Four Reasons Not to Buy Counterfeit Goods

Say you need a new watch and don’t want to spend a lot of money to get one. So, you go online and find a watch from a well-known maker for $20 when such watches usually cost hundreds. You realize the watch might not be authentic, but you got a great deal, so no problem, right? Wrong. Counterfeiting is NOT a victimless crime. Consumers should avoid buying counterfeit goods for a number of reasons. We cover a few of them in detail below.

Why you Shouldn’t Buy Counterfeit

Here are four reasons why buying counterfeit goods is a bad idea:

  • When you buy counterfeit merchandise, you are giving your money to a dishonest person. The seller is committing a crime by selling you the merchandise.
  • Your actions cost the company making the real product.  Companies spend a lot of time and money fighting back against counterfeiting.  This means they can’t use that money to make more of the legitimate product or hire more people to make and sell the real thing.
  • The price for the legitimate product rises. Companies pass the costs they incur fighting counterfeiting along to consumers.
  • You’re probably buying lousy merchandise. Counterfeiters are generally out there to make a quick buck. They probably don’t care about repeat business, meaning they have little incentive to put quality into what they sell. Therefore, what you buy may fall apart or stop working soon after you buy it. If you go out and buy something legitimate afterward, your savings from buying the knock-off have just been wiped away.

According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, the numbers behind counterfeiting are staggering. The authorities can’t seize everything, so that figure only represents a fraction of the counterfeit goods intended for sale across the country.  Counterfeiting may also be on the rise. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, $1.2 Billion of counterfeit goods were confiscated in 2014.

Why is counterfeiting such a big problem? Consumer demand. If people didn’t buy counterfeit goods, criminals would have no incentive to try and sell them  In addition, companies wouldn’t have to spend as much money protecting their products, possibly resulting in lower prices for everyone.

You can help solve the problem by not buying counterfeit goods  Research what you want to purchase and know what a realistic price should be. If a deal seems too good to be true, the item may be a fake.

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Thomas Bright is a longstanding Clearpoint blogger and student loan repayment aficionado who hopes that his writing can simplify complex subjects. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him hiking, running or reading philosophy. You can follow him on Twitter.

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