As the saying goes, the best gifts come in small packages. But if you were one of the millions of lucky women to get a small — and distinctly robin's egg blue — package this holiday season, you may want to be on the lookout for well-made knockoffs. Renowned jeweler Tiffany is suing online auction house eBay for $3 million, claiming it is a "rat's nest" of counterfit Tiffany baubles. The blue box purveyors of sterling silver and classic engagement rings says it filed 135,000 takedown orders with eBay in 2006 — that's 370 notices per day, or one every four minutes.
Tiffany and eBay have been at each others' throats for some time now; in 2004, Tiffany purchased 186 items listed as Tiffany products, finding that only 5 percent were legitimate, but eBay claims that Tiffany's investment in counterfeit enforcement (only a tenth of a percent of their gross sales) is too small to expect better results.
Regardless of any bad blood between the two companies, we know counterfeit goods are rampant on eBay. We told you how to avoid buying a fake "It" bag, and there are endless guides to spotting phonies on eBay (get all the info you need in the "Browse Guides by Category" box), so keep your guard up when you're contemplating dropping big bucks on big name items.
Have you ever been the victim of eBay counterfeits? How did you figure it out, and how was the issue resolved? Let us know in the comments section.