Channel players could be losing up to $100bn in lost turnover every year as global sales of counterfeit IT products continue to boom, accounting for one in 10 of every IT product sold, according to a report by KPMG.
Vendors and resellers stand to lose out as money from grey market or counterfeit goods bypasses genuine sales routes according to the study.
David Eastwood, head of intellectual property services at KMPG, said the channel was a prime target for counterfeit goods.
“The channel could be unaware that it is selling counterfeit IT products, but equally it could be selling them on purpose. Resellers risk possible legal implications from selling counterfeit goods and they could also damage their reputation.
“IT vendors take counterfeiting very seriously and have teams in place to combat it, but the figure [£100bn] is likely to grow further over the coming years, despite their best efforts,” Eastwood said.
KPMG claimed that by reducing revenue and harming brand equity, counterfeit IT goods have “eroded the integrity of the supply and demand business model”.
Nick Tidd, president of The Alliance for Grey Market and Counterfeit Abatement, a non-profit organisation that aims to mitigate the counterfeit IT market, said resellers play a pivotal role in combating counterfeit goods and in limiting their financial impact on the channel.
“It’s best practice for IT manufacturers to encourage end-users to buy directly from the manufacturer or from reliable resellers,” he said.
Steve Lockie, managing director of distributor Computer 2000, said: “Counterfeiting can affect the chan-nel, but the best way to protect against it is to buy directly from the vendor. Resellers and distributors are at risk if they buy on the open market, because they risk their own credibility, revenue and end-user safety.”
Nathan Marke, sales and marketing director at VAR Prime Business Solutions, said: “We are aware of counterfeit equipment in our market and counterfeit IT resellers may come across problems with third party vendor support.”
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