History is as old as the world, you want to buy a product that you will be sure of, but at the same time save a little. You are looking for the best deal on the web, brush aside unknown companies, pay attention to familiar and well-known names. It is possible that in such stores the price is not the lowest, but for you it is a kind of additional protection against counterfeiting. And you buy a product, and then suddenly it turns out that it is the most natural fake and it has nothing to do with the real product. Confusion, indignation, a person has a whole range of emotions – he did everything “right”, but in the end he missed. How is this possible and why are stores completely unconcerned with their reputation? Let’s take a closer look at the causes of counterfeiting in online stores and how you can protect yourself from them.
I’ll start with a banal statement that accessories are mostly counterfeited, the number of such counterfeits is large and often comparable to the sales of the original product. The more popular a product is, the more fakes exist for it. For example, you buy Beats headphones anywhere, and the likelihood of buying a fake is maximized. Outwardly, such headphones are almost indistinguishable from the original, at least at first and inattentive glance. Many people buy fake headphones and use them without even realizing that they have purchased a fake. And this is the main problem, fakes are often such that they can be used, and the buyer does not even realize that he spent money on a Chinese basement. Chargers, cables, cases, headphones and much more are actively counterfeited today, there are a lot of popular products, as well as their copies of different quality.
The economic reason behind selling counterfeits is clear and understandable. For example, the original AirPods cost 13 rubles, the most popular wireless earbuds in the world, which means they are actively counterfeited.
How much do fake AirPods cost? Inexpensive, and here everything depends on the quality of performance of both the headphones and the box. It is clear that you will not get similar software, but the Chinese are trying to do everything as in the original. And if I have complaints about how AirPods sound, then a fake does not sound at all – these are inexpensive wireless headphones in this design. In China, an outwardly good, but still different fake costs 15-20 dollars on average. Such headphones are sold as fake at a price almost twice as much, but it all depends on the site. Let’s say you can buy a fake for 2 rubles, remember 200 rubles and count in our mind – if someone can be deceived and foisted on a fake under the guise of the original, then the economics of the process becomes completely different. And the reason for the popularity of fakes is that you can make good money on them.
For example, Amazon has a huge number of sellers who are trying to sell fakes. Amazon’s official policy is that the site prohibits the sale of counterfeits and fights against them. In fact, this is almost impossible to do, since the economy pushes many sellers to cheat buyers, and Amazon’s controls are clearly insufficient. In Russian conditions, the ethics of the sale of counterfeits, many sites do not care about the word “absolutely”! For example, if you’re looking for fake AirPods, one of the advertisements will lead you to Ozon.
We open the page on Ozon and see the description of the fake.
Please note that Ozon hasn’t just posted a fake product on its pages, it buys ads to promote it. In Russia, you cannot sell counterfeits, just as you cannot sell a product that has not passed certification. In all cases Ozon is wrong, there is no excuse. In principle, such a product could not be moderated on the marketplace, nevertheless, it happened. Look at the photo of this fake.
The seller is an individual entrepreneur who is not responsible for anything.
Does Ozon really think that the SP can sell AirPods at that price? Nothing wavered in the marketplace system when a product appeared at a ridiculous cost? These are Ozon’s problems, the purity of the goods is on the side of the seller, regardless of whose product it is and where it came from. I also like the descriptions taken from the Apple website (of course, there is no Siri in the headphones).
I just ran through the Ozon website and found dozens of such fake products, this is not an isolated case, but a system error. Moreover, after looking at the descriptions of the “original” accessories, I found fakes, they are simply insolently trying to sell them as their own goods. The fact that the site does nothing about this, but simply maintains the economy of counterfeiting, gives me a depressing impression personally. The court on the part of the manufacturer will lose the site for the sale of fakes, if the manufacturing company wants to do this. Likewise, a buyer who bought a fake can sue the marketplace in full – the sale of fakes is prohibited, they simply cannot be on the window. And the fact that Ozon also advertises them takes the whole story to a fundamentally new level. Still a little stunned by it all. Ozon promotes counterfeits!
I understand that just one of the effective managers of Ozon thinks that money does not smell, and decided to participate in the story of counterfeits, since the market is large. But is it at least ugly? Or does money justify everything? And if we talk about chargers, batteries, then they can be corny dangerous to life and your property. Ignition, fire and all that follows. But the seller is not responsible for anything? This misconception exists in practice, since people are considered to be doing business. The moral side of the issue does not bother them.
But there are other stories when this is not a systematic approach, but you still easily stumble upon a fake and then spend time fixing the original error.
Why fakes can be bought in large stores – look at examples
Let’s take a look at the Beru marketplace, where a fake AirPods Pro was sold for a high price. You can find the original tweet here.
But what they write in the reviews.
This is a direct, undisguised deception in which the marketplace participates, since it does not check its partners. This is saving on business organization, since the risks are clear and you need to work with them, but Beru did not do this. At the same time, “Beru” does not always sell fakes, it is often possible to buy an original product, but you cannot understand this until you try it. Why? The answer is that the name of the seller is hidden from the buyer, it can only be found out when the goods are returned. That is, the same “Beru” becomes a screen for anyone, and the bad, if not disgusting, organization of the process turns the purchase into a risky undertaking.
