Research Paper: People Buy Counterfeit Goods the Dilemma

Pages: 4 (1340 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising  ·  Buy for $19.77

¶ … People Buy Counterfeit Goods

The Dilemma of Counterfeit Goods

Counterfeit goods production and sale has in recent times grown to become a multibillion dollar concern. Indeed, as McIntyre points out, it has been claimed by several economists that the sale of counterfeit products accounts for approximately eight percent of the GDP of China. According to the author, most of these counterfeit products end up in America. It is however important to note that the problem of counterfeit goods has also been an issue in many other parts of the world. Recently, police in France dismantled an international counterfeiting ring that was raking in huge sums of money from the sale of counterfeit versions of Birkin bags (Huffington Post). Based on the findings of the survey I undertook, there seems to be a positive relationship between the likelihood of an individual purchasing a counterfeit good and the cost difference between counterfeit and genuine goods. The fact that counterfeit goods are cheaper than genuine goods motivates most people to go for counterfeit goods. This is an assertion further supported by the existing literature on the subject. It is also important to note that based on my review of literature and the survey findings, consumer purchases are to some extent influenced by society norms.

In regard to counterfeit goods, Howie points out that "while shoppers are happy with the price, they are often nagging doubts about the items' quality, their legality and who ends up profiting." Away from the legality and quality of counterfeit goods and questions about who actually benefits from their sale, the market for counterfeit goods can only be described as booming. According to a recent study funded by the EU, the number of those who buy counterfeit goods carrying the labels of top designers stands at three million (Howie). This is the clearest indicator yet that there is a good number of people who would rather go for a counterfeit product as opposed to the real thing. According to the survey that I conducted, 59.6% of participants claimed they knew someone who had in the past purchased a counterfeit product. Non-deceptive purchases should in this case be contrasted with deceptive purchases. In the latter, consumers are duped into purchasing fake products in the belief that they are original (Ali). Although one could indeed argue that maybe some consumers are duped into purchasing counterfeit goods in the belief that they are purchasing the "real thing," Howie notes that according to a professor from the University of Durham, "consumers are rarely duped by the black market manufacturers, instead welcoming the choice offered by fakes."

American consumers according to McIntyre are bargain hunters. Indeed, as the author further points out, it is this characteristic of American shoppers that has seen a significant increase in the number of counterfeiters -- mostly from China. In the words of Ali, "the most obvious factor motivating customer purchase of counterfeit products is their relatively low price…" According to Ali, one category of those likely to purchase counterfeit goods includes those individuals whose attitudes towards established businesses are rather negative. Those in this category are merely trying to beat the system which they deem unfair, especially when it comes to pricing of genuine products. Indeed, most individuals in this category according to Ali are convinced that the price set for genuine products is unfairly high. It is for this reason that they buy counterfeit goods which they can easily find at a much cheaper price.

As Ali further points out, there are also those who would want to maintain a certain image although they do not have the resources to do so. Those in this category would stop at nothing -- including buying counterfeit products -- to look trendy or fashionable.

Individual testimonies from those who purchase counterfeit items with the full knowledge that such items are counterfeit seem to also indicate that cost considerations and the desire to look trendy informs such purchase decisions. Indeed, a good number of those interviewed by the Sunday… [END OF PREVIEW]

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