Have you ever wondered about consumers who buy counterfeit products? What sort of people might they be? If so, the IPKat can share with you the information which he has recently received from Roy Crozier (a partner in the Manchester-based law firm Clarke Willmott LLP), who writes:
ghd [if you're unfamiliar with this company, take a look at its products: these aren't luxury goods with vast per-item profit margins, but hair-treatment products which are generally beneath the level at which it's worth making official complaints and taking legal proceedings if you discover you've bought an infringing product]. The survey, which is one of the biggest of its kind, was of 2,081 adults in the UK. It was carried out by YouGov and was representative in terms of age and social background etc. The survey can be found here.[might that be because they buy fewer goods online, the Kat wonders]. As to the main reasons why they would consider buying fake goods, more than a fifth of adults (22%) stated that it was due to the fact that they are cheaper, whilst 14% put it down to having less money to spend as a result of the recession [those two reasons probably overlap, so the difference between them may not be too significant].
The survey, revealed that 21% of men interviewed across the UK had knowingly bought fake goods, which is 50% more than was the case with women interviewed (14%) [it would be good to know how this breaks down as between different product categories: if recorded music and films were removed, would the gender difference be so pronounced?]. A further 10% of men said that they had been tempted to buy counterfeits. Across both genders, 17% had purchased such goods with an additional 9% admitting that they had been tempted to do so.
If nothing else, it sounds as though some sort of pro-IP charm offensive is required for young male smokers and drinkers in Northern Ireland, says Merpel.
More than a fifth (22%) said that they would be happy to receive such goods in the lead-up to Christmas [This is a frighteningly high figure, given that counterfeits are less likely to fulfil manufacturing and consumer protection regulations] with 10% stating they would as friends and family are struggling to pay for presents (10%). Again there were substantial regional variations in attitudes with 34% in Scotland stating that they would be happy to receive such goods compared to only 17% in the South West of England.
The top counterfeit products that people would buy or receive in the future are shoes and clothing (14% would consider buying and 16% would be happy to receive them respectively), watches and jewellery (11% and 14% respectively) and DVDs, CDs and computer games (11% and 13% respectively). Bizarrely 9% of people in Northern Ireland would consider buying counterfeit alcohol or cigarettes [ah, but would they consider drinking or smoking them ...?]. In London it was a mere 1% whilst in the UK as a whole it was 4%.
In England, the highest percentage of people who have bought counterfeit products was in London (19%), whilst in the UK as a whole it was Northern Ireland (23%), followed by Scotland (22%). The area with the lowest percentage of people who had bought counterfeit products was the East of England (13%).
The research also highlighted that [only] 61% of consumers interviewed are worried about becoming a victim of counterfeit goods in the lead up to Christmas. Over a third (38%) are worried they might mistakenly buy counterfeit goods as more come on-stream as Christmas approached. 44% are worried about providing credit/debit card details to potentially unscrupulous people, 28% about buying something online and not receiving it, and 26% about product safety".