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By MN Reza

9 Most Counterfeited Products in the USA

Counterfeit goods are imitation items deliberately made to look genuine or sold under
someones name without prior permission. According to the International AntiCounterfeiting
Coalition, in 2013 the Department of Homeland Security seized over $1.7 billion of counterfeit
good at the U.S. borders (Klemchuk, 2014). While the government agencies are doing all that
they can to prevent counterfeit goods, they are only preventing a fraction from entering the
United States (Frohlich, Hess, Calio, 2014).
Most counterfeited goods that have been seized by U.S. law enforcement agencies have
originated from mainland China. Of the $1.7 billion of counterfeited goods that were seized in
2013, $1.2 billion originated in China and $400 million originated from Hong Kong (Frohlich et
al., 2014). This is partly due to the fact that China manufacture a broad range of authentic
The nine most counterfeited products in the United States are:
(1) Handbags/Wallets account for 40% of all counterfeited products and valued
at $700.2 million
(2) Watches/Jewelry account for 29% of all counterfeited products and valued
at $502.8 million
(3) Consumer Electronics/Parts account for 8% of all counterfeited products
and valued at $145.9 million
(4) Apparel/Accessories account for 7% of all counterfeited products and
valued at $116.2 million

(5) Pharmaceuticals/Personal Care account for 5% of all counterfeited

products and valued at $79.6 million
(6) Footwear account for 3% of all counterfeited products and valued at $54.9
(7) Computers/Accessories account for 4% of all counterfeited products and
valued at $47.7 million
(8) Labels/Tags account for 2% of all counterfeited products and valued at
$41.8 million
(9) Optical Media account for 2% of all counterfeited products and valued at
$26.8 million
Luxury items such as handbags, wallets, watches and jewelry tend to be the most
counterfeited products. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development, counterfeit goods are estimated to cost the global economy $250 billion a year
(Klemchuk, 2014). In addition, many companys brand and reputation have suffered. However,
there are steps that can be taken to avoid losing money and tarnishing the brand and/or
(1) Register Trademark registration should be done in not only the country of
operations but also all countries that business is conducted.
(2) Register Trademark with Custom Agencies Custom and Border Protection
will monitor shipment and prevent importation and exportation based on
(3) Police Product monitor the sale of goods to verify products being sold by
retailer and online are genuine. Items to monitor are price, packaging,
location, color and design.
(4) Use Technology create brand specific patterns within product or use specific
colors in threads or plastic

(5) Educate Consumers use websites to identify places that sell counterfeit
goods and provide a list of authorized dealers
One of the reason for competing in a global market is to increase bottom line numbers.
However, this can sometimes have the opposite effect. This is especially true with luxury
brands. Luxury brands continue to face pricing issues and lose of both revenue and sales
because counterfeiting methods have improved so much that detecting counterfeit products has
been challenging. Thus, counterfeiters have been able to price imitation goods at prices very
similar to genuine goods (Frohlich, 2014). Not only does counterfeit product harm the profits of
luxury brands, but they also can be harmful to consumers if faulty. Counterfeit parts, batteries,
and pharmaceutical products could all pose a safety risk for consumers if found to be faulty
(Kotler & Keller, 2012). Policing and defending against counterfeit should be never-ending.
Security-systems must be in place to detect counterfeit good and companies must utilize
technology to prevent counterfeiting as much as possible.
Marketers will always be faced with the issue of counterfeit. Thus, they must always be
focused on and creative with ways to prevent or avoid products from being counterfeited.
Marketers should encourage the manufacturing process to incorporate specific patterns or
techniques in production that are brand specific and may not be visible to the naked eye. In
addition, consumer must be educated on counterfeit items. The companys web-site should list
authorized dealers as well as known counterfeit dealers.


Frohlich, T.C., Hess, A.E.M., & Calio, V. (2014). 9 most counterfeited products in the usa.

Klemchuk, D., & Weinstein, C. (2014). 5 steps that businesses can take to avoid losing money
from counterfeit goods. Huffington

Kotler, P., Keller, K. (2012). Marketing Management, 14th edition, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.