Counterfeit Browning Products -- Beware.
Release Date: 11/5/2013
Browning urges you to be vigilant
in watching out for counterfeit Browning products.
Product Authenticity. Product counterfeiting is rare but rapidly growing problem. Today it is common enough to be a concern for you, our customers. It is also a concern for Browning as we try to provide the quality products you want. Those who copy or counterfeit Browning products are literally stealing from all of us. What does product counterfeiting involve?
You might accidentally purchase a fake product that does not live up to the promise of being "The Best There Is."
Our brand is damaged when poor copies are sold by others. This damages our ability to create, sell and support great products.
Since you pay for a fake and we don't sell the real product at all, it's as if they are stealing money out of our pockets.
Counterfeit products are not real Browning products, and are therefore not covered by any warranty or assurances from Browning.
Counterfeit products can cause huge confusion in the marketplace leaving you uncertain about your purchase.
At Browning we believe it is important that all of us -- consumers, dealers, and the Browning company -- need to work hard to help prevent any counterfeit products from being created and sold.
Above is a frame from a video showing a counterfiet Browning knife. It has the Browning logo and Browning packaging. The branding has been faked. In this case the design is a copy of a custom knife made by a knife maker not associated with Browning at all. The original knife that was copied is a real custom-made knife. Browning, the custom knife maker and the person who purchased this knife are hurt by the counterfeiter. This kind of counterfeit is very illegal. (This counterfeit was brought to our attention by watchful customers and posted on Browning's Facebook page.)
Counterfeit Browning products fall under two categories:
1. COPIES -- Counterfeiters sometimes manufacture nearly exact copies of Browning products, then package them as if they were real Browning products. Then they illegally import them into the U.S. (or other countries), slipping them past customs inspectors. Sometimes they look very much like a Browning product, but the materials and construction are inferior or in some cases can even be dangerous.
2. FAKES -- These are products that are not actual copies of Browning products but are made to look like they are. They may contain logos or other markings that make them look like they are a real Browning. Often they are packaged in copies of Browning packaging. Sometimes the packaging looks very authentic --but the product is not a Browning design, was not made at a Browning factory and the packaging is completely faked.
Despite many efforts by Browning to stop these products from entering the United States, Canada and other countries, they do at times make it past the customs inspectors. Make no mistake, these are illegal copies and they are illegally imported. They are not Browning products.
We occasionally get reports of these Browning products -- such as knives and other accessories -- and we do our best to locate the sellers and stop them from distributing them in the U.S. and other countries where we have some legal recourse. We are also vigilant in trying to stop them from entering the country in the first place. With the millions of shipping containers entering the U.S. from overseas each year this is a very difficult task.
Here are a few things to watch out for to prevent being the victum of a counterfeit product:
1. If the product is being sold on eBay, Amazon or some other similar website, it may be suspect. Make sure the person you purchase from is a reputable dealer. Make sure they are a Browning dealer if possible.
2. If the Browning product is shipping directly from China or some other foreign country, it is almost always counterfeit. This is a dead giveaway that the Browning-labelled product is fake.
3. If you suspect a counterfeit product, check the product number against the Browning website to verify that the code number matches a product on our site. If not, it is most likely counterfeit.
4. You can call our customer service department and ask for their help in determining if it is a genuine Browning product or not.
5. Most importantly, the easiest way to prevent being the purchaser of a counterfeit Browning product is to purchase Browning gear only from authorized Browning dealers. Browning dealers are listed on our website under the "Dealer Locator." Browning dealers have a stake in protecting customers from bogus, counterfeit Browning products so they are the most trusted source for genuine Browning products. Click here for the Dealer Locator.
You and other Browning customers can help to curtail counterfeiting by informing us when you come across any suspected items. You can simply call our customer service department at:
One Browning Place
Morgan, UT 84050
Don't be fooled.
If a Browning-labeled product can be shipped directly from China to you, It is not a genuine Browning. It is a counterfeit.
For example, these knives being sold on Ebay.
As nearly as we can tell, every Browning knife on this website is counterfeit. Do your due diligence and make sure before you buy. Beware!
There is a great article on counterfeit goods found on Wikipedia. Click to read it.
Learn more at the U.S. Government's STOPfakes website.
For information on how to report a counterfeit product or how to prevent becoming a victim of a counterfeit product, go to the website www.StopFakes.gov. This a a great site with detailed advice and easy-to-use reporting information. Click below.
Below are a few pointers from the U.S. government website www.STOPfakes.gov
Top 10 Ways to Protect Yourself From Counterfeiting and Piracy
Counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy between $200 billion and $250 billion per year, are responsible for the loss of 750,000 American jobs, and pose a threat to health and safety. From DVDs and CDs, shampoo, and batteries to car parts, prescription drugs and electrical equipment, every product in every industry is vulnerable.
