Here’s the nightmare scenario.
You do a quick internet search for your high end luxury makeup and find several online retailers offering your product at a significant discount. It’s easy to chalk it off as another counterfeiter, however something looks different. The packaging looks identical to a discontinued batch of custom packaging that you recently disposed of.
You place an order to check it out and a few days later you are stunned at what you find. The packaging is the same, but the product inside is not your product. Not even close. In fact, it is a vastly inferior product being marketed as the original, and passing the eye test because the packaging is so authentic.
Insert your product (cosmetics, electronics, toys, etc.) into this scenario and you can grasp a problem that is damaging brands around the world.
This is how the grey market works, and unscrupulous people are constantly on the search for opportunities to make a buck.
Why Is Your Packaging Important?
While many brands instinctively know how important it is to protect formulas, product designs, etc., sometimes companies don’t give enough thought to the protection of their packaging. For some this can be a HUGE mistake.
You see it can be easy to spot fakes a mile away if you are talking about watches, or handbags, etc., because many times the fine little details like stitching or tags not being right are the giveaways.
However, if a grey market profiteer can stumble across authentic packaging for consumer goods, the profit potential can be huge, because unwitting consumers believe they are getting the real thing, even if the product inside is fake.
Finding the right packaging can be just as valuable as finding the real product.
How Do Grey Market Profiteers Get Your Packaging?
It’s all about the disposal process.
It is common for companies to come up with new designs or new sizes for their product lines. Often, packaging is discontinued, or there may be overstock on old packaging that simply needs to be thrown away. Other issues include misspellings, wrong colors, bad alignments can also cause an issue where your packaging needs to be disposed of.
Packaging companies also may play a role if they are lax in their processes. This is where a slick gray market operator finds value, and many times product and packaging is hijacked on the way to the dump.
You as the company just want it out of your hair, so you hire a company to haul it to the trash, but what assurances are you being given that your product and packaging is reaching its intended destination.
You may hire a vendor for the disposal process, but one of their employees may be stealing items before they actually are destroyed, or if you hire a vendor on price alone, they may be the one’s selling it for personal profit.
Certified Product Disposal Is the Solution
This is a real life threat that threatens companies today. In situations like these it is important that companies have cost effective solutions and a secure certified product disposal option.
Certified product destruction or certified product disposal as it is sometime called, is a process whereby products are destroyed or disposed of and the process is authenticated in order to ensure that the product is not being resold or utilized illegally.
Product destruction is handled in a secure, professional, confidential, and cost efficient manner by a reputable disposal company.
When evaluating Certified Product Destruction vendors, here are some things to be aware of.
- Careful consideration must be given to the selection of specific methods. Numerous factors weigh into this decision, including:
- Necessity of assured/certified product destruction to eliminate re-entry to marketplace
- Government and local community directives to reduce land disposal
- Elimination of future liabilities associated with land disposal
The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information.
A qualified product destruction company should provide a certificate of destruction. At times photographic or video evidence of destruction may be required (e.g. in the event of a court order for destruction). If this is the case, make sure that you let your vendor know prior to receiving a quote as this usually requires extra equipment and involves extra cost.
Look for companies that will provide you with appropriate paperwork and the assurance the job has been done completely and competently.
The stakes are high for your business and your company brand.
If your product falls into the wrong hands and is sold on the “grey market,” your company can face serious erosion of your brand reputation.
Don’t be the next cautionary tale. Speak with an expert today.