The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Cincinnati were thoroughly successful in seizing three large shipments from China containing fake AirPods. It was found that these wireless earbuds were not legit after consulting with an import specialist from CBP’s Center of Excellence and Expertise. These ‘AirPods’ were later found to be in violation of the CBP trademark and copyright codes.
Value of These Fake AirPods Totaled $7.16 Million
The three shipments each contained 12,000 fake AirPods, totaling 36,000 units and a value of $7.16 million. Each shipment had a declared value of $5,280, but since these were intended to be sold at Apple’s MSRP, the value would skyrocket in the millions. The shipments were expected to be delivered to an address in Dayton, KY and what is interesting is how manufacturers keep getting away with this.
Apparently, a company does not have to put the ‘Apple’ wordmark or design on their products to violate trademarks. Further investigation into the matter revealed that the fake AirPods touted the same shape but entirely used a different product name. Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie has highlighted this issue as he states the following.
“Counterfeit products can be deceiving at first glance. They’re often cheaper and can appear very similar to the real thing. However, inferior products can end up costing consumers more than if they purchased the genuine item because of the high likelihood of substandard materials and malfunctioning parts. Supporting legitimate businesses is the smart choice, and buying from trusted companies protects against potential human rights violations and damage to our economy.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has outlined on how consumers can protect themselves from being victims of counterfeit products. Companies like Apple have listed authorized retailers online, and consumers should exercise awareness that purchasing from an unauthorized vendor could easily mean the product is fake. Consumers should also check for serial numbers and cross-reference them from the manufacturer’s website.
Also, if a brand new pair of fake AirPods are sold for less than Apple’s MSRP, or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, it should be an immediate red flag, and you should stay miles away from it.
News Source: CBP