Stakeholders Intensify Battle against Fake Products

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Operators in the e-Commerce sector have continued to battle against fake products.

Speaking about the advantages of e-Commerce, a merchant who trades on Konga, Jumia and other e-commerce sites, Mr. Bode Akinwale, said globally,

one downside of e-commerce journey in Nigeria has been the struggle against sub-standard or fake products.
“Not a few customers have, at one time or the other, had to cry out when an eagerly anticipated order arrives and it turns out to be fake or in some cases, is quite significantly different from what was ordered online.

“E-commerce enthusiasts have attributed this worrying phenomenon to the rise of the marketplace in Nigerian e-commerce. To better situate this phenomenon, it is worth retracing its origins,” Akinwale said.

According to him, to become a merchant on any reputable e-commerce platform, you must be ready to meet up with standards or face blacklisting.

Other stakeholders said the problem was in the standards applied by other players in the e-commerce industry.

Today, virtually every Nigerian, if given a chance, has one thing or the other to sell. Go to Instagram and you will see the overwhelming rise in sellers on that platform, with several of them selling fake products, they said.

They were of the view that the source of items sold on e-commerce platforms, vary from one seller to the other. Two prospective sellers of the same product may get their supply from widely disparate sources, which makes it difficult to ensure at the end of the day that what gets shipped to the customer is of the highest quality.

Akinwale said during the three years he had spent as a merchant on the Konga platform, he has seen many of his colleagues penalised, blacklisted or shut down totally from the platform for selling sub-standard products.

“I have also been penalised twice for failing to meet up with a delivery timeline but never for the quality of the goods and products have I made available on the website,” Akinwale said.

He added, “The Nigerian market is filled with adulterated brands. Worse still, it is difficult to distinguish these fake, sub-standard or adulterated brands from authentic ones.

“It is even worse when you have to buy these items from an open-air market. A friend once bought a supposed pack of skimmed milk only to get home and find that what was in the pack was garri.”