If you’re an online shopper, you’ve likely noticed that in recent years the major e-retailers have been utilizing third-party sellers to increase their offerings without increasing their inventory or staffing needs. While this seems like a good idea for the retail giants, what many consumers don’t know is that there is real danger in ordering from third-party sellers: counterfeit goods.
According to the Government Accountability Office’s WatchBlog, Customs and the Postal Service are having a hard time keeping up with inspections and identification of counterfeit goods since there is now such a large volume of imports due to online shopping. The Government Accountability Office bought consumer products from third-party sellers on popular consumer websites and discovered that 20 of the 47 items purchased were counterfeit.
What this means is that products sold through third-party sellers are potentially dangerous to your family. The EPA has cautioned against purchasing pet medications online, as counterfeit flea and tick products have recently caused injury and illness to pets. Illegal products also pose potential risks related to units of measure that are unfamiliar to U.S. consumers, lack of child-resistant packaging, lack of precautionary statements, and the potential for the pesticide itself to be other than what is indicated on the carton.
In addition to pet medication, there have unfortunately been cases of illegal counterfeiting with major pet food brands, which can have devastating health effects. Several of our manufacturers do not sell their pet food via major online retailers, as they want to better support their brands, avoid counterfeiting, and protect consumers by shortening the supply chain.
Counterfeiting is a major problem, but there are ways to protect your family:
- Look on the manufacturer’s website for authorized retailers from which to purchase.
- “Fulfilled by” does not mean “Sold by.” If the product is “fulfilled by” someone else, it could be counterfeit.
- If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If the product listing states that there is no packaging with the item, that’s a red flag that the product may be fake.
- Once you receive an item, look for signs that it may be counterfeit, such as irregular brand markings, missing “use by” dates, instructions in broken English, or lack of safety seals.
At Pets Plus, we understand the importance of Convenience which is why we offer FREE local delivery (for same-day delivery, order by 10 a.m.) to your home or office – just call the store (941) 776-0770 to place your order. Starting in 2019, we will be announcing the addition to our online ordering platform via our website. We also understand that Cost is important as well, which is why we price most of our products the same as the internet, and have a price-matching policy in place. In addition, our PETS + REWARD$ and Frequency Programs (Buy 10, Get 1 Free) ensure that our customers receive the best value overall – in most cases actually CHEAPER than the online competitors! At Pets Plus, we are committed to our 3Cs: Cost, Convenience, and most importantly the support of our neighbors, and pets of our Community.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or come see us any time with questions about pet products. It is our commitment to you to always supply safe, genuine products directly from the manufacturer. Thank you for shopping local with Pets Plus!