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Authentic Merchandise

Luxury Goods. Counterfeit. The Visible. The Invisible.

From research into the consumer perspective on purchasing luxury items there are multiple dimensions of emotion which affect the luxury consumer.

The broader market is motivated by emotions evoked by enhancing perceptions of the self through luxury products.

Wealthier luxury market consumers are motivated by emotions associated with a brand’s core reason for being, perceived in terms of authenticity and timelessness. All of these dimensions create perceptions of luxury in the mind of the consumer.

Sadly, Africa and more importantly, South Africa has become a prime target for counterfeit luxury goods dumping. The highly visible influx is occurring across the entire African continent and we see this on a daily basis in illicit stores, at flea markets, China Malls and traffic lights. Items like clothing, DVD’s, CD’s, Play Station games, designer labels, computer software, footwear and pharmaceuticals to name a few are sold at these junctures. The reality is that counterfeiters undermine innovation, which is a vital ingredient of entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Profits to be made

There is no doubt that the increase in counterfeit goods represents a major threat to business and is also becoming a key barrier to growth and trade. The distribution of cheap and poor quality fake goods in the market creates an obstruction to the distribution of genuine products, resulting in huge financial losses. Some little known consequences to purchasing these items does in some cases relate directly to the support of the trade of narcotics, weapons, terrorism, prostitution, human trafficking, human organs, gang warfare, money laundering and child labour are but a few trades benefiting from your purchases.

Impact of actions

Oftentimes, due to the lack of political will or corruption, Africa is being used as a transit route for fake goods, which poses an indirect threat to European and American markets, too. Some of the reasons why Africa has become an attractive destination of choice for counterfeiters, include:

• the trade links between Africa and China, where most counterfeit goods originate from, are increasing;
• the continent’s porous borders, while outdated legislation and weak enforcement mechanisms have helped to facilitate the illicit trade across Africa;
• the reality that governments across the continent do no share information regarding fake goods; and
• the reality that with modest resources at their disposal, many Africans do not consider the trafficking in counterfeits a serious crime, and would therefore not hesitate to acquire a knock-off product.

Be Authentic

For many consumers, luxury is an integral part of their lifestyle. Emotions of trust, security, contentment, and confidence are evoked. For many consumers, it is not enough that a product is well designed and crafted with the best materials and workmanship. Treasured luxury brands have a rare and intangible quality of truth to the purchaser but sadly their value is being eroded by the practice of those purchasing fakes. Buying fakes is not an innocent act, you are playing a part in stifling innovation and entrepreneurship which has a direct impact on our economic development. Make the conscious decision to not be part of keeping this trade going, do the right thing.

SA Government News (21 Dec 2017): http://bit.ly/2n3Xlsz
Article on Fin24 (11 Nov 2013): http://bit.ly/2noodRp
Enca (21 Dec 2017): http://bit.ly/2mEpKTF
Polity (2011): http://bit.ly/2mH9McQ
Counterfeit Goods Act: http://bit.ly/2n3IdeM