Tuesday, January 7, 2014

COUNTER-FIGHTER'S DICTIONARY: MISSPELLINGS

By Sharon Wolff

MISSPELLINGS

DEFINITIONOdd word substitutions, incorrect spelling and grammatical mistakes that appear on counterfeit labels, packaging and products. Includes: improper use of capital letters, punctuation and other outlandish or subtle mistakes. 

Misspellings on licensed, trademarked products are immediate indicators of counterfeiting. In fact, if you see misspellings, just call it a day and look no further into your own Research Zone. Legitimate companies pay label makers mega bucks to get it right!

How does this occur? English is not the native language or priority of counterfeiters (80% are from China). Syntax and meaning get turned around and lost when non-English fluent individuals attempt to navigate between languages in order to copy or translate printed material.

Counterfeiters are also not familiar with the English alphabet, and when copying print from an authentic product may not know the difference between the letter "O" and the number zero "0". Also, counterfeiters may be cranking out their products so quickly that they don't care about the details. I have an unsubstantiated hunch: the better the counterfeit, the better the spelling?

Mama told you to pay attention in school. However, the now generation is losing spelling and grammar skills because of reliance on spellcheck, abbreviations and other spelling shortcuts. But you better watch out. Your skills can mean the difference between real and fake product identification.

Examples of our favorite misspellings from the world of licensed sports apparel and electronic accessories:


"articie" instead of "article, plus several spacing errors 
THE FAMOUS ABBLE MISSPELLING/MISDIRECTION ON A COUNTERFEIT APPLE IPHONE CHARGER CUBE

A phrase to nowhere: "When disposing of the wireless controller ___________"

FECAP? LIGHTFAST? HUH?

"Re-cteated" should have been "Recreated".  Non-English speaker confusion of "r" and "t".
You figure out this one!

BESIDES MISSPELLING "Hesdphones", this whole paragraph doesn't even make sense.

AND, THE HAUL OF SHAME 2013 AWARD GOES TO:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

COUNTER-FIGHTER'S DICTIONARY: THE GUY

By Sharon Wolff

COUNTER-FIGHTERS DICTIONARY

A GUY (Alias: Buddy of Mine)

Definition: The individual who sells you (the unsuspecting or uneducated vendor) a quantity of questionable, often counterfeit merchandise. His prices are too good to be true. You may recognize him from the local flea market community or he may be a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend...

While we believe in the goodness of mankind, Wolff's Research Zone has concluded that A Guy is often a nameless, faceless, mysterious, intangible, sly and oddly wicked fellow. Not all Guys are bad. Some may sell you legitimate product, but be careful. The bad Guy has acquired a quantity of "too good to be true" merchandise and sells it to you for quick cash. He may realize he can't sell it himself, so he pawns it off on you. Then he disappears. He gives you no phone number for follow-up. But-we've got his number...

Commonly seen items include brand name clothing, licensed sports apparel, purses, electronic accessories. Yep, a Guy's stuff is included on our Suspect Merchandise Category List and the brands are usually on our Top 100 Suspect Brand List.

The Guy may make one or more of the following statements:
1. I got a great deal on _________. You can have the whole lot.
2. Trust me, it's real.
3. I don't know if it's real.
4. Just tell your customers it's not real and it's ok.

Be wary. He may approach your booth with an offering of hot current products that may be similar to the legitimate merchandise you are already selling. We don't like Guy, and he is not allowed to go booth to booth with his stuff. If we see the likes of him, he is swiftly ejected from our market.

EXAMPLE OF A GUY'S EVIL DOING
AN OLDER GENTLEMAN  PAID CASH TO A GUY IN INDIANA FOR THESE COUNTERFEIT IPHONE ACCESSORIES IN THE HOPE TO REAP A GREAT RETURN ON HIS INVESTMENT.
BUT HE COULDN'T SELL THESE PRODUCTS.  THEY ARE COUNTERFEIT.
THE VENDOR HAD NO WAY TO CONTACT THE GUY TO RETURN OR EXCHANGE THE ITEMS. HE WAS DEVASTATED BY THE LOSS OF HIS MONEY AND STUCK WITH UNSELLABLE MERCHANDISE.
WE EDUCATED HIM ABOUT GUYS AND OFFERED OUR CONSOLATION.
 HE WAS REQUIRED TO SWIFTLY PACK UP AND LEAVE THE MARKET.

Friday, January 3, 2014

COUNTER-FIGHTER'S DICTIONARY: REALISTIC AVAILABILITY

By Sharon Wolff, Creative Media & Merchandise Consultant, A Work in Progress

Let's start a "Counter-Fighter's Dictionary"!

In our ongoing quest to keep counterfeit products out of the Wolff's Flea Market bubble, we offer vendors a few tips. You can always call us with your questions at 847-524-9590 and we can try to assist you. This information is in no way complete and should not be taken as legal advice, or even as the final word. Research is ongoing. Ultimately, you will need to decide for yourself if a merchandise source is appropriate. 

Give the plethora of overstock, clearance, store returns, wholesale, hoarded, found, online, discontinued, used, curbside, resale merchandise out there, how is a vendor to determine if their merchandise source is legit and appropriate to sell? Here is one of many tips we will be offering you in the upcoming months.


REALISTIC AVAILABILITY 
Definition: A product's source and presence makes sense in the marketplace

Legitimate merchandise sources may include (but are not limited to nor a 100% guarantee of legitimacy) merchandise obtained through the following sources:
1. Retail sales
2. Store return auctions
3. Generic, non-branded wholesale offerings
4. Official brand websites
5. Salvage auctions
6. Brand outlet store sales
7. Authorized sellers and resellers of licensed goods
8. Liquidation sales
9. Estate sales
10. Garage sales
11. Your personal property

Suspect sources include:
1. A guy you know
2. Another flea market or flea market vendor (sad, but true)
3. Online sources and wholesalers selling current, popular, coveted, expensive items at a ridiculously low price. Known examples: DHGate.com, alibaba.com, eBay, Craigslist, amazon.com...
4. Local independently owned area stores
5. Mall kiosks
6. Pop-up seasonal mall stores
7. Local wholesalers
8. Any other source that offers a higher end product at a price that is too good to be true.
9. Thrift and resale shops (notorious for selling counterfeit designer purses)
10. Estate and Garage sales, you may get a great deal on someone's authentic collection, but be careful and know your product!
11. Websites that appear to be authentic, but are not. Look for poor grammar, misspellings, stock photos of authentic items )bait and switch), location of company (New York distribution center? Chinese import?)

EXAMPLE
COUNTERFEIT LIGHTNING TO USB CABLES FOR IPHONES ARE OFFERED ON ALIBABA.COM. Note the ridiculously low price. This is an inferior product. There is no REALISTIC AVAILABILITY of Apple's Lightning Cables through wholesalers!
Ridiculously low price indicates that this is a
counterfeit product designed to look like the real $19 cable.
Apple does not wholesale these cables!
"for apple light to usb cable"