The threat of online counterfeiters

Counterfeits of England’s latest football shirt flooded the Internet within just a few hours of the hefty price tag being announced, prompting buyers to go for cheaper, fake alternatives. So what can companies do reduce the risk of online shoppers turning to fake goods?

In May 2013, the English Football Association unveiled its new five year kit deal for the England national team with US sports giant Nike.  Two new football kits were recently launched, although few people expected that the latest kit would cost up to £90 ($150), a 50% price increase on the £60 ($100) price of the previous kit.

It took just a few hours before counterfeit versions of the shirt started appearing on marketplace websites, selling for just a fraction of the official price tag.  Some of these marketplace sellers offered quantities in excess of 100 units at a time, spreading the counterfeit items quickly across the world.

Manufacturers state that prices are being driven up by counterfeiters, claiming that the effect of buying fake ‘knock off’ goods has a ‘knock on’ effect on the price of legitimate products.  Production costs, support costs, marketing costs and legal costs are all higher, which the Brand Owner must pass on to the consumer.

How Can Brands Take on the Online Counterfeiters?

  • Using more sophisticated design features and materials assures customers that your products are of noticeably higher quality than counterfeits and worth the additional investment. Complex modifications also make the products more difficult to copy.
  • Pricing must remain competitive – protect profit margins but if prices are too high then customers are more likely to go for the cheaper, fake alternative.
  • Monitor for fake listings online and have them taken down – there is no greater solution to counterfeiters than shutting down their operations.

Click here for more information on how NetNames can help companies protect their brands from the threat of counterfeiters online.