Consumer surveys

In 2010, the Directorate-General for the Fight against Counterfeiting-UIBM, asked the Consumer Associations which had co-signed a specific protocol of agreement to conduct a survey into “Consumers' perception of counterfeiting”, with the intention of investigating:
• the extent of the phenomenon
• ways and channels for purchasing counterfeit goods • the most commonly purchased types of products
• awareness of the potential personal risks and the economic damage caused by this type of purchase.
The quality-quantity survey was divided into two phases. The first phase was conducted between December 2012 (in order to study shopping habits in the Christmas period) and January 2011 (to obtain data on purchasing habits during the clearance sales). CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews) were conducted with 4,000 people.
It emerged from the survey that:
• only 14.65% of the interviewees admitted that they had purchased counterfeit goods
• 90% of the interviewees stated that they know buying counterfeit goods is a crime
• almost 73% of people who buy counterfeit goods do not feel any sense of civic duty, stating that they do not feel guilty about avoiding the tax man, funding organised crime or damaging the economy
• the most purchased counterfeit goods are articles of apparel and accessories, primarily from stalls, street pedlars and ethnic vendors
• price is the main reason for buying counterfeit goods (91.4% gave it as their first or second reason)
• those buying counterfeit goods do not see any major difference in quality with the original: 71.2% stated that they were actually satisfied with their purchase and would choose it again.
The second phase of the fact-finding survey was conducted in 2012. 1,200 CATI were conducted with a representative sample of the Italian population in terms of sex, age, geographical area and demographic size. It emerged that:
• the percentage of interviewees who admitted they have purchased counterfeit goods (30.6% of the sample) continues to be lower than what is commonly perceived; the percentage is higher than in the first phase, but this is due to the fact that the second questionnaire was deliberately more conversational and less inquisitorial, in order to overcome any reticence encountered
• almost 96% of Italians know that counterfeit products could be dangerous for their health
• the most purchased counterfeit goods are articles of apparel and accessories (23.2%): this is partly because the purchaser is more likely to be aware that these are counterfeit goods, partly due to the counterfeit trademarks being well-known and partly due to the extremely high price of the originals. The purchase is more likely to be made unknowingly in the food, cosmetics and toys categories, due to a superficial knowledge of the original market
• the economic motive (attractive price) continues to prevail overwhelmingly amongst the reasons for buying such goods (79.8%), although, during a period of severe economic crisis, as much as 21.5% stated that they needed the article in question
• consumers' expectations are generally disappointed by counterfeit goods, in terms of both quality and the ratio of price to quality, and also the fact that they do not last very long.

Learn more: Survey on consumers' perception of counterfeiting


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