Is That Electrical Product You’re About To Buy Legal?
There’s a crime going on out there. And you might be a part of it.
A recent report commissioned by the International Trademark Association and the International Chamber of Commerce said counterfeiting and piracy could reach as high as $2.3 trillion by 2022. Consumer electronics and electrical components are at the top of that list.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming a lot easier to pick up illegal products. We no longer rely on our local mom and pop stores to buy legitimate products for us. Instead, we hunt online for “great deals” or “unique” products that will give our environments a little personality. But with that personality also comes risk.
These counterfeit electrical products can be dangerous because:
- They haven’t gone through testing to meet our safety standards
- They don’t comply with the industry safety standards
- If the manufacturers are unknown, they can’t be held responsible, and continue making the products again and again
- They can cause electrocution or fire
All are great reasons to avoid counterfeit products. But how do you know what to avoid?
- Only shop at reputable locations. Do your due diligence before you lay down your credit card.
- Read the fine print. Whether in person or on a website, did a little deeper and read product descriptions, warranties, and more.
- Look for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo on the label. This indicates the item has gone through proper testing.
- Look for manufacturer information. Legitimate businesses are happy to display their information.
- Don’t buy unknown brands. If you aren’t sure, avoid the purchase.
If you do accidentally buy a counterfeit electrical product, report it back to the location you bought it from. This gives them a chance to investigate thoroughly and take an active role in removing it from the marketplace. You can also report it to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center to start the process of shutting down illegal brands.