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TOPIC: Counterfeiting article

Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 11:27 #260791

icv2.com/articles/news/view/39296/icv2-i...execs-counterfeiting

Interesting article on counterfeiting and its size/impact. I think the framing around the discussion, almost exclusively in terms of amazon reviews, reading between the lines, gives you a sense of where Asmodee does its sales and who it is most worried about getting a bad rep with. The 7 wonders and catan thing track; that makes a lot of sense from a counterfeiters perspective. I definitely see their concern on the casual market from a one to five star quality perspective. Also important to keep in mind who they're interviewing, a source who has a lot of reason to amplify the problem as large as possible to justify some decisions. I also don't see it being directly related to Minimum Advertised Price, but I don't have data to back that up.

I don't think I've run into it? Probably because I don't buy shit there'd be a lot of call to counterfeit, since it has relatively small print runs. OTOH, I guess I may not know if I have a counterfeit on my shelf since my understanding is that some are even created at the same factories so may be exactly the same. Any of your guys see a lot of counterfeits or notice them?

There's a tiny part of me that's a bit ambivalent to this. Gee, so maybe shipping every physical function of manufacturing overseas to a country/region with relatively lax IP enforcement might have consequences? Who could have known!
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 11:55 #260794

I just read another article on Counterfeiting in the gaming magazine I picked up on my iPad (which I don't have with me so I can't tell you what it is. May be the same article.) In my opinion Minimum Advertised Price is a big incentive to get into the pirate business.

There's a boatload of evidence of this in fashion, where the higher end brands are heavily counterfeited, in fact to the point that the counterfeits have their own branding and cachet. The prices in board games isn't as high as that, but in 2006 you could buy a copy of Carcassonne for $16.50 plus shipping, which made the RoI on a dupe pretty damn slim. Now the cheap online price is $29.99, nearly double, which leaves a lot of room for profit.

Petersen's quote -- "It's very difficult to enforce MAP when there's so many people selling counterfeits, and receiving product from sources that are illegally procured, but we try hard." Best of luck to you sir, but you're in for a long war. The space between your asking price and the perceived value of your product is too wide. You're creating a niche for another business.

Don't get me wrong, I know it sucks. But you can't have $79.99 be your strike price without having black and gray market alternatives coming in underneath you. You guys all got your ride on Internet pricing, now that it no longer suits you you're hoping to just make that middle-tier price go away.
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 11:57 #260795

Yeah, you've deliberately created a labor gulag to avoid regulations and make everything cheap, and now you're worried about it being unregulated? Cry me a river.

Also, this is the same community that "pirates" games through Tabletop Simulator, but now they're worried about Asmodee's bottom line?
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 14:42 #260805

Yep. If you try to cut costs by manufacturing in China, you pay the price in counterfeiting. Tough fucking shit. I don't see Mr. Petersen or any of the Asmodee leadership hurting for money. This is sort of like the old Onion headline about Kid Rock being homeless because someone pirated "Bawitdaba" on Napster.

To be frank, they are blowing the issue out of proportion. We are still talking about games that, apart from the absolute top tier, sell in tiny quantities compared to other mass-manufactured goods. Most people that buy games will never see a counterfeit. Who gets hit are, like they say, the one-off purchasers who go on Amazon or ebay and inadvertently buy a bootleg from an unscrupulous seller who actually may not even realize they are selling a fake. I would be willing to wager that this happens a very, very small percentage of the time.

Not to say that it doesn't happen- I've seen pictures of stacks of bootleg Chinese games for sale, literally outside of the printing houses that manufacture them. From what I understand, the printing houses just run off extras and sell them right there on the street- just like they do with Louis Vuitton handbags. But there again, it isn't the hobbyists that are getting hit by that, it's people that either a) are casual purchasers caught unaware or b) willfully want to buy a bootleg product because it is cheaper than the legitimate alternative and are more concerned with saving money than quality.

