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Selling counterfeit merchandise online

Question
Can I sell 'knockoff' or counterfeit merchandise on eBay or other online auctions? 
Answer
First, let's differentiate counterfeit from knock-off. Counterfeit items are those that have been made to look like the real thing to purchasers with the intent to deceive. A knock-off may be different from a counterfeit if it tries to provide the same appeal to purchasers, but has it's own branding and does not attempt to deceive by claiming to be the real thing.

It's illegal to sell or resell counterfeit goods, but it may not be illegal to sell knock-offs. But even a knock-off may violate patent and other legal claims. So if there is any doubt at all about the validity or authenticity of the manufacturer, it is best to verify this information before listing your item for sale. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of The eBay Seller's Tax and Legal Answer Book
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