At Case Hut we work closely with brands to ensure you have access to the real thing. With big brands there are hundreds of counterfeits out in the market and it’s getting harder and harder to tell what you are buying – especially if buying from a big online marketplace where third party sellers can easily mislead consumers.
Back in 2005, Burberry made a decision to reduce the visibility of their trademark check to try and remarket themselves, which then fuelled a demand for fake Burberry products in the UK. In the time since then, markets have been saturated with fake products. This is of course an issue for fashion houses but it is a serious cause for concern in the consumer electronics and accessories market.
When it comes to counterfeit branded, electronic goods there is the potential for huge health and safety implications. We have seen how common fake electronic goods are demonstrated with the likes of fake Apple handsets being produced in China and even fake Apple branded stores. Health and safety issues with such products arise due to the fact that the counterfeits have cheap internal components which are not subjected to the relevant testing.
Over the past 3 years there have been numerous reports in the press about fake Apple chargers exploding and causing not only damage to users homes but also to users themselves. In 2016 Apple determined that around 90% of Apple chargers sold on Amazon were fake. In response to this, Apple began actively advising consumers on the dangers of using fake products and how to spot whether or not it was a genuine Apple product. According to the US Department of Commerce (2015) overall 8% of total electronic merchandise trade is counterfeit.
Over the years we have come across a plethora of fake electrical products and cases on the market. We always work with CE approved brands and only list MFI (Made for iPhone/Apple approved) products. Recently we took on the Italian brand Philo whose products are all Apple approved. Even though their own products are safe to use and MFI they alerted us to the fact that there were people selling counterfeits online.
For a reseller this is concerning as we could be undercut in selling, however for the brand and ourselves it is also about consumer perception and brand integrity. All of the legitimate Philo products are CE approved and MFI which gives us and the consumer added protection and confidence in their purchase. (MFI means that Philo’s Lightening products have been checked by Apple themselves and given the seal of approval).
It’s very difficult for brands to stop counterfeits, but they can try to limit grey imports by managing the supply chain. Working closely with distribution partners can ensure that a close eye is kept on the amount of product being imported, resellers that are stocking the product and sales out data. Big discrepancies between the numbers can throw up issues in the supply chain but these can be highlighted and rectified quickly when companies have more control.
Not only is it frustrating for us as a reseller when we see a market flooded with counterfeit products, it is disappointing to our consumers when they spend their hard earned money on what they believe to be a genuine product. Take Adidas as an example. The genuine Adidas Originals cases are made from high quality products and there are plenty of sellers on marketplace sites selling cheap, printed knock-offs which hardly resemble the real thing.
We love being able to bring our consumers product from big brand names such as Adidas, Orla Kiely, Ferrari, BMW, Otterbox, Griffin and more. In such a confusing market it is important to us that consumers can find a place to go that is trusted for quality, service and aftercare. We will continue to work closely with brands to safeguard their integrity and bring our consumers the ‘real thing’.