Journal of Marketing Behavior > Vol 3 > Issue 4

Does Counterfeiting Benefit or Harm Original Products? A Meta-analytic Investigation

Martin Eisend, European University Viadrina, Germany, , Farid Tarrahi, European University Viadrina, Germany
Suggested Citation
Martin Eