Clean teeth but at what cost?

Hopefully many of you have seen or heard of the latest product scare – pirated “Colgate” tooth paste coming here from China. Apparently this fake Colgate can be poisonous. One of the tell tale signs is the misspellings on the tube itself.

Having conducted many pirated merchandise cases both here and abroad, I can attest to the fact that one of the signs to look for is some sort of flaw. Sometime it is a color that does not look quite right, sometime it is a misspelling. We handled a case for a corporate client a few weeks ago and we could tell the clothing product was fake due to the fact that some of the letters in the popular make was “slanting” to one side.

When the product is a clothing article or a CD or DVD at least there is little chance that a person’s health can be compromised. However as with the case of the fake tooth paste, people can be hurt and even die. It pays to be extra careful when there is a possibility that the product we are purchasing might not be the genuine article. Take a little time to make sure that everything appears genuine.

I recently returned from a trip to China with 30 other business people. We found it amazing how much fake and pirated merchandise was readily available on every street. Rolexes seemed to be every where fom as little as $5.00. Surprisingly, the quality was very good. Most could not tell the difference at first glance.

To give an idea of how some Chinese feel about the proliferation of pirated merchandise in their country we visited Fudong University where one of the top lecturers in China’s economy addressed us. She informed us that she believed that the pirating of a company’s product was good in the early days of introducing the line to the market place.

As she explained it, many Chinese would like to own a real Rolex watch. However, since they can not afford to spend thousands of dollars on a watch, they will buy one on the street for a few dollars. According to the professor, they will wear the fake in the interim as they aspire to owning the real thing one day. When that day arrives, they will pay the money for the genuine article. The jury is still out on this theory however.

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