The global sale of counterfeit goods is above $2 trillion according to data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Particularly worrying to brands is that 32% of US consumers consider buying fake clothing, fake jewelry and fake leather goods acceptable and 22% of respondents knowingly purchased a counterfeit item.
According to a further study by research company Sapio 52% of consumers have lost trust in a brand after unintentionally buying counterfeit products sold on line.
“As marketplaces continue to be flooded with cheap and potentially dangerous counterfeit goods, both consumers and brands need to raise their awareness of these products flooding the market,” noted researchers from Sapio. “When over a quarter (26%) of people have been conned into buying fake goods over the past 12 months, the potential cost to both consumers and brands cannot be ignored. According to the Incopro/Sapio Research survey findings, scamming is endemic.”
Fake pharmaceuticals are considered the primary risk resulting from counterfeiting. Nor is counterfeiting restricted to back alleys. A Senate Armed Services Committee hearings in 2011 and 2012 identified “more than 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronic parts and one million individual suspect parts supplied [to the U.S. Department of Defense] by over 650 companies in 2009 and 2010.”