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Counterfeit scandals drive customers away from luxury online shopping platforms










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Counterfeit scandals drive customers away from luxury online shopping platforms

Tren:be employees check the authenticity of luxury goods at the company's office in Seocho, Seoul on April 6, 2021. Korea Times file
Tren:be employees check the authenticity of luxury goods at the company’s office in Seocho, Seoul on April 6, 2021. Korea Times file


By Kim Jae Heun

The number of buyers using online luxury shopping platforms is rapidly declining after their brand image has been tarnished due to recent counterfeiting scandals.

In early April, the country’s largest online fashion mall, Musinsa, was hit for selling counterfeit clothes through the Essentials brand. Essentials is a sub-label of American luxury streetwear brand, Fear of God.

Last month, local luxury shopping platform Balaan was also caught selling knockoffs of the Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og X Travis Scott Mocha sneaker by a customer.

Such scandals have led many consumers to question the authenticity of luxury goods sold on the Internet, thereby avoiding online shopping platforms.

According to Mobile Index, a data analytics service, on Wednesday the number of monthly active users (MAUs) of local luxury shopping platforms, including Balaan, Must It and Tren:be, fell by up to 40% from its highest point last month. .

Specifically, Balaan’s MAU grew from 820,000 users in April to 600,000 last month while Tren:be grew from 700,000 users in March to 470,000 in June.

Luxury malls bring most of the products here that they have purchased from secondary suppliers or have items sold by private dealers in their open market. This gives online retailers a price advantage over local department stores or luxury boutiques. However, the authenticity of products sold on the Internet is not guaranteed.

“Due to the nature of the business of luxury shopping platforms, it is difficult to survive in the market if they lose consumer confidence. A scandal can not only affect a company’s business by losing investments, but also deal a mortal blow to other companies of the same There is an urgent need to regain consumer confidence, ”said an official of the luxury shopping platform.

Balaan recently set up a special task force to review all luxury items sold on its platform while promoting an enhanced refund policy for counterfeit products sold by accident.

Musinsa has also partnered with the Trade-Related IPR Protection Association (TIPA) to review all luxury products they deal with before offering them to their customers online. TIPA is a local non-profit organization that was created to protect intellectual property.










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