Retail Role in the Fight
Manufacturers must secure their supply chains—through contracts, inspections and auditing—to protect intellectual property, ensure that suppliers use specified components and materials, and protect their manufacturing lines and tools from being used to make counterfeit or pirated goods. But retail has a role to play, too, vendors and authorities say.
Burkhardt believes the anti-counterfeit message a part of dealers’ overall sales pitch. Retailers secure brand value—for both themselves and their vendors—by speaking to customers about the value of buying the legitimate CE products they sell: the product’s fit, finish, performance and warranty, and the dealer’s services during and after the sale. “Educate customers on what they get when they purchase from you,” he said.
DuBose of the Department of Justice offered this advice to retailers: “The same thing we tell consumers—if they are buying wholesale, and the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. That should send up red flags and suggest further inquiry and due diligence on the retailer’s part.”