How Test Purchases Are a Brand’s Secret Weapon Against Counterfeiters

In today's rapidly growing ecommerce world, brand protection has become a major concern for companies. With the increasing number of infringers selling counterfeit products online, it is imperative for brands to take steps to protect their reputation and revenue. Test purchases have emerged as a new secret weapon against infringers, and they are proving to be an effective tool in the fight against counterfeits. In this post, we’ll provide real examples of how brands can leverage test purchases to make a lasting impact against infringers. 


What is a test purchase?

A test purchase is the act of buying a product from a seller to further investigate the product and ultimately determine if it is authentic or not. By doing so, a brand can identify the presence of infringing products in the market and take action to remove them. This is especially important for luxury and consumer brands, as the sale of counterfeit products can damage their reputation and even devalue the brand.


Stop counterfeiters in their tracks

Test purchases have a wide range of benefits and applications for brands of any size and in any industry. One of the most impactful benefits of conducting test purchases is that they provide brands with concrete evidence of infringement.

Under new policies passed by marketplaces like Coupang and Naver SmartStore, this evidence can be used to take powerful and permanent action against counterfeiters. 

Coupang has implemented new strict account suspension rules based on test purchase results to combat the sale of counterfeit products on its site. Under their account suspension rules, if a seller is found to be selling counterfeit products, the infringing seller’s account and connected storefronts will be suspended or even terminated. 

Naver SmartStore has strict rules regarding account suspension for sellers who engage in prohibited activities, such as selling counterfeit products. If a test purchase reveals that a Naver SmartStore listing is counterfeit, Naver will close the entire store down (not limited to a single listing takedown) and based on the seller’s business registration number, prevent them from opening a new store on Naver in the future.

Further, this same test purchase evidence can be used in legal proceedings, which can lead to the removal of infringing products from circulation and the broader market.

How test purchases can help safeguard your reputation

Test purchases also help brands assess the quality of the infringing products, which can provide valuable information about the potential impact of counterfeits on the brand. For example, if the counterfeit product is of poor quality, it may not have a significant impact on the brand. Because those that are choosing to buy an obviously counterfeit product typically are aware that they are buying a low-quality knockoff. However, if the counterfeit product is of good quality, it could be more damaging to the brand's reputation. 

72% of brands report that the most significant impact of counterfeiting was damage to their reputation 
2023 State of Brand Protection Report

Another advantage of conducting test purchases is that they can help brands stay ahead of the curve. By monitoring the market for infringing products, brands can quickly respond to any new infringements and take action to remove them. This proactive approach can help protect the brand's reputation and revenue in the long run.

Additionally, test purchases can help brands identify the sources of infringing products and target their enforcement efforts accordingly. Counterfeit sellers can easily disguise or hide their information, especially when using informal channels like social media. But with the help of a test purchase, brand owners can access further information about the seller, such as their name, sending address, or return address, which functions as an initial source of information for investigation and enforcement.


Test purchases are a powerful tool for brands looking to protect their reputation and revenue from infringers. By providing concrete evidence of infringement and helping brands assess the quality of infringing products, test purchases can help brands stay ahead of the curve and take a proactive approach to brand protection. As the ecommerce world continues to grow, it is essential for brands to adopt test purchases as a new way of stopping counterfeiters in their tracks.

Learn how our brand protection and test purchase services can help your brand make a lasting impact against infringers. 

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Topics from this blog: Brand protection

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