GREENSBORO, N.C. — You pick up something off a store shelf in Target or you buy it from their website online, you get the same quality. You don't doubt your purchase.
And even though Amazon doesn't have a physical store shelf you can shop, you still think of the site as just as credible.
 

So why are people getting counterfeit merchandise? Lechelle Yates from the Better Business Bureau is here to explain how it’s happening and how often.

“We're talking 1 in 4 online shoppers have bought fakes,” she says. “These counterfeiters dupe us and amazon by stealing photos and descriptions of real brand name products and put them on their sites.”

What types of things are we talking about that are fake? Basically, if it can be shipped, it's being counterfeited. It’s watches and purses sports jerseys. It's cosmetics, travel mugs, toner, even medicine. But many of these products don't work correctly and can pose a health and safety risk.

“Another way this is happening, you may pay for a product, but never receive it all,” adds Yates, “or you may receive the item but it's nothing like what you ordered. One consumer ordered a cordless drill and received a screw drivers.”


More than half of the sales on Amazon are by third party sellers who ship products themselves. Amazon is going to allow brands to remove third party sellers that offer fake products. Also, Amazon  is going to add special barcodes to authentic products it ships.
 

But there are other protections does the website have a physical address for the business? If so, Google it to make sure it belongs to that website. If not, don't order from it.

While you're there, you might as well check the company on the BBB website too. And if you get a fake product, dispute the charge with your credit card company Ebay and Paypal also have policies that help you get a refund in cases like this.

BBB has a big study on this counterfeit issue.