Let me be honest. I’ve done it. My checkered past is fraught with impulse counterfeit purchases that haunt me to this day or would if the product would have even lasted longer than six months.
I only know better now because I have been exposed to the tech industry and the dangerous and dark reality of counterfeit products. Now I am a bit of an originals snob and I have no shame about it because now at least I won’t break into hives using a product (a story for another time) and I get exactly what I paid for.
Before we launch into the Originals Vs Counterfeits debate and get caught up with all what Jack Ma is saying on the matter currently, let us first debunk all these disastrous myths that plague your purchases.
Without further ado 5 myths that shroud our purchase patterns and result in very dissatisfied
Myth No #1 – Mo’ savings Mo’ money
Bust – No this is not at all the case!
I bought a fake speaker and only when I started pumping out more money to repair and replace the counterfeit speaker every 3-4 months did I realise that I was losing far more than what I originally intended to.
Cost of fake: 15’000 LKR
Cost of Repairs: 3* 7000 LKR
Cost of original: 32’000 LKR
What I initially thought was an amazing bargain, drained my wallet and patience and was not really worth it in the long run or even short run for that matter. I ended up with mo’ stress and mo’ debt.
Myth No #2 – Replicas, counterfeits, and fakes are as good as originals
Bust – Ha. Okay. No. This is not it.
Yes, a lot of fakes out there can replicate the look of a design with an 80 to 90 % accuracy but what they can not replicate is the quality, feel, durability and experience. No matter how much you try to pass it off, it will show, with a chip or a faded design here and a functionality loss there.
The quality of counterfeit products is usually quite shoddy, with cheap alternatives used in place of the original. The material can be tacky plastic, fake leather, cheap glass, poor quality cloth, old or used parts in electronic appliances and gadgets. This is a recipe for a disaster that could be well-avoided folks.
Myth No #3 – It is not a fake it has a warranty with the best possible prices
Bust- Beware of factory rejects
These ‘oh so low prices’ that we are exposed to are not real and are probably factory rejects or extremely good fakes, both of which are not the best option for you. They aim to have the same look but functionality and durability are never high in the list of priorities when manufacturing such products. Factory rejects give away it’s bad quality in the name itself because they would have been rejected because of a serious design and functional flaw that is now trying to be passed off as a valued original.
Furthermore, with high custom charges, if a product is priced at too good to be true, it probably is.
Your foolproof plan would be to make sure the seller you are buying from is a reputed seller with recognition and license from the brand itself. This ensures an original good quality product that will last you longer than a few months.
Myth No #4 – They are completely safe- it’s worth a shot
Bust- In reality, with the below gloomy statistics, this is clearly not the case.
Counterfeits can cause health and safety problems, and those can be far worse than some lost cash. Immigration and customs enforcement agencies have reported commonly seizing faulty lithium-ion batteries and counterfeit chargers and appliances that can significantly damage your electronics and even catch fire. A few years ago, they tested 400 randomly purchased chargers of unknown authenticity from around the world and of those 400, 99 per cent of them failed the most basic electrical strength test.
Counterfeit electrical goods are not put through the same vigorous safety checks as legitimate items and are often very dangerous and are prone to breaking down often. Unlike legitimate original products sold from a certified seller, counterfeits aren’t inspected or regulated by the relevant protection and control agencies and standards and do not go through the mandatory quality controls and checks.
Hence why fakes are often bad quality and in many cases — unsafe.
Myth No #5 – It is a victimless crime
Bust – Let me burst this naive bubble of yours. POP
While you may think it’s a “victimless crime” that only hurts big corporations and brands, counterfeiting harms countless other parties as well.
Consumers: The risk of being a victim to a faulty tech or worse fake drugs and/or food that can have deathly implications increases dramatically when buying fake or counterfeit goods.
Workers: Under the radar flies the monster that is sweatshop environments. This approach breed results in terms of profit but all due to the lack of regulation or standards they do not follow. This may include violation of child labour laws, lower pay and inhumane working conditions. Many workers are coerced through a system of indentured servitude, a form of modern-day slavery that we consumers should stand up against.
Let us move forward just a bit wiser in this debate and if you want to discuss this in further detail, raise havoc in the comments below.
With an 8 year career as a freelance journalist for the likes of Sunday Times, Pulse and Daily Mirror, Zainab loves dissecting hard to swallow topics and dishing out her views to anyone who will listen. A part-time journalist specialising in Politics, sports, tech and all around general fluff, her 9 to 5 takes her to the development field where she currently works with FPA on abortion and gender rights.