News-Releases Index | Applied DNA Sciences
Majority of American Consumers Concerned About
Inauthentic Products; 73% Would Stop Purchases (7/26/18)
An epidemic of inauthentic products may be consuming the mindset of today’s American consumers
according to a recent Harris Poll: Roughly four in five Americans (79%) are concerned that products
they purchase which they expect to be high quality could be made using low quality materials; more
than 7 in 10 Americans (71%) are concerned that products they purchase have made false claims; and,
nearly two thirds (65%) are concerned that products they purchase at full price could be knock-offs.
These are the results of a survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults 18 and over, conducted online during June
2018 by The Harris Poll on behalf of Applied DNA Sciences, the leader in DNA-based authentication.
“This survey confirms that selling inauthentic products can be extremely detrimental to companies and
their brands,” said James A. Hayward, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences.
“In fact, nearly all Americans (94%) say that, if they found out a product they bought at full price was
inauthentic, they would take action.”
Among those who would take action:
• 73% would stop buying from the company that sold it
• 67% would try to return the product
• 63% would tell friends/family about their negative experience
• 43% would formally defame the company that sold it by writing a negative review
• 43% would report the company to regulatory agencies
Behavioral impacts fluctuate based on age and gender, with women more likely than men and older
adults more likely than younger adults to act.
• 77% of women vs. 69% of men, and 81% of adults aged 45+ vs aged 64% of adults aged 18-44 would
stop buying from the company that sold the inauthentic product
• 72% of adults aged 45+ vs. 59% of adults aged 18-34 would try to return the product
• 66% of women vs. 60% of men and 69% of adults aged 45+ vs. 54% of adults aged 18-34 would tell
friends/family about their negative experience
• 46% of women vs. 40% of men would write a negative review about the company that sold it
• 48% of adults aged 45+ vs. 36% of adults aged 18-44 would report the company to the authorities.
Additional findings of the survey suggest that Americans disapprove of unethical business practices
and the use of forced labor when it comes to companies they purchase from, and they are not naïve to
the fact that these practices are prevalent. Nearly three quarters of Americans are concerned that
products they purchase could be made using forced labor or by companies that use bad business
practices (74% and 73% respectively). Again, differences arise when it comes to gender and age:
• Women are more likely than men to voice concern about forced labor (80% vs 69%) and companies
with bad business practices (79% vs 66%).
• Older adults, ages 65+, are more likely than their younger counterparts to feel forced labor may be
rampant, 81% are concerned about this when it comes to the products they purchase compared to
73% of 18-to-64-year-olds.
The prevalence of inauthentic products is growing significantly. The 2018 Global Brand Counterfeiting
Report stated that counterfeiting globally reached 1.2 trillion USD in 2017 and is expected to reach 1.82
trillion USD by 2020. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) published statistics for the fiscal year
in 2016 that showed 31,560 seizures of intellectual property rights (IPRs), up nine percent from the
previous fiscal year.
Consumers can become more proactive to ensure an authentic purchase. The United States
Government Accountability Office suggests that consumers become familiar with the brand and know
its products. Consumer should also buy only from trusted retailers, know the difference between
“fulfilled by” and “sold by,” and be wary of “too good to be true” prices.
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