How to respond when buying counterfeit

Bought counterfeit online? You are risking two problems:

  • Customs will contact you for the price of destroying your product, and
  • You may expect a demand for damages from the trademark holder.

Customs is holding back your package

Counterfeit is illegal, thus any product, discovered by Customs, will be destroyed. Moreover, Customs is obliged to inform the trademark holder about this. This means that, possibly through an intermediary, the trademark holder may send you a letter for payment of a sum for compensation of the loss suffered by the trademark.

What is the best thing to do?

  1. Pay nothing if you are in good faith. For example:
    • The advertisement of the vendor and/or the purchase confirmation do not mention any trademark;
    • The price is unreasonably low;
    • The website looks professional;
    • You are buying as a private person, not to sell. 
  2. Dispute in writing the invoice of the trademark holder or the legal bureau.

  3. If you are asked to sign a declaration in which you must promise never to buy counterfeit any more or forfeit an already determined penalty, do not sign it! You cannot undertake such a commitment, for you do not know what circumstances could arise in the future, which might make you fall into the trap once again.

  4. Did you pay by credit card? Dispute the payment through the issuer of the credit card. Read more under our heading ‘Reclaiming money after error, theft or fraud’.