Counterfeits are cheaper, perform just as well as originals
Last year my Macbook’s battery died. Completely. An Apple service center replaced it with a new one, err… a copy, helping me save 60%. I loved the deal.
The wipers in my new car served well for six years. I chose to replace them with a ‘locally made’ version, which cost me barely a quarter of the genuine Volkswagen wipers. I couldn’t help the smirk when I informed my friend about it.
For as long as I remember, I’ve had a pair or running shows. A sucker for bargains and discounts, I always prefer to buy them from the brand’s factory outlets, scoffing at those who choose to buy at regular prices from the brand’s franchised stores.
My conclusion: replicas are a great deal. Perform well. Cost so much less.
Then, an conversation changed my view.
He smiled, then explained that I may have been buying fakes.
“But I always buy from a genuine store?”
“They mix originals and fakes. Rather unfortunate, you may have picked up fakes.
“By the way, up to a third of branded garments are fakes. Stronger the brand, higher the fakes,” he added.
“What?” I asked, looking at him in disbelief.
“Making a duplicate label is no rocket science,” he replied.
I found a further proof on fakes recently.
Three years ago, I used a part of my reward points to buy a pair of Nike from the brand’s franchise store, AT FULL PRICE. The price pinched. But the shoes have performed. They still look good for at least another year. Quite likely, I may have been buying fakes in the past.
But fakes remain popular as most consumers behave exactly like me — they go for bargains. And clever retailers are happy to oblige. A win-win. Except, the joke is on the consumers.
By the way, the battery I replaced for my Mac didn’t perform beyond a few months. Moreover, it turned out to be unreliable, often draining rapidly without warning.
The story of cheaper wiper in my Volkswagen was no different. I’ve replaced three pairs in quick succession, eroding all the savings I’d collected in the past. My concern now is: could these replicas have damaged the car’s windshield?
Interestingly, the international brand of shirt I patronised so proudly, dented my ego big. I now make sure I shop my favourite brand of garments only from a store whose reputation I can trust.
And when it comes to the running shoes, I’d been bidding goodbye to a pair every year, till I brought my last pair of Nikes.