With consumers’ awareness of the seriousness of Coronavirus now growing across Scotland, and mainstream retailers’ supply chains taking unprecedented stress, we know there will be a significant rise in the number of illicit sellers trying to take advantage of worried consumers.
In response to these emerging threats, Vistalworks has updated the Ebay checker to pick up fake testing kits, homemade sanitiser and an array of “miracle” cures, including IV drips. As you may be aware, Vistalworks have worked with Trading Standards Scotland to produce a live checker that allows consumers to check for illicit products before they buy on online marketplaces. It currently works on more than 16,000 Ebay categories and they will shortly be adding Amazon and more standalone websites.
You can find the Ebay checker here: https://www.tsscot.co.uk/priority-areas/counterfeit-goods-online/ and here: https://vistalworks.com/checker Both versions of the checker have the same underpinning database and technology, they are simply have different customer facing pages. There is also a checker on the Advice Direct Scotland website.
Vistalworks have now also released the checker as a Chrome Browser plugin that protects shoppers as they browse – they can simply mouse over any Ebay UK listing and a warning will be triggered if required. There is no need for shoppers to leave the site or interrupt their shopping in order to find out if a product or seller is a potential risk. The browser plugin is available to download here
here are more details on the Vistalworks website for those unfamiliar with adding browser extensions: https://vistalworks.com/checkerplugin This plugin includes all the same Coronavirus updates and data found in the standalone checker.
Vistalworks has already made dozens of Coronavirus-specific updates to their checker technology and will continue to do so on a daily basis. They have also produced a blog post to warn worried consumers about the threats in online marketplaces, which they have come across as they have done this analysis: https://vistalworks.com/blog/coronavirus-concerns-and-counterfeits
If you see or hear about anything unusual or potentially dangerous on online marketplaces or e-commerce sites that we are not warning on, send it direct to Vistalworks. A simple listing URL, or even a phrase like ‘IV drip’ or ‘testing kit’ is enough for us to work with.
In the meantime, please keep using the checker page or plugin for Ebay, so that Vistalworks are automatically alerted to any suspicious products and/or sellers. They want to support Trading Standards services and the communities they work with as best they can at this unsettling time.