That sterling-silver heart pendant, that recognizable key chain? They may have come in a robins-egg-blue box, but if they came from eBay in recent years, there's a 95% chance they're fakes. According to a recent BloggingStocks posting by Zac Bissonnette, an investigation several years ago showed that just 5% of all merchandise billed on the auction site as Tiffany and Co. items were legitimate.
The luxury goods maker subsequently launched a lawsuit against eBay in 2004, and the proceedings are expected to (finally) get underway today. At issue, Zac says, is eBay's culpability for items that are being sold by third-party sellers ... eBay has some programs in place to help rights owners fight counterfeit items on the site, but seems to believe that the bulk of the responsibility for policing counterfeiting lies with the brands and law enforcement.
Mr. Bissonnette also points out that eBay can't exactly guard against the sale of stolen merchandise it's an imperfect system, but one that millions of honest users also find to be helpful and efficient.
As for TIF, the stock could use any good news it can get, so a positive result from this years-old lawsuit would be appreciated. The stock has been spiraling lower since mid-October, when its gains petered out at double-top resistance in the 57 zone. The stock added 3.3% yesterday and is up 4.8% so far today, to challenge its overhead descending 10-day moving average.