As the toy and nursey industry gears up for its busiest time of year, counterfeiters are hard at work making rip-off versions of the most popular toys and games in time for Christmas. In 2020, the counterfeit toy and game market cost legitimate businesses 1.4 billion Euros (£1.2 billion) in lost revenue, and caused the direct loss of 6150 jobs*. Peddling fakes online is big business, and the online fraudsters are harming the reputations and profits of companies worldwide.
From October 2019 to January 2021, police and customs authorities conducted an operation over the Christmas period to crack down on the illegal shipment of counterfeit toys. The operation, organized by Europol, and supported by the European Anti-Fraud office and the European Union Intellectual property office, seized over 5 million toys, worth over €16 million.
Counterfeit toys and nursery items are often hard to distinguish from the real products at a glance, but they are very different in quality and safety. These cheaply manufactured fakes haven’t gone through the rigorous safety tests required by law in most countries, and do not have any warnings or safety advice on the product or packaging – such as age restrictions or choking hazards. During the operation over Christmas last year, the seized goods were found to have all these issues, as well as containing toxic chemicals – after all these fakes have no list of materials used! These harmful counterfeit products can not only divert your revenue streams and harm your reputation, they can also cause real physical damage to children. In fact, a recent investigation by the British Toy and Hobby Association revealed that 40% of all toys bought on third party marketplaces are too dangerous for children to play with.
In a world still recovering from the pandemic, the threat of the fakes is ever-growing, as counterfeit goods thrive on online marketplaces such as Alibaba and AliExpress. In 2020 e-commerce sales jumped 25.7% worldwide as more consumers turned to online shopping when retail shops closed their doors due to COVID-19.
So how can we fight back against the fakes?
SnapDragon protects your brand online by monitoring the world’s busiest marketplaces to detect infringements of your intellectual property. Our multi-national brand protection specialists are experts at fighting back against the fakes, and taking down the online fraudsters.
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*Statistics from Statista, Sales value losses from fake goods worldwide by retail sector,2020