STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 61
"What we worry
about is our brand
image and negative
impacts on our
- Joe Spallone, MVMT Watches
1,000 counterfeit listings, so we were very
pleased with how effective the Red Points
program is," he says.
"They were not only able to find a
number of websites with counterfeit
listings that we were unaware of, they were
able to tackle fake Facebook pages and
Instagram accounts that were advertising
counterfeits of our watches. It was huge."
The distribution of illegal content
online "is huge and growing," says Laura
Urquizu, CEO of Red Points.
"Today, everything can be
counterfeited," she says. "You can
find fake products online everywhere.
And when we see a trendy product,
we know there is going to be a
When a company has a brand that it
wants to protect from counterfeiting,
it gives Red Points all the information
that Magda needs to detect a counterfeit
with a high degree of probability. That
typically includes the brand's retail
price, websites where it can legitimately
be found, approved distributors, any
words or claims unique to that brand and
countries where the brand will and will
not be sold.
Since Magda is a self-learning
program, Urquizu says, each time a
brand adds another piece of qualifying
information about its items, Magda gets
better at assessing the probability of an
item being counterfeit.
Spallone says getting started with Red
Points was easy. "I gave them an Excel
document documenting the websites we
were aware of selling counterfeits of our
brand. I also gave them images of our
products and information in the form of
keywords about our brand, price points,
where we have distribution - all the
information their software needed to be
able to detect counterfeits."
Red Points uses its algorithms to scan
all the places where counterfeit listings
are posted including large well-known
marketplaces as well as thousands of
lesser known sites, Urquizu says.
As Magda discovered probabilities of
items being counterfeited, Red Points'
analysts posted that information and
images on a cloud-based portal. Signing
in to MVMT's section of the portal,
Spallone could see the items and validate
whether they were indeed counterfeits.
Once validated, Red Points contacts
the websites where the items are listed,
requesting that they be deleted; most of
the time, the contacted websites react
immediately to their requests.
"When I was doing that myself, I'd often
wait weeks for the websites I contacted to
review my requests and react," Spallone
says. "With Red Points, because they have
relationships and contacts with so many
marketplaces, deletions typically happen in
about 24 hours."
Because Red Points "works with so many
verticals, we know where brand abuse is
happening," Urquizu says. "And we have
lots of other detail information such as
where counterfeits are likely to originate."
If the website is a fake website, "we work
to shut it down," she says. "Almost 100
percent of the time we are successful."
Since Magda is housed in the cloud, a
retailer or other brand manufacturer can
log into their section of the portal and
see all the data it needs to keep track of
counterfeiting issues, such as how many
listings has Red Points discovered or how
many listings have been deleted.
Spallone says he worries less about
losing sales to counterfeiters and more
about the brand image and the time and
money it takes for him to deal with
"Someone who buys what they think
is one of our watches for $5 or $10 is
probably not likely to spend $95 or
$100 to buy from us," he says. "What
we worry about is our brand image
and negative impacts on our customer
service reputation. Also, the fact that
this was causing so much more work for
MVMT is still a relatively small and
unknown brand, so finding over 25,000
fraudulent listings on 80 websites in a
six-month period is impressive. Urquizu
says Red Points finds more than 100,000
counterfeit listings each year.
Liz Parks is a Union City, N.J.-based writer with
extensive experience reporting on retail, pharmacy
and technology issues.
STORES September 2017 61