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Tiffany Diamond Product and Suit against eBay

2004:Tiffany Diamond Product and Counterfeits Hurting Its Reputation

July 2004

Think you are getting a steal when you buy a Tiffany ring on ebay? Better think again.

After studying a sample of the goods labeled as from Tiffany that were sold on ebay, Tiffany’s lawyers found that 73% of them were counterfeits. Only 5% of them turned out to be genuine Tiffany products.

So Tiffany has sued ebay, claiming it profits off the sale of counterfeit Tiffany goods and that the counterfeits are hurting its reputation.

“Tiffany believes eBay should bear responsibility for the sale of counterfeit merchandise on its site, since it openly promotes 'Tiffany' counterfeits by using the Tiffany name as a sponsored link, provides a forum for such sales and profits handsomely from the sale of bogus merchandise and packaging,” the lawsuit says.

Ebay says it takes these problems “very seriously,” and has a program to deal with them, but it is impossible for them to watch every auction on their site.

All of which only reinforces the notion that, even on the Internet, you must deal with well-established companies that have physical locations and good reputations and have been in business a long time. (The specifications on the Diamond Buyer’s Checklist on our web site are a good place to start.)


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