Suspected fakes rise sharply on Amazon Prime days, claims poll

A survey suggests that while 11 per cent of people who purchase products on Amazon suspect they have bought a fake on any typical day, that triples to 33 per cent on Prime Day flash sales.

The poll of around 2,000 US online shoppers – conducted by brand protection firm Red Points – also found that the top three categories that were later found to be counterfeit after being bought on an Amazon Prime day were electronics, fashion accessories and clothes.

All told, 60 per cent of 18-29 year olds said they had purchased a product they suspected to be fake online during a sale, compared to a little over 50 per cent of the 30 to 44 age bracket and around 40 per cent of both the 45 to 60 and over-60s groups.

Red Points’ findings also suggest the time-sensitive deals place consumers – and particularly younger people – under pressure to make purchases without taking the time to carry out research into the goods they are buying.More than two thirds of respondents aged 18-29 and 30-44 year olds said they felt pressure to buy an item quicker during a sale, compared to 54 per cent of 45 to 60 year olds and 20 per cent of the over-60s.

When there is no time pressure of a sale, 44 per cent of respondents take one to four hours researching a purchase. However, during a sale 36 per cent of those same consumers are likely to act faster.

The fear of missing out on a discount had a third of consumers purchasing clothes without doing any research, for example. “Less time to act on a good deal means less time to do research,” says Red Points.

Amazon has responded angrily to the survey, accusing Red Points of carrying out a “shameful stunt” built upon “unfounded claims based on survey respondents trying to recall what they bought a year ago.”

It continued: “Brands can use our free tools to protect their IP in our store and we invite them to work with us to stop bad actors through joint litigation and law enforcement referrals.”

This week’s two-day Amazon Prime event surpassed Amazon’s sales for last year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, according to the online retailer, with Prime members buying more than 175m items worldwide.

“Members purchased millions of Alexa-enabled devices, received tens of millions of dollars in savings by shopping from Whole Foods Market and bought more than $2bn of products from independent small and medium-sized businesses," said CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

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