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Online Counterfeiting on the Rise

9.08am 15th June 2011 - Management Topics - This story was updated on Saturday, June 25th, 2011

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP ) is seizing an increasing number of counterfeit golf products ordered by consumers over the internet. Seizures of counterfeit golf goods have increased by 33 percent from fiscal years 2009 to 2010 and 37 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.

“CBP is sounding the alarm on a growing trend in the purchase of fake golf equipment,” said Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. “Consumers should know that purchasing a counterfeit product supports an illegal activity, harms U.S. businesses and takes jobs away from Americans.”

Today, the typical golf seizure consists of a set of clubs, a bag, head covers, and maybe a cap. The items usually arrive from China via mail or courier addressed to an individual in the United States.

Through May of fiscal year 2011, CBP has made 265 counterfeit golf seizures with a total domestic value of $192,000, and an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $589,000.

Traditionally, counterfeit golf products entered the country inside sea containers with other goods. But with the rising popularity of internet shopping, CBP has increasingly seen the ability of counterfeiters to sell directly to consumers. Consumers looking for less expensive products are going online, ordering directly from Chinese suppliers, and shipping the goods home.

To avoid the purchase of counterfeit golf equipment, CBP advice is that consumers should consider the following tips:

  • Purchase from a reputable dealer.
  • Contact brand owner for list of authorized dealers.
  • Be skeptical of “too good to be true” deals.
  • Be aware of return policy if not satisfied with product.
  • Be aware of money-back policies.
  • Research legitimacy of foreign websites.
  • Request references.

Photographs of counterfeit golf equipment available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbpphotos/sets/72157626805816651/

       

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