Counterfeit goods – a cheap substitute for luxury

According to research 42 percent of Poles, at least once in their life consciously bought a counterfeit of a well-known brand. 29 percent of respondents perceive a counterfeit as a copy, and 8 percent consider it a “cheaper substitute”. However sometimes we become owners of fake goods completely unconsciously.

People who consciously reach for counterfeits admit that their choice is dictated by a lower price with no significant differences in quality. As Paweł Niziński, partner at Goodbrand CEE and CEO of better, points out, the quality of fake or “inspired” original goods often does not differ from the original.

According to the Superbrands report “Counterfeit is stolen. Are Poles original?” the most frequently bought counterfeits were clothes and shoes. The gender of the buyer plays an important role here: women more often buy cosmetics and footwear, while men buy power tools, car parts and DVDs/CDs.

The most important reasons why Poles buy counterfeits are related to their price: “I can’t afford original products” and “counterfeits are cheaper, and I don’t see any difference between them and original products” are the arguments respondents give most often. Thanks to buying counterfeits respondents can enjoy having products almost identical to branded ones, they can have a substitute of luxury and save money at the same time.

According to Marzanna Witek-Hajduk, Ph.D., from the Warsaw School of Economics, in Poland we are dealing with social consent to buying fake products, which are used by celebrities or politicians. The legal system has not yet caught up with the development of this market segment.

However, every fourth respondent has unintentionally bought a counterfeit – mainly on the Internet. They are the ones who most often search for information about how to distinguish fake goods from original ones. 73 percent. However, those who are “tricked into a bottle” do nothing about it – the deceived consumers usually do not file complaints or report this fact to law enforcement agencies.

“Such a large scale of declarations of buying “counterfeits” is surprising, all the more so because as many as 45 percent of respondents claim that they can distinguish an original product from a counterfeit, and the basic criteria for recognizing counterfeits are low quality, low price or lack of clear logos. This also proves that respondents associate counterfeits with low quality, but also with lower price than the original product, which in case of consumers who buy them consciously is probably the key factor deciding about their purchase”. – explains dr hab. Marzanna Witek-Hajduk, prof. of SGH.

He also notes that the broad spectrum of product categories identified in the study are affected by the phenomenon of buying counterfeits, although among them the leading ones are mainly those whose use is socially visible, and thus an important role in their purchase is played by the brand – such as clothing or shoes.

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