미래가치를 창출하는 글로컬 산학일체 혁신대학
Counterfeit Is Illegal
By Lee Sun-min Cub Reporter, Junior of Department of Computer Engineering
Luxury: a product where a user gains the authority to use a specific brand.
Counterfeit: a product that is used or imitated without any legal authority.
Lately, the consumption of luxury products has been rapidly increasing, due to the pent-up demand, caused by COVID-19. There has been an increase in people who are expending luxury products so that they can show off their economic power. However, luxury brands’ prices are now increasing. It is becoming difficult to get these products because of the high prices, and limited quantities. Therefore, people are trying to seek products in a different way. This way is by “Counterfeit.” The products are not the real thing, but if you are not an expert, it can be difficult to know the difference between a counterfeit and a genuine product. Plus, you are able to buy counterfeit products at a much cheaper price. So, is purchasing counterfeit products a wise consumption? The following article looks at the production and selling of counterfeit products, and what effect it has.
Appearance and Enlargement of the Market
So, how did counterfeit products begin to be produced? Previously, there was an article of literature from Goreo and Joseon which read, “Beware of fake Cheong-Sim-Hwan.” This shows that “counterfeit” products have existed for a long time. As manufacture-technology has developed over time, the quality levels of counterfeit products are increasing. Also, counterfeit production is inevitable, because fashion brands can duplicate products easier than any other industries. Lately, the conspicuous consumption of premium products is getting higher, so the counterfeit market scales are also getting bigger. Also, as international-trade grows, and expands from offline to online markets, products can now be traded all over the world.
Changes that Counterfeit Production and Consumption have Brought About
The first change is that the value of brands is decreasing. Counterfeit products can damage the brand’s value and image, which can then cause economic losses. In the case of luxury products, the more that people purchase counterfeit products, the weaker the symbolic value of that luxury product becomes. Therefore, the luxury industry is making great efforts to increase the value of the brand. Chanel, a premium luxury brand for example, has sharply raised the price of their most popular products and also limited the number of purchases, so that each person can purchase only one product per year.
The second change is the disappearance of the perception that purchasing counterfeit products is morally wrong. Recently, more people are reviewing imitation purchases and introducing fake-market locations in detail through their personal SNS, YouTube accounts, and blogs. They feel satisfaction through buying counterfeit products that are almost the same as the originals, and they also feel proud of it. Even sellers tell you, “Do not worry about being restricted, and keep shopping.” Selling counterfeit products is illegal, but punishment for those counterfeit products is low. If the government tries to catch the counterfeit markets, then the sellers will move their marketplaces online, which will be another big problem, and will also make it harder for them to be caught. As a result of this current situation, customers no longer feel guilty about illegally buying counterfeit products.
How to Reduce Consumption on Counterfeit Products
So, how can we reduce fake consumption? Experts believe that it will be resolved only when the type of consumption changes, or when the public perception that ‘the purchase of counterfeit products is wrong’ begins to expand. Therefore, it should become a global trend for consumers not to consume counterfeit products. with an efficient marketing strategy which identifies the characteristics and uniqueness of each consumer. While respecting the choices of pursuing individual uniqueness and preference for imported luxury products, making a society that feels shameful of buying counterfeit products will reduce the consumption of fake products.
Everyone has a desire to acquire something that can give them maximum satisfaction. They are learning the fancy side of celebrities and making comparisons between those people and themselves. Therefore, once you buy a luxury brand product, you can show that you are the kind of person who can afford to buy expensive products. However, after that, you might also avoid buying low-priced products, because of the thought that some people might consider you to be a person who makes excessive consumptions, or takes someone else’s products. Therefore, counterfeit goods that are similar to the real products, would not easily disappear, because buying counterfeit products is an easy way to get the value of real things. However, a counterfeit product is just an imitation of a masterpiece. No-one will acknowledge the value of those counterfeit goods. People who sell counterfeit products, and also the people who consume those products, are both behaving illegally. We should try not to justify and rationalize those illegalities anymore.