Once viewed as “victimless crimes,” counterfeiting and piracy have mushroomed in recent years. Since the early 1990s, trade in counterfeits has grown at eight times the rate of legitimate trade. Counterfeit-related seizures by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol rose 125 percent during the past five years and are up 80 percent from 2005 to 2006 alone. The sale of these dangerous and defective goods has far-reaching consequences for our lives and our economy.
The U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommend these 10 easy steps you can take to keep your business and home safe from fakes:
1. Scrutinize labels, packaging, and contents. There is no foolproof way to know the difference between a bargain and a fake, but labels and packaging can be revealing indicators. Look for missing or expired “use by” dates, broken or missing safety seals, missing warranty information, or otherwise unusual packaging. For larger purchases, such as mechanical or electronic equipment, seek reputable sellers and check serial numbers with manufacturer databases. If you purchase medicine from a new vendor and it does not match the size, shape, color, taste, and side effects of your usual product, contact your pharmacist or the manufacturer to determine if it came from a legitimate source. You can also verify authenticity by comparing the manufacturer’s contact information with another product’s packaging, as addresses and phone numbers provided with counterfeit goods could be misleading.
2. Seek authorized retailers. Companies often publish lists of authorized retailers online or in packaging materials. If you are uncertain whether a retailer acquired its products from a legitimate distributor, ask for verifiable information from the retailer about the source of the goods. Familiarize yourself with the suppliers of retail outlets and encourage your favorite stores to secure their supply chain. Trustworthy vendors work within a secure distribution network that follows steps such as those published in the U.S. Chamber’s Supply Chain Tool Kit, available at www.thetruecosts.org.
3. Watch for missing sales tax charges. Businesses trading in counterfeit goods often do not report their sales to financial authorities—a difference you may notice in the price you ultimately pay, particularly in states that collect sales taxes. If a purchase price does not appear to reflect the required sales tax or other fees, you should inquire further about the price and the source of that company’s products before buying.
4. Insist on secure transactions. Operations dealing in counterfeit products are likely to disregard the need to transmit and store customer data in a secure fashion. Avoid making a purchase if you are uncomfortable with the security of the transaction. When doing business online, make sure your payments are submitted via Web sites beginning with https:// (the “s” stands for secure) and look for a lock symbol at the bottom of your browser. When making transactions in person, look for assurance that your credit card information does not appear on copies that can be mishandled. To learn more about federal privacy initiatives, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Web site at www.ftc.gov/privacy.
5. Seek quality assurance in the secondary market. You may wish to purchase used or discounted products from a reseller. However, the differences between reasonable packaging and content irregularities and counterfeits may be too subtle to detect. Avoid counterfeits in the secondary market by asking for details about your supplier’s quality assurance processes. Reputable and reliable resellers have comprehensive inspection and authentication procedures and technicians to inspect the equipment they sell.
6. Report questionable spam and faulty products. Consumers can play an important role in keeping the market free of fakes by acting as a source of investigatory clues for U.S. brand owners. If you receive spam that directs you to a suspicious Web site, report the information to the brand owner and to the authorities. If you suspect you’ve purchased a counterfeit or pirated product, notify the brand owner and contact the place of purchase for an exchange or reimbursement. Report unsafe products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission by calling 800-638-2772 or by visiting their Web site, www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx. Many counterfeit and pirated goods are the product of complex illegal manufacturing and distributing operations. If you suspect an intellectual property crime, report it to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at www.ice.gov/pi/cornerstone/ipr or to local law enforcement.
7. Be vigilant when buying abroad. While many international businesses offer unique products that are unavailable or hard to find at home, in certain foreign markets counterfeit and pirated products are even more prevalent than in the United States. The U.S. Department of State publishes travel advisories that may alert you of known counterfeits appearing in your destination country (http://travel.state.gov). Be aware that U.S. Customs officials have the authority to confiscate counterfeit products upon reentry into the United States. Also, when shopping on international Web sites, look for trusted vendors that use identifiable privacy and security safeguards and have legitimate addresses.
8. Teach your kids about counterfeits. Educate your children about the dangers of fake products regarding their safety and the livelihood of the businesses that make the products they enjoy. Teach children to shop with legal and safe retailers both in local stores and online. Watch for Internet retailers’ compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/childrens.html), which requires that online businesses use additional safeguards to protect the personal information of people under 13. Finally, ask children to check with a parent before giving out personal or family information online. For more resources on educating children, visit www.uspto.gov/go/kids.
9. Warn friends and family of illegitimate product sources. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to spread information about dangerous and defective products and those who sell them. By talking about this problem, you may also learn where your friends and family have found reliable, safe, affordable, and legitimate alternatives.
10. Trust your instincts. As always, beware of a purchase that is “too good to be true.” If you are uncomfortable with the circumstances of your purchase—such as price, venue, lack of a sales receipt or warranty information, or, most importantly, a vendor’s unwillingness to answer simple questions about the source of the products for sale—use your common sense and walk away. For more information, visit www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.
To learn more about what government and industry are doing to fight counterfeiting and piracy,
visit www.stopfakes.gov or www.thetruecosts.org