Anti Counterfeiting - Tips for Consumers & Manufacturers

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Anti Counterfeiting - Tips for Consumers & Manufacturers

Counterfeiting has become a huge problem in the U.S. As a consumer or manufacturer, you may not be aware of just how big a problem it has become. Even worse, counterfeiting has been linked to child labor, organized crime, and other unsavory activities. Because counterfeit goods are often "cheap knockoffs" of trusted brands, it can taint the view of those reputable brands in the eyes of consumers, who are often unaware they've purchased an item that isn't the real thing. Some estimates indicate that each year, the U.S. economy loses $250 billion in sales and tax revenue because of the distribution of counterfeit goods. Craig Crosby, founder of The Counterfeit Report, a consumer education website, is most concerned about the impact of counterfeit products on consumers, particularly their safety because many of these goods are low quality or outright substitutions. As a manufacturer, are you making an effort to educate consumers on how to spot and report items that may be fakes? Do you implement anti counterfeiting steps? Consumers should know that on occasion, counterfeit goods can be found in supply at retailers you consider trustworthy. For instance, Paul Mitchell hair products may be found on the shelves at some trusted stores, although the company only authorizes their products to be sold through their own salons. If you buy shampoo or conditioner under this brand at your local store, chances are it's a fake. How can consumers spot counterfeit goods? Here are a few tips: When buying online, go to the bottom of the browser and search for a lock symbol. Secure website addresses will display https:// in the browser rather than http://. The S stands for "secure." Closely scrutinize labels. A missing warranty, use-by date, or safety seal may indicate the product is a fake. Also check for dates that are expired or broken safety seals. If making a purchase from a consignment or second-hand store, inquire about the quality-assurance process implemented by the store. Were you charged sales tax? If not, this could be a clue that the product is not legitimate, as businesses who deal in counterfeit goods knowingly often do not report sales. Trust your own instincts. When something seems too good to be true (such as a Louis Vuitton handbag for $18), it usually is. Buy from authorized retailers. Many manufacturers publish lists of those retailers who are authorized to sell their products. If an item strikes you as potentially being a counterfeit while you are shopping, question someone in authority regarding information which can verify the product's authenticity. Putting these suggestions into action will help consumers avoid buying counterfeit products. If you are a manufacturer, make sure you educate consumers who purchase your products! Count on Markem-Imaje for coding/marking and industrial printing equipment, traceability solutions, and more to help protect your brand, and reduce the possibility of counterfeiting. Our solutions are cost-effective, quality, and designed to protect you for the long-term.

January 10, 2014
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