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Consumers advised how to notice counterfeits

Consumers advised how to notice counterfeits

March 8, 2013

counterfeits 017A South African publication has given consumers tips on how to identify fake cartridges.

Gadget.co.za stated that whilst counterfeits are “an attractive buy for many”, they are a “trademark violation and consumers need to be able to spot the difference between fake and legitimate”. The article, written by supplies distributor DCC’s Tyrone Makan, points out why counterfeits are so dangerous as well as how to identify them.

Makan emphasises the illegality of counterfeits and makes the key distinction that counterfeits are “different from refilled or refurbished cartridges which are legal”, though these products should “clearly indicate that they have been refurbished in order to accurately inform consumers””.

He cites the Imaging Supplies Coalition’s figure that losses to the imaging supplies industry from counterfeits total $3 billion (€2.3 billion), and adds that the impact is felt “up and down the value chain” with manufacturers losing “revenue and brand loyalty” whilst consumers lose faith and receive “inferior, possibly defective” products for their printers.

The low quality ink used in the cartridges are just one issue, with leakages and cracks “potentially damaging the printer” as well, whilst toner cartridges see “low quality powders” and “lack structural integrity”.  Noting that it is unfortunate that “uninitiated” consumers are conned by counterfeits and their cheap costs, Makan adds that “there are hidden costs”, and identifies a few “fail-safe methods” to help consumers “distinguish fake from fabulous”.

Among his “common sense” recommendations are “only buy from an authorised dealer”, “beware of products priced way below the market standard”, “avoid products that look like they have been used or tampered with”, beware of ‘odd’ packaging” and “look out for sub-standard performance”. Makan also notes that serial number or barcode checks are important, as they are “quick and easy means to establish the authenticity of products”.

Makan concluded: “The bottom line is that using counterfeit is risky as well as being a false and illegal economy. With low quality prints and low yields, and the very real risk of damage to the printer or voiding of the warrantee, you really are just getting what you pay for. Be aware; use common sense; put your business first.”

Categories : Products and Technology

Tags : Counterfeits IP South Africa

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