Counterfeit goods are a $48 billion problem. Bargain savvy consumers looking to save money on their favorite products are often thrilled to find deeply discounted items for sale on sites like eBay, but are quickly let down when they realize they’ve been had. Not only is this disappointing for the customer, it also generates a negative reputation for the brand. It’s important to fight back against counterfeiters, so they don’t bring your cosmetics company down.

“All major brands have a problem with counterfeits,” said Lorne Lipkus, a founding partner of the Toronto law firm Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP, specializing in anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy enforcement in an interview with Cosmetics Magazine. Lipkus works with more than 75 top brands, including big name beauty companies, to combat counterfeiting.

4 Tips to Protect Your Cosmetics Company From Counterfeits

No cosmetics company is safe from counterfeiters, but there are steps you can take to minimize the damage they can do to your brand. Some of these measures include:

  1. Educate Your Customer Base: No one wants to purchase lipstick or eyeshadow with your company’s name on it, only to receive a subpar counterfeit item. Help your loyal customers tell the difference between your products and fakes, by explaining how to tell the difference. This is a fantastic way to build trust and people will definitely appreciate this tutorial, as subtle variances can be difficult for the untrained eye to spot.
  2. Monitor the Sale of Your Products: Keep a watchful eye on retailers selling your company’s cosmetics to make sure they’re offering legitimate goods. If you discover counterfeits, take the necessary legal action to stop it. Don’t let anyone get away with using your name to make a quick buck. Being proactive can discourage other counterfeiters from pulling your company into their illegal business.
  3. Make Your Product Hard to Duplicate: When your product packaging or the cosmetic item itself is difficult to replicate, it’s nearly impossible for counterfeiters to target your company. Create your own unique shade of a color or use a hologram sticker to signify authenticity. It’s easy to spot a fraud when the real thing has truly unique features.
  4. Register Your Trademarks: Don’t let this key step slip through the cracks. As long as your trademark is registered, you can enforce it anywhere in the U.S. If you also do business internationally, be sure to register your trademark in every single country you maintain a presence in. Many companies accidently overlook this measure and the consequences can be very damaging. Also, don’t forget to register your trademark with U.S. customs agencies and with the other countries you do business.

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