Consumers are sometimes wondering what differentiates between original (OEM) and non-original products. There are various products categories such as grey products, black market products and counterfeited products. What makes them different from each other?
Grey goods are legitimate products which are produced by a genuine producer or OEM, though they are sold through unauthorised channels. Grey products discarded by manufacturers due to damage or product recall. These products are not illegal goods but can violets both written and unwritten agreements.
Nowadays, in most cases, counterfeited products are traded in grey markets. E-commerce has heavily expanded the grey market. Unauthorised dealers usually claim to provide the same warranty as to the manufacturer, which is not always the case.
Counterfeit products are phoney/copy/fake products which are designed by copying original/trademarked products without the consent of the original product manufacturer. These products themselves are not illegal, though the way they are traded and marketed is illegal. Counterfeit products are traded under the impression that they are produced by OEMs, which is not the case. Such unethical way of selling the products make the counterfeited products illegal.
It is not very easy to identify them. They are commonly traded online. Buyers are usually aware of counterfeited products, but they still buy them due to the show-off of branded goods at a crazy low price.
Given their low price and renowned brand name labels, these unoriginal products are very tempting to buy, though they lack the quality and warranties offered by OEM. Given that the prices are substantially low and the products look exactly similar in appearance as branded/original good, buyers tempted to buy such products to impress others. This trend is quite common in clothes, footwear, designer products etc.
The same trading channels used for grey products are also used to trade counterfeit products. However, in some cases, counterfeited products risk lives, such as counterfeited pharmaceutical products or automotive products.
Black market products
Black market products are illegal to manufacture or sell. Black market products can be counterfeit, or they can be genuine but illegal to own or distribute. Black market products are commonly a part of a separate, more complex market than grey goods.
Black markets typically trade products which avoid paying taxes, stolen goods or types of illegal goods or services.