Black Friday bargains: The season of fakes begins

Nov 21, 2021

October 2021. Strike a bargain on Black Friday and give your loved ones a special treat for Christmas - that is the traditional idea behind the massive shopping that takes place in the period between Thanksgiving and the end-of-year celebrations. Consumer protectionists explain every year that the supposed special offers turn out to be hardly cheaper compared to the regular prices, but the desire to buy is unbroken. Online retailers like to see this and extend the price war. Amazon extends Black Friday and creates Black Week; Cyberweek follows the next week. The shopping bells never ring sweeter - or so say counterfeiters who have chosen this festive period as their season and whose offers are hardly noticeable in the midst of the discount battle.

Discount mania

Dazzling advertisements that scream out the sale of the year from all screens heat up the mood from the beginning of October. A displayed countdown to the price reduction serves as the first psychological trick with which shops and marketplaces lure customers. Counting down also works for another sales strategy: if an offer shows that only a few pieces of the goods are still available, this information gives customers the final push to buy.

The so-called Fomo effect, fear of missing out, not only puts pressure on potential buyers to miss out on the offer, but also suggests that many others have already bought the product - just not me. In combination with an expiring time for the discount, marketers enforce the same manipulation in a legal way.


Those who see through this scam try to fathom the offer as such. On closer inspection, many discounts turn out to be less attractive than they make you believe. A British consumer portal tracked Black Friday offers in 2018. Their result: retailers offered only 4 out of 83 products cheaper than in the six months before and after the discount battle[1]. In addition, most shops match their prices with those of their competitors, sometimes automatically, so as not to lose customers to other distributors during the busiest time of the year. But who knows whether these offers are advertising the original or a plagiarism? The comparison sites usually have as little knowledge about plagiarism or original as their customers. The only ones who really know are the manufacturers.

Original Saviours

Even if consumers see, read and heed warnings and checklists - as long as counterfeits and fakes of branded products exist and are available online, they will be bought. Flushed out by discounts, under pressure to grab the last good bargains, it is easy to lose sight of where the goods come from, whether the offer only has one or two pictures ready or whether the page reveals details on returns. The fact is: In the months of September, October and November, counterfeiting litigation rises by 60 per cent. "We record the highest numbers of fake offers on online marketplaces in the run-up to Christmas from October onwards," explains Nicole Jasmin Hofmann, CEO of the software companySentryc. "Any company that does not take action against this and allows such abuse to continue with impunity loses a lot of money and, above all, damages its image and its customers."

Even legally, the responsibility to keep counterfeits off the market lies with the manufacturer and brand owner. Only global and constant monitoring can effectively combat illegal copies. If you want to delete counterfeit offers directly, you can use Brand Protection Software. It automatically searches the Internet and knows the original product as well as licensed dealers. If a fake is found, it offers the chance to remove plagiarised products from the Internet within 24 hours. For criminal prosecution, it documents all important points and provides analyses for legal prosecution.


About Sentryc
Sentryc GmbH is a technology company founded in 2019 with headquarters in Berlin and offices in Barcelona and Szczecin. With its proprietary brand protection software, the current 35-strong team around managing director Nicole Jasmin Hofmann offers companies a digital solution that can be used to detect and stop product piracy and brand abuse on online marketplaces. For this purpose, the online experts provide their customers with a cloud solution that scans websites for products, identifies and documents potential counterfeits and then automatically reports them for deletion. Well-known companies such as Junghans, Knirps and Fischerwerke rely on Sentryc's product protection made in Germany. Prioritising data protection, the company hosts in Germany and works DSGVO-compliant. Further information at