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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Keeping It Real Online

Counterfeit products are so common in the global marketplace that even the U.S. military has been duped by Chinese counterfeit aerospace parts. So why be surprised that toothpaste or coupons acquired online could be fake? TheCounterfeitReport. com, a Camarillo website, is building an online business with one approach to solving the problem. The website serves as a clearinghouse where both consumers and manufacturers can report and share information on counterfeits. “There are some really unhappy people who will report products. They were not aware at all that the products were counterfeit,” said founder Craig Crosby, who studied business management at Cal State Northridge. Traffic on the website has doubled every month since its launch in October, according to Crosby. It also has attracted corporate sponsorship, while consumers are not charged to post on the site. “We feel that manufacturers are willing to pay for the immediate and direct (business) to (consumer) link the Counterfeit Report provides at a significantly less cost and much greater exposure than maintaining individual websites or saturation advertising,” said Crosby, who previously founded a business-to-business services auction site called Pro-bids.com. Some of the most recent bogus products reported on TheCounterfeitReport.com were Hewlett-Packard Co. printer cartridges, Columbia Sportswear Co. titanium jackets and Ergobaby baby carriers, which have been reported to tear easily. Crosby said he is thinking about working with manufacturers to give them the opportunity to provide consumers with some compensation, including coupons or discounts, in exchange for posting information on fakes. – Lucy Guanuna

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