Contractors are becoming more aware of the risks that come with purchasing fake name-brand supplies from the gray market, a dangerous commerce space that often promotes counterfeit goods.
The sale of counterfeit products has grown in recent years, largely because of technological advancement and the globalization of trade. While it might be tempting to purchase cheaper items from another country, it could result in a failed product – or worse, an injury.
Fake name-brand supplies a booming industry
As mentioned above, manufacturing technology and the globalization of trade have made it easy to access cheap products such as circuit breakers, fuses, power strips, extension cords, surge protectors and batteries. But if products like these aren’t made correctly or are accompanied by deceiving packaging or false marketing materials, it could lead to fires or other harmful results.
That’s why supply chain wholesalers and other industries are cracking down on counterfeit products. If a contractor chooses to purchase products and supplies outside the traditional supply chain, it could prove dangerous.
Fake product deception often originates from authentic-looking brand labels that are recognized around the globe, which means growing business for counterfeiters. Plus, it doesn’t help that many of these products can be shipped to the U.S. in a couple of days.
Where are these counterfeit products coming from?
Many counterfeit goods come from China. The Chinese government is looking for intellectual-property violators, but with such a large population, rules are tough to enforce.
That’s where it becomes important for contractors and supply chain distributors to be cautious when seeking supplies. Unfamiliar sources could be counterfeiters.
Watch for poor quality and obvious flaws
Contractors usually know a lot about the materials they’re seeking, so it’s pretty obvious when poor quality is present. An off-color logo or cheap adhesives might be signs of a fake.
Short story – fake products can be extremely dangerous. It’s OK to hunt for a good deal but be weary of where you look. If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.