How eBay, Amazon and Alibaba Fuel the World’s Top Illegal Industry — the Counterfeit Products Market
Over the last year, Craig Crosby has bought more than 250 items on eBay. The 6-foot-3 ex-cop with bushy white hair and a white mustache — a cop’s mustache — keeps each item in its own Ziploc bag, carefully labeled as if evidence from a crime scene, because in a way it is. At least that’s how Crosby sees it. “This is now the largest criminal enterprise in the world,” Crosby says in a baritone drawl, sounding almost like John Wayne if he’d grown up in Reseda. “It actually is more profitable than illegal drug dealing.” All 250 items are counterfeits — counterfeit jeans, counterfeit watches, counterfeit respiratory masks, the kind you might wear if you had to remove asbestos.