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Etsy's counterfeit problem is getting worse

Billy Steele
May 15, 2015
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News of Etsy's battle against sellers pedaling knockoff goods on its site isn't a recent revelation, but an analyst report this week details the extent of the problem. Investment firm Wedbush says that up to 2 million items listed on the marketplace may be counterfeit or infringe on either a copyright or trademark -- items like these. That's around 5 percent of all goods promoted there. It's not just fashion and jewelery brands, either: products with pro sports, cartoon and comic book artwork abound on Etsy as well. The company recently went public, and as you might expect, its stock fell in response to the report. What's more, a class action lawsuit was filed against the site for making "false and misleading statements" about the counterfeit issue. Etsy took aim at questionable merchandise in the past, banning the sale of Washington Redskins items back in September. However, if it wants to continue being the go-to place for handmade goods, it'll need to do some spring cleaning.

[Image credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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