Counterfeit goods are on the rise, and the problem is costing people and customs departments a lot of time and money.
The Better Business Bureau reports that chances are you’ve purchased some counterfeit goods yourself.
The rise of eCommerce and the interconnected global market has taken place so fast that many discrepancies are able to fit through the cracks. Resources such as Facebook ads, eBay, and Amazon third-party sellers are regularly taken advantage of for these purposes. Amazon already acknowledged the issue in February when the company reported that they caught approximately three billion suspicious listings before the goods were allowed to appear on the site. Amazon is taking further measures to prevent counterfeit goods from being trafficked on their platforms, but they aren’t the only ones taking a hit from this new phenomenon. American customs officers seized over $1.2 billion in counterfeit shipments during 2017 alone. Law enforcement experts also believe that the prevalence of counterfeit goods is higher than the figures suggest due to under-reporting.
When it comes to the goods that are being counterfeited en masse, there are a diverse range of products. The worst-hit sectors include:
All categories of goods are at risk, even though those listed above are disproportionately represented. Those aged 20-30 are at the highest risk of buying counterfeit items, and the average loss is $350. When it comes to the source of these counterfeit goods, a lot still remains unknown, but the Better Business Bureau reports that many of them come from China and the Hong Kong SAR.