Smuggling of watches
In recent years, there has been a radical collapse in legal trade and healthy competition caused by the explosion of counterfeit products. This problematic situation, which is reported in an announcement by the Panhellenic Association of Retail and Online Sales of Watches and Jewelry, has 2 results. On the one hand, it leads to the utter deception and deception of the public, on the other hand, it brings to the brink of bankruptcy the legitimate companies, which are called to survive in conditions of many years of economic crisis and pandemic.
This misleading of consumers, according to the announcement of the Panhellenic Union, is confirmed by the recently published report of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). According to the report, almost 1 in 10 Europeans (9%) have stated that they have already been deceived to buy counterfeit products, with the corresponding percentage in Greece being around 25%, as the Greek consumer chooses based on the lowest price, ignoring the factor of authenticity.
In the last three years, in fact, hundreds of tons and more have been confiscated by the prosecuting authorities 500.000 counterfeit products, with the loss of the State and legal traders estimated at more than 300 million only for confiscated products throughout the country. Due to the lower price and apparent competitiveness of products on popular platforms, those online stores that sold counterfeit products (the so-called monkey products) occupied the first places, resulting in the further destruction of the legal trade, a situation that intensified during the quarantine period. physical stores remained closed and online sales skyrocketed.
A well-known, highly misleading, practice of these e-shops that sold these products is the use of photos of genuine watches, stating that the watches are genuine and accompanying them with fake warranty and authenticity cards.
The demand to protect legal traders is extremely reasonable and beneficial for the economy as the contribution of this category to the State budget will almost double but these thousands of companies will be able to survive.
The Panhellenic Union represents a professional category that officially consists of over 5.000 stores that outside the owners employ more than 7.000 employees and corresponding families of taxpayers. In the category of watches alone, in terms of tariffs, taxes, VAT and employer contributions, it already contributes to the state budget with many tens of millions of euros per year.
According to the president of the Panhellenic Association of Retail and Online Stores of Watches and Jewelry, George Partaktzoglou, in order to avoid consumers being deceived by counterfeit products, the following protection measures are proposed:
1. Pay special attention to disproportionately large discounts. Always compare prices with the websites of the official dealer network.
2. Special reservation for stores that do not bear the mark of the recognized dealer on the price comparison platforms.
3. Do not hesitate to contact the official representatives in case of doubt.