Chances are you've probably seen a counterfeit good at one time or another. Maybe you even purchased one, only to find out later that it wasn't the brand name product at an incredible price as advertised. What exactly is counterfeit merchandise? Counterfeit goods are typically inferior quality products that are sold under another company's trademark. According to the International Trademark Association, $460 billion worth of counterfeit goods were bought and sold last year. Not surprisingly, much of it happened online. This fake merchandise exists in nearly every industry and poses significant dangers that aren’t just limited to corporate profits. A recent study also identified the most commonly counterfeited goods. As it turns out, the most knocked-off item isn’t a designer handbag, but sneakers.
Many products you might buy are common targets for unauthorized duplication, including artwork, autographed items and other memorabilia, cosmetics and perfumes, computer software, designer clothing, jewelry, music, videos, and sporting goods.
If you buy something assuming it’s the real McCoy and it’s not, you could face several problems. Fakes might not last or perform as well as the genuine article, and they won’t be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. They might not meet safety and environmental regulations, and there’s a greater chance they’re manufactured in unsafe and abusive conditions. And, of course, you’ll probably pay way too much.
Aside from the direct harm to companies and their employees, defective counterfeit goods, including electronics and medications, can put buyers at risk. Check out the company and merchandise before you buy. Make sure it’s the real deal.