The effects of counterfeiting on consumer search



  • Counterfeit products and the brand pirates who make, distribute, and sell them continue to be a challenge for many marketers around the globe. Estimates of global sales for bogus products are in the hundreds of billions of dollars and recent evidence suggests that fakes are prevalent in both developed and developing countries. We investigate brand/product counterfeiting from a consumer search perspective. As the quality of counterfeits improves, it is becoming more difficult for the consumer to identify them. Interviews with 102 international informants yield a picture of the cues consumers use to detect counterfeits and the roles of face and taste in decisions to purchase or not to purchase fake goods. We conclude with a discussion of some managerial implications.

Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.