MAP pricing could be a factor...especially if some of the smaller, out-of-the-way retailers decide they don't want to play ball with that and get a line on a cheaper wholesale source for gray market product.

I've never seen a bootleg board game in person. I have bought a set of Eldar Dire Avengers that I found out were "recasts"- extremely shitty resin counterfeits. That pissed me off.

Counterfeiting in the Warhammer world is very different, and FAR more widespread. Most of that, oddly, comes from Eastern Europe and Russia. And it's also different because you have people making recasts because they don't have access to the actual source material like the Chinese counterfeiters do.
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 16:07 #260810

I've fed the bootleg market for football (soccer) jerseys. I've been a member of LFC for three decades and I love the club, but I ain't paying over $100 for a jersey when I can get an almost-as-good one for $20 through a Chinese bootlegger. That, as noted, is the difference between actual value and what the club is selling it for. If they hacked the price down to $40, I'd buy from the club. Until then, nada.

Counterfeiting in Warhammer and other minis games is kind of a complex scenario. I have an engineer friend who was a diehard Tau player. He made molds from some scans of his Stealthsuit models so he could cast his own out of transparent plastic (Stealthsuits are chameleon-like, so these would really kind of do the Predator thing.) Everyone he played against loved them and he got tons of requests from other Tau players. But those are technically counterfeits and he wasn't allowed to use them in a couple GW-sanctioned tourneys because they're not actual GW models. (That also meant he was simply short the unit and the associated points for those tourneys, since he'd already turned in his list. Those were not happy games.) It can get tricky.
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 16:18 #260811

I think map has a huge effect on counterfeits.

Look at gw, they've had map a long time and are suffering from counterfeits because of their price but also because of quantities.

Cp learned a lot from gw in the regard of pricing, and are now reaping what they sow from lack of regulation.

But regulation is baaaaad.
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 20:21 #260816

Blockchain technology is being developed that will help prevent the accidental purchase of counterfeit goods. It will first be used in high end luxury goods but will trickle down even to board games. In fact if they're so worried about it they should reach out to one of the companies developing the technology and use it on their own products. Vechain (www.vechain.com/) is one such technology. Pretty rad stuff.
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 20:53 #260817

Blockchain is too energy intensive to be used for anythIng that doesn’t have big rewards
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Counterfeiting article 12 Jan 2018 21:22 #260818

This is sort of like the old Onion headline about Kid Rock being homeless because someone pirated "Bawitdaba" on Napster.

I read at least one account of an aging, indie musician who was making 30k or so a year from royalties when Napster hit and that money went away. I think he died of cancer.

When I was in Harbin, China, they had a bunch of Chinese language knockoffs. I think I bought a copy of Citadels in Mandarin.

Apparently counterfeit games are literally poisoning our children:
But I guarantee you that those are not concerns nor tests that are being done on most counterfeit products. If you're going to walk around and have your kid suck on counterfeit little roads from Catan, you're probably dealing with a hazardous substance exposure.

That's all I've got.
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Counterfeiting article 13 Jan 2018 01:29 #260823

When the fuck will we see a glut of bootlg Queens Gambit? I’m on bosrd with that
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Counterfeiting article 13 Jan 2018 02:48 #260826

its cheaper to homebrew your own version of most games using freely available files hosted by the likes of BGG than buy a knock off from China anyway
100% agree with Michael, this is not worth considering, nobody cares. I hate the slimy fucks on BGG who cant wait to "rat" on this kind of thing, including people who post a file on BGG thats obviously a fan thing to be downloaded by 7 people. Oooo, hes taken COPYRIGHTED ART, lets burn him at the stake. Fuck. Right. Off. someone bought a chinese rip off of Dominion on ebay, yeah lets get the FBI involved, Vaccarinos legacy must be upheld.

