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Stephan Weiss

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Have you had the situation to buy a counterfeit without knowing?

The technologies that counterfeiters of luxury goods use are becoming better by the day. Have you had situations where you realized that a product of yours is actually a fake, even though you always thought it would be genuine? Where had you bought it? In an actual store you trusted or online or so? How did you react when you found out? Where you able to go back to the shop and complain or did you just don’t mind?

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    Sep 28 2011: QUOTE: "Have you had the situation to buy a counterfeit without knowing?"

    How would I know?

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    Hi Stephan,

    I'm sure I've been in a situation to buy a counterfeit - I live in China.

    For the most part, I do not buy brand name products although I do have two Monte Blanc pens. One I got in China, the other, in Canada. As far as I know, they are both genuine. (The Canadian shop confirmed the one I bought in China was authentic.)

    I have friends who come to China and, when they're here, they intentionally buy counterfeits - particularly watches. Rolex and Patek Phillipe are popular choices. It's not something I would want to do.

    They seem happy but they know what they are buying.

    Buying something you think is genuine only to find out it is counterfeit is extremely disappointing ... those "social scientists" have actually studied the effect. I'm sure you can find some studies online. None come to mind. And I do think there is a TED talk on this.
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    Sep 28 2011: Well i think counterfeiters mostly target products with a high profit margin. This is usually the case with luxury products as with those consumers pay a high add on for the brand name and the image that this brand represents. Additionally I think that counterfeiters rather target bigger and more known brands. As an example counterfeiters rather copy Rolex watches than Glashütte, which is a smaller and significantly more expensive watch producer. However, I'm trying to see how big the market for high quality counterfeits is, with which consumers might not be able to tell the difference. This market is usually composed differently to the street market for eg fake watches, where prices are usually much lower and all buyers are aware that this is a fake product. Those products are rather sold in shops. So I'm trying to find people who have experienced just this situation...
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    Sep 20 2011: Stephan, I have not, so far. What do you think are the dynamics involved in having a very useful product but has less brand or market value like what you observed the counterfeits seem to be headed into?
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      Sep 28 2011: Well i think counterfeiters mostly target products with a high profit margin. This is usually the case with luxury products as with those consumers pay a high add on for the brand name and the image that this brand represents. Additionally I think that counterfeiters rather target bigger and more known brands. As an example counterfeiters rather copy Rolex watches than Glashütte, which is a smaller and significantly more expensive watch producer. However, I'm trying to see how big the market for high quality counterfeits is, with which consumers might not be able to tell the difference. This market is usually composed differently to the street market for eg fake watches, where prices are usually much lower and all buyers are aware that this is a fake product. Those products are rather sold in shops. So I'm trying to find people who have experienced just this situation...