Failing car seats, exploding batteries, and even dangerous drugs have unfortunately become commonplace on third-party marketplaces due to the lack of oversight.
The Economic Harm from Counterfeit Goods
In addition to consumer danger, the economic harm that has been caused by the online counterfeit industry is equally alarming:
$1.5 billion worth of counterfeit toys were imported into the U.S., along with $6.8 billion worth of counterfeit cellphones.
The smuggling of counterfeit goods costs the United States government nearly $7.2 billion in personal and business tax revenues.
It’s estimated that over 39,000 jobs in wholesaling and 280,000 retail jobs, paying over $13.6 billion in wages and benefits to workers, were lost because of counterfeit production.
It is estimated that just 21 product types account for over 60 percent (60.7 percent) of all of the contraband goods entering the United States. These illegitimate imports alone cost domestic retailers nearly $54.1 billion in sales.
The Buy Safe America Coalition study reveals the devastating impact the sale of fraudulent goods has on American consumers, the U.S. economy, and businesses large and small.
Buy Safe America Coalition report highlights the negative effects of online counterfeit sales in the U.S.
“At a time when supply chains are already strained, it should concern every American that third party marketplaces are providing a gateway for counterfeit producers to enter our markets and ultimately allowing these illicit goods to make their way into our homes. This holiday season, we want consumers to be able to shop with confidence that the gifts their buying are safe for their families. Policymakers can support that goal by passing legislation that ensures transparency and accountability are present on third-party marketplaces.”
- Buy Safe America Coalition
Impact of Counterfeit and Stolen Goods
The ease of selling counterfeit and stolen goods to unsuspecting consumers has attracted organized criminal networks that are becoming more aggressive, manipulative and brazen as a growing number of Americans shop online amid the pandemic.Learn More
The INFORM Consumers Act
The time is now for Congress to modernize consumer protection laws by requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify basic seller information, and for sellers to provide that information to consumers.Learn More
What is Organized Retail Crime
Criminals are increasingly turning to online marketplaces to quickly and discretely move mass quantities of stolen merchandise. Unfortunately, these criminal rings are growing more brazen and violent, putting the safety of customers and store employees in jeopardy.Learn More