What is Shopee

Shopee, a large Southeast Asian online marketplace faces serious problems. Counterfeits emerge in large numbers on Shopee, so much so that it’s been named a notorious market by the USTR. Brands need to be aware of this problem and how to fight it. Find out how online brand protection experts can help.

There’s no shortage of Southeast Asian e-Commerce marketplaces making waves in Europe. Think of Airyclub, Lazada, AliExpress, and now Shopee.

Despite its playful name, Shopee is a marketplace that needs to be taken seriously. Founded in 2015 and based in Singapore, the social media-first marketplace quickly grew into one of the biggest players in Southeast Asia’s e-Commerce landscape.

Shopee boasts 197.8 million monthly visits and currently serves nine countries. Besides Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, Shopee is available in Mexico and Brazil.

Although Shopee doesn’t ship to Europe at the moment, customers can still order products from the platform and use a package forwarding service to send their items on to their home countries like the UK or Germany.

How does Shopee work

Believe it or not, Shopee started out as a customer-to-customer (C2C), mobile and social media focused marketplace. Later, the company evolved to include business-to-customer (B2C) sales as well, and developed a desktop version to give access to people who prefer to use their computers when shopping.

As one of the largest online marketplaces in the region, Shopee offers a wide selection of products like electronics, apparel, beauty, books, jewellery, furniture, watches, and even automotive products.

Screenshot: product categories
Screenshot: product categories

Shopee uses the tile format popular on social media, which creates a fast and easy shopping experience for regular social media users.

Screenshot: a tile format display on
Screenshot: a tile format display on

As other Southeast Asian platforms (as well as other online marketplaces offering a lot of products from Southeast Asian sellers like Wish), Shopee focuses its marketing heavily on discounted prices and special deals.

Screenshot: daily deals and discounts on
Screenshot: daily deals and discounts on

Advantages for sellers

Besides the obvious advantage (access to millions of shoppers in several markets), Shopee has attracted sellers by not charging commission fees. However, that is about to change. As of June 2021, the platform will charge its sellers a 1-2% fee once they’ve reached a hundred fulfilled transactions.

How adversely this will affect sellers remains to be seen. As Shopee’s main competitor, Lazada, charges its sellers a 1-4% commission fee, it’s unlikely that sellers would abandon Shopee en masse due to the newly charged fee.

Shopee offers various payment options like credit/debit card payments, bank transfers, Payoneer, and in some countries even cash on delivery.

Brand owners and authorized distributors who adhere to certain conditions are invited to participate in Shopee Mall, an elite section of the platform that enjoys higher respect and trust among customers.

Threats brands face on Shopee

Even if German shoppers don’t have direct access to Shopee, brands in Germany and other European countries can’t ignore the platform. Why?

Unfortunately, Shopee is plagued by the serious problem of counterfeiting. The platform has been repeatedly featured in the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy.

The latest report, issued in early 2021 mentions that a very large number of counterfeits are present on the platform. Rights holders find it hard to get help from Shopee regarding takedowns and notices, despite the platform’s anti-counterfeit policy and support centers.

Apparently, Shopee doesn’t vet its third party sellers and allows copyright infringers to re-register once banned from the platform. In addition, several notices are needed for one infringing account to get frozen on Shopee.

Well, this may be true for rights holders who have no experience in navigating takedown requests. Our online brand protection experts, on the other hand, have no trouble enforcing our clients’ rights on Shopee. We use the platform’s IP report to notify them of our request. They usually respond positively and the infringing listing gets taken down within 48 hours.

In Shopee’s defence, the platform does have an anti-counterfeit policy. In fact, Shopee Mall even terminates sellers’ privileges of participating in the program if they’re caught selling counterfeits. However, this seems to fall short of stifling the issue of counterfeits flooding the platform.

Brand protection on Shopee

Southeast Asian online marketplaces are ripe with counterfeited products, and Shopee seems to be no exception. Despite the physical distance, brands in Germany and everywhere else in the world need to be aware of this problem and take appropriate steps to counter it.

Like launching a comprehensive online brand protection program.

Combining targeted software tools and human expertise, globaleyez offers highly scalable online brand protection services that are tailored to every client’s exact needs.

We monitor marketplaces, domains, images, social media and apps, and conduct test purchases to find fraudsters exploiting your brand. We can help you enforce your rights, track the sales of your products on various marketplaces and even check if your business partners are complying with their contract.

Don’t let fraudsters on Shopee or any other platform steal your revenue and ruin your brand’s reputation. Reach out to us and let us know how we can help you.

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