The Problem with Fakes

Lately, I’ve been looking at a lot of fakes. Adam Savage did an excellent video comparing actual Apple products with knock-offs that look like Apple products on the outside but very much are not Apple products on the inside. Looking at the fake Apple power supply, I’d be afraid to use it.

On the woodworking side, there is a separate problem where manufacturers are copying innovative products and undercutting the inventors. The copies are often closer to the quality of the originals but rarely equal. (It’s easier without so many electronics involved.) So, consumers are saving a few bucks buying the copies.

As a lawyer, I saw the consequences of these rip-offs. One in particular I recall was a family business that ultimately failed when a foreign competitor copied their product, documentation, and branding and flooded the market at a cut price.

If you don’t have an opinion on knockoffs, you probably should. Setting aside the fact that they can be dangerous, It’s just crushing for a business that spends piles of time and money making an innovative product to have someone copy it as soon as it’s released (often right down to product colors and branding). So I don’t buy copies. If I can’t afford the original, I don’t buy anything. If you’re afraid of unknowingly buying knockoffs, be careful where you buy from. Whenever possible, go directly to the manufacturer.