Demand for fake goods poses challenge

Consumer Council of Fiji manager Campaigns, Information and Media, Tevita Vuibau says fake phones are a huge issue for Fiji. Picture FELIX CHAUDHARY

THE influx of fake mobile phones into the country is being driven by two factors — the desire for people to own the latest gadgets and consumers being unaware that the product they have bought is counterfeit.

This, according to Consumer Council of Fiji manager campaigns, information and media Tevita Vuibau during a presentation in Lautoka this week.

“The affordability of goods drives purchasing intention,” he said.

“Many genuine goods are priced out of the reach of many consumers.

“Then there is the desire to own a genuine product or at least something close to it.”

Mr Vuibau added that a major challenge for consumer protection agencies such as the Consumer Council of Fiji was to weaken the demand for counterfeit goods.

“This is a serious challenge in Fiji given that many genuine imported goods are priced beyond the affordability of most consumers.

“The desire to own new products and prominent brands drives Fijians to buy fake or unauthorised replicas that appear to be real.

“Another challenge for consumers is to differentiate between an original mobile phone with a counterfeit mobile phone before purchase, as counterfeits are getting so good that some users might not even realise that they have been duped.”

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