Legal Eagle. Luxury Brands & eBay at War!

June 23, 2008 • Fashion

It was only a matter of time. Luxury brands are getting down and dirty in their fight against eBay and with good reason.


In an article in Sunday’s NY Post, Amanda Taylor reported luxury brands are taking
eBay to court over lax policing policies. Losing business to knockoffs and to the world’s No. 1 auction site’s inability to efficiently police counterfeiters are the main reasons the brands and retailers who sell the high-end products are pulling their business from eBay. Others are fighting back in court, and winning.

Having to fight high-end brands comes at an inopportune time for eBay as sales increases are shrinking and competitors are popping up left and right. Plus, fee increases have ticked off many sellers of more regularly priced items.

"EBay was not a positive venue for luxury, which is all about authentication," said Michael Sheldon, the CEO of, which sold luxury handbags on eBay for a few years but grew frustrated with the number of counterfeits being sold.

The final straw came last year when Portero found itself accused of hosting fakes.
"EBay shut us down using the same process they were using against counterfeiters – they couldn’t tell the difference," Sheldon said.

Earlier this month, Hermes won a case in a French court against eBay. Christian Dior and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton have pending cases in the French courts regarding the sale of counterfeit goods sold on eBay.

In the US, all eyes are on a decision due soon in a case Tiffany & Co. brought against the auction site. Tiffany sued the company alleging copyright infringement – out of several hundred Tiffany-labeled products purchased by the company on eBay in a 2004 investigation, they claim more than 75% were fake!

"Sellers have been overwhelmed with changes, and most are not in favor of improved economics," says the report, which also mentions the influx of high-volume sellers like, with 500,000 listings, as having a potentially negative impact on eBay.

Read "Lux Counter Fits" here

Picture: NYPost

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