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Channel calls for more vendor action in counterfeit printer fight

Context has found that the channel wants printer vendors to do more to try and combat the flow of counterfeit products

Printer vendors need to do a lot more to convince the channel they are doing all they can to tackle the problem of counterfeit supplies.

Although some of the larger vendors have been actively moving against grey traders in recent months there is still a feeling that more could be done.

Kyocera is one of those manufacturers that has stepped up its efforts and back in May launched a campaign to try to make it clear the dangers of using unauthorised products.

In the first five months of this year the vendor seized fraudulent goods worth more than €5m and last year saw it get its hands on more than double that in value, with 100,000 units being taken out of circulation.

Back in May, Jonathan Robbins, consumables & spares sales manager of Kyocera Document Solutions UK, said that it wanted to warn channel partners.

"Counterfeit imaging supplies are often dangerous, environmentally unfriendly and cheat consumers of the quality they are entitled to expect from branded consumables,” he said.

More of that activity is going to be required if the channel are going to be satisfied enough is being done, according to the latest findings from analyst house Context.

Vendor efforts

The main printer vendors have not been sitting on their hands and there have been some successes in the fight against the counterfeiters

Kyocera took €10m of counterfeit goods out of the market last year and siezed half that in the first five months of this year

HP seized more than 12m items and enforced over 1800 actions across the EMEA between 2011 and 2015

The analyst house asked resellers what they wanted and the wish list included making labels clearer to try and ease the confusion around some of the counterfeit products and for more public campaigning to be done on the issue by the manufacturers.

Context's ChannelWatch report found that 55% of resellers thought that vendors could do more. Three quarters felt that clearer labeling would be a benefit and there were also calls for more public campaigning.

“Illegal print consumables manufacturers are able to undercut OEMs and legitimate third-party producers because they don’t bear the same R&D, logistics and other costs,” said Zivile Brazdziunaite, imaging market analyst at Context.

“This is not only eating into the market share of OEMs and third-party manufacturers – and damaging customer trust in brands and intellectual property rights – but can also backfire for the customer, as the end product is often inferior and can result in poor quality prints, reduced page yields, voided hardware warranties and even damage to the printer itself," she added.

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