At Ozon, the support service protects the counterfeits sold to the last, and even publicly claims that they have all the certificates (they can be downloaded on the Internet, this is a fact, but the forgeries even have errors in the company logos! This is very funny).
But the very organization of the work of many companies – and not necessarily marketplaces – is such that the system has flaws, and enterprising people arrange their small business. For example, Nikolai sells various accessories at Gorbushka, many speakers and headphones. He orders fakes in China, meticulously chooses those that are as similar as possible to the original in terms of packaging and appearance. In Russia, through dummy people, he constantly orders similar goods on marketplaces and other places, and then a substitution takes place. For some reason, the product does not fit, the packaging has not been opened (the packaging is rarely replaced with the original one), and this unnecessary product is returned to the seller. He accepts the goods, returns the money and does not realize that instead of the original he was returned a fake. And sells the fake to the next buyer. Handsomely? Not that word. Nikolai does not have a patent for his know-how and says that the mess in large stores is such that this operation can be done constantly and he is not the only one who trades in it. To understand the size of Nikolai’s business with fakes, suffice it to say that he has a turnover of about a million rubles a month. Profit? About half of this amount. This is a very profitable occupation, and it is impossible to present any claims specifically to Nikolai. To my question, how often they caught the hand and what were the consequences of this, the answer was this – within a month it is impossible to return 10 percent of the strength, but all these are trifles, you can sell the product for the same money, there are no losses as such.
Poor acceptance work, lack of product valuation, a formal approach – all this creates risks for companies. Moreover, the risks that can be avoided by correctly thinking over the structure. But this is not a panacea either, since there will always be a black sheep, a person within the system who will try to create his own small business. I’ll tell you a story that I heard at the end of last year. Operator store, one of the customers buys a wireless speaker for a child. At home, the column falls to the floor and scatters, inside everything looks like it was created on the knee and has nothing to do with JBL. It so happened that the buyer is not the last person with the operator, and the search for ends begins, who is to blame and how such a product got on the shelves. Wool the warehouse, check the supplier and threaten him with all possible punishments. The supplier is figuratively on his knees and yells that he is not guilty of anything and all his speakers are white to the point of impossibility. The check shows that the supplier is not lying, in the warehouse and at other points such columns are original. The security service begins to check a specific store, a lot of interesting facts are revealed. Almost a dozen requests for the sale of fakes, each of which was closed without a thorough investigation (this is a more or less typical situation, buyers are trying to pass a fake under the guise of a purchased original, as described above). Viewing the cameras showed that the employees of the outlet brought fakes of running accessories with them and changed the goods. Nobody just paid attention to it. The system has changed somewhat since then to make it much more difficult to do such tricks. But if an ordinary person were in the place of the manager of this operator, and nothing would have happened, everything would have remained the same.
It is important to understand how your business is doing and to avoid such problematic situations. Create a system so that even your unscrupulous employee cannot cash in on customers.
Who is to blame and what to do – short tips
The buyer, by definition, is a bona fide purchaser of the goods, he does not have to know exactly what the original product looks like. Therefore, if some company sells a fake to you, you can demand a refund of the funds paid. This is the easiest way for the seller, most of them agree to do it. Buyers do not like to go to courts, legal illiteracy is rampant, people do not want to waste their time and money. In vain, since in court you can get not only full compensation, but also the original product that you wanted to purchase, or its full value. That is, in court, they are awarded compensation for expenses, plus they are obliged to provide you with the product (original) that you purchased. Since the legal costs are quite noticeable, many sellers will settle this issue in this way – they provide an original product for a replacement instead of a fake. But no one likes to advertise their mistakes, and sellers are afraid that such a practice could cause a wave of complaints. After all, many deliberately allow them to sell fakes, their sales can be manipulated from the outside (as Nikolai does), and for them this is a tangible overhead.
A buyer who is faced with fakes must be ready to fight for their rights, including in court. Many people use the court as a kind of horror story that should scare the company. But it has not been scary for a long time, since it has become a common place. Only real lawsuits can change the situation. Counterfeiting cases are quite transparent, they are handled by middle-class lawyers, there are no different interpretations. Failing such a thing is almost impossible.
I have repeatedly discussed such practices with people from business, someone sincerely tries to build a business correctly, someone makes Yaroslavna cry and claims that life is impossible without fakes (profitability is different, this is an important part of sales, because few people complain, and so on) … I am turned back from the second position, because this is a deliberate deception that cannot be justified by anything. But while it works, as many simply do not understand what they are buying. And those who find that they are fake do not go to courts or defend their rights. Ultimately, for about a thousand fakes sold, only 3-5 people are outraged by this in some form. At best, one person in 10 thousand sold forgeries reaches the court. And that is why it is such a profitable business that is flourishing. Russia is inundated with counterfeits, recently there have been more of them, as we have written about many times, including recently.
Do you want to be sure of your purchase? Go to the manufacturer’s brand stores if they exist. Expensive, but there is confidence that you most likely will not be deceived. No one will give you a 100% guarantee there either, but almost never such situations happen in such places.
Do you want to take risks on marketplaces? Be mentally prepared for the fact that you can be deceived. You need to accurately measure your risks and understand them. Then there will be no surprises or frustration.
Tell us if you have any stories of buying fakes. How did you fall for the bait of deceivers?
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