LocalCircles survey: 1 in 5 online products is fake, fakes highest in cosmetics and fragrance sectors

According to the latest survey by LocalCircles, one in five products sold online in India is a fake and the figures are highest in the cosmetics and fragrance sectors.

According to the latest survey by LocalCircles, one in five products sold online in India is a fake - Instagram: @tartecosmetics

The citizen engagement platform LocalCircles shared its latest survey results with the Times of India which showed that, out of its sample size of 30,000 consumers, 20 percent stated that they had received a counterfeit product from an online retailer in the past six months. Some consumers also said that they did not know if products that they received were real or fake.

The survey, which must be noted was based on consumers’ opinions about whether products are fake and not testing the products themselves, also allowed consumers to choose which online retailer they felt sold the most fake products. A total of 37 percent of surveyed consumers said Snapdeal had the highest percentage of fake goods followed by 22 percent choosing Flipkart, 21 percent Paytm Mall, and 20 percent Amazon India. All four business did tell the Times of India that they work to counter the selling of fake goods.

According to the consumers, the product categories with the most fakes on offer were fragrances with 35 percent of the vote. This was followed by cosmetics at a similar rate, then sporting goods at 22 percent. This is corroborated by a recent notice by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) stating that both Flipkart and Amazon India were found to have fake cosmetic products on their respective platforms.

The All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) has also voiced its concern about the selling of fake goods online and has explained that, in rural areas where the e-commerce industry is in its nascent stages, consumers find it hard to differentiate between fake and real goods. As trust in e-commerce sellers is vital for their continued growth, how India’s largest online retailers handle the situation will be vital for sustaining their customer bases.

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