As the school season starts up again, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to warn students and their parents and teachers about the perils of counterfeit products and how to spot the fakes. Their joint effort is designed to educate consumers about the impact that counterfeit goods have on safety and health as well as the nation’s economy. They’ve published a guide that includes tips on how to “Shop Smart” for back-to-school essentials.
It’s a busy time to stock up on what students and teachers need for the school year, but it’s also a popular time for piracy, with unscrupulous sellers hawking phony and possibly dangerous counterfeit goods. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have made nearly 17,000 seizures of counterfeit products totaling approximately $2.4 billion, if genuine. This includes apparel, footwear and consumer electronics.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce advises the public that buying substandard fakes may save you money, but if it doesn’t last long or if it causes a safety concern for your kids, it will end up costing you more to replace it. Pirated electronics, backpacks and even pencils simply aren’t worth it.
The global economy loses more than $500 billion annually due to counterfeit products. This is why the public and private sectors have partnered to raise public awareness across the U.S. about the dangers of counterfeits. CBP is working with industry partners to teach American shoppers how to be conscientious consumers. They tell the public to only buy from trusted sources, especially if they’re shopping online.
Along with a “Shop Smart” guide and “Top 10 Tips,” this public awareness campaign about counterfeits will include nationwide radio advertising.
- Shop Smart: Avoid Fake Goods When Shopping for Back-to-School (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
- Top 10 Tips to #ShopSmart (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
- The Truth Behind Counterfeits (CBP)
- Awareness of Counterfeits in E-Commerce (CBP)