Counterfeit goods are fakes or unauthorised replicas of a real product. Counterfeits tend to imitate something authentic to trick consumers who trust brands and logos when deciding to purchase a product.
Sometimes even local businesses may be tricked by their suppliers, as counterfeiters manage to precisely imitate the original product. Brand owners, who have worked hard to establish the brand’s reputation in the market, are also negatively impacted.
When consumers decide to buy a branded item, they expect its quality to be synonymous with the chosen brand. Counterfeits may appear safe and legitimate, but they are often of inferior quality. The counterfeiter’s only concern is to imitate the object and may therefore use materials that are very different from the ones used by the original producer.
According to Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, certain ‘fake’ or ‘imitation’ items should never be purchased. These include: medicines and pharmaceutical products as they may contain ingredients that may cause irreversible health problems or even prove to be fatal; cigarettes and alcohol; clothing; batteries and electronic goods, as most of these items are not tested to meet the EU’s product safety requirements.
As counterfeit products are found everywhere, both online and in high-street stores, consumers need to pay attention to what is being purchased. This is especially so when buying goods from online-selling platforms where products cannot be physically inspected.