Recently I found an online stash of pretty much every D&D release ever, neatly organised in folders. Downloading as much as I can be arsed. Probably wont read much of it. Mostly nostalgia. At no point would i have paid for this stuff. I figure Gygax doesnt need more money. I thought about sharing but I just cant trust fuckers these days as I know it jkust takes one morality crusader to snitch and its gone.
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Counterfeiting article 13 Jan 2018 07:22 #260830

I hate when this same vigilante attitude is applied towards game rules, when you just want a plain text copy so you can revise, reformat, fix problems or otherwise improve the usability.

I really feel like BGG is a like a mechanized sieve that scoops up every mildly-autistic board gamer and puts them in a room to argue while advertisements blare on wall mounted televisions. I'm not trying to make fun of autism, in fact my son has been diagnosed with Asperger's and my therapist kept casually mentioning that I show some symptoms.
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Counterfeiting article 13 Jan 2018 08:01 #260835

I think pointing to offshore manufacturing as a reason counterfeiting is happening is a red herring. As the article mentions. most stuff is scanned and printed. Not that hard to believe a domestic made product could be sent to wherever and scanned/ripped off. For molded product, its less likely, but still I could see it happening. Isn't GW stuff made in the UK? That still gets ripped off. People often clamor that they'll pay more US made til they see the price tag.

I've never encountered fake stuff but then again I buy from reputable places, not no name sites with prices too good to be true. And I don't think anyone is gonna counterfeit ASL modules for instance ( Critical Hit notwithstanding ) .

As for all the torches and pitchforks over MAP, get over it. It already exists across a wide spectrum of retail. A lot of companies flat out don't allow sellers on Ebay or Amazon other than themselves both to stifle counterfeiters as well as to make more profit. Surprised more don't go that route.
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Counterfeiting article 13 Jan 2018 08:03 #260836

I tried to resell one of my Asmodee games recently on Amazon, and the site blocked me. Ebay didn't have a problem, however.
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Counterfeiting article 13 Jan 2018 09:06 #260841

A few points:

1. The fact that they're manufacturing offshore has no bearing here. The counterfeits are being done at other factories through scans, etc. I've been doing manufacturing in China and other Asian countries for 30 years on a wide variety of products, and had just one instance of a factory pulling something like this, and we pulled the business fast and told others about the bad actor - there are lists of folks like this, and that particular one quickly went out of business.

We also do a lot of work in fashion (hand bags), supplying stuff to Coach, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, etc, and frequently visit the factories that assemble their bags. The big fashion places have very strict inventory control systems at these factories. They know exactly how much product (leather, buckles, etc) goes in, and how much comes out. Anything that's listed as 'scrap' needs to be accounted for. I personally know of at least one factory that tried to pull something on Coach, and they lost all the business and are also now defunct.

Almost all counterfeits are done by other factories, not the ones making the products.

2. The tricky thing here is the way Amazon does 'fulfilled by Amazon' products. My understanding (and this is second hand, so it may be completely wrong), is that anyone selling a product sends it into their warehouse, but then it goes into a big pile. So if I ship in 100 games, and Bob sends in 100 of the same game, and I sell one, it may come from my games or Bob's games.

So when people add counterfeits to the big pile, it makes things go off the rails. As a counterfeiter, I can ship in crap, charge very little, and there's a (good) chance that when someone orders a game from me they actually get a real copy - not a counterfeit - that was shipped in by someone else. So it's tough to track down who's doing what. Amazon may have some way of tracing who shipped in the original goods, but I'm not sure.

If I'm buying a fake Coach bag, or a fake Rolex, 99% of the time I know it's fake. That's NOT the case here - you can buy something from a legitimate seller on Amazon and get a counterfeit. If someone is making a choice to buy a counterfeit because they think the 'real thing' is too expensive - maybe you can start justifying it with your vigilante 'the real thing costs too much' MAP bullshit (another discussion), but that doesn't apply here.

That's the bigger problem, I think. If it's a known source selling all counterfeits, you can shut that down, or at least alert people to the bad actors. But this is more complex.

Geoff
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