“Online marketplaces make it easy for small and medium sized businesses to connect with customers all over the world, but some have become a hotbed for unscrupulous actors to sell stolen and counterfeit goods,” said RILA Senior Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Michael Hanson. “Retailers have seen a dramatic increase in organized retail crime (ORC) in recent years, with career criminals targeting stores with alarming frequency, and in many cases, escalating levels of violence. This is because perpetrators, often organized and coordinated to target multiple retailers, are increasingly turning to online marketplaces to move large quantities of stolen merchandise.”
A report released earlier this year by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) underscored the growing problem of counterfeit goods sold on marketplace platforms, highlighting the need for Congress and regulators to do more to hold sellers and the platforms accountable when fake or illicit products are sold to unsuspecting consumers.
“The anonymity and unregulated environment in which these platforms operate have made them a stage to sell products that would never be allowed on a store shelf,” said Hanson. “Expired and defective products, products made with unsafe levels of chemical substances, and products that do not meet U.S. quality and safety standards are often deceptively marketed and sold though these platforms.”
Tackling both counterfeit and stolen goods is a top priority for leading retailers. And both issues require policymakers and law enforcement to focus on the growth of third party marketplaces.
“Requiring high-frequency sellers on these platforms to provide basic business and contact information is a good first step toward cracking down on the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods,” said Hanson. “Leading retailers look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to crack down on the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods, and to work with law enforcement to better protect our employees and customers from organized retail crime.”
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.
RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.