Why Do People Buy Counterfeit Merchandise

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Why
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Running head: Why do people buy counterfeit products?

Why do people buy counterfeit products? Monica Rodriguez American Intercontinental University Dr. Yamil Guevara

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ABSTRACT The elaboration and commercialization of counterfeit products is an issue that has been growing prominently within the last 20 years. There is no place in the world free with this type of products. The modernization and the globalization make the counterfeiting process more difficult to control, affecting not only the countries economy, but also its safety and the citizens’ general integrity. Knowing the importance of this problem, different organizations around the world are making a big effort trying to create a variety of countermeasures in order to stop the development of this sector and of course the negative consequences. In order to create effective measures, it is necessary to completely understand the counterfeiting process and the specific reasons why people acquire counterfeit products. The objective of this study is to describe what are the different variables, and their direct influence on the purchaser’s behavior at the moment of buying counterfeit merchandise. The data collection method is based on focus groups, interviews and questionnaires. The results obtained from this study can help to understand the complete counterfeit process and facilitate future studies in order to created adequate countermeasures against this global issue.

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PURPOSE STATEMENT Counterfeit is a serious issue that affects individuals, cities and countries. The world as a whole is being touched by this powerful industry. The free trading of these products is causing a phenomenon of major importance, tempting the consumers to acquire goods that are not necessarily needed. What are the reasons why people want to buy these illegitimate products? What are the factors that influence this conduct? The more knowledge we have about these questions can help to understand the problem and probably establish suggestions for improving the issue on hand.

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Literature Review Counterfeit is a severe issue that most industries around the world struggle with. There are no limits when it comes to the production of fake merchandise. Apparel, electronics, pharmaceutical drugs and food are the most affected industries. The real situation however goes further. It is possible to find any kind of non-genuine good in today’s world market. No matter how complicated or simple they are; what is more, fake merchandise can be found even before the original pieces are launched into the market. Counterfeit is an imitation, usually one made with the intentions to fraudulently pass off as genuine (Lewis, 2009). Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the value of the imitated product. More often than not, the genuine product has established a substantial value through intensive advertising and trademark protection (Maxwell, 2011). Fake, knockoff, replica, lookalike, imitation, faux and reproduction are some synonyms of counterfeit, and they could or could not be of lesser quality than genuine goods. Sometimes the counterfeit products could not be convincing replicas of the imitated product (Lewis, 2009). Counterfeit merchandise is not only available in the black market or from peddlers on the streets. They can also be found in almost every type of legitimate retail or wholesale location, including large chain department stores, malls, gift shops, pharmacies, supermarkets and flee markets (Lewis, 2009). According to the studies of the Counterfeit Intelligence Bureau of the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeit goods make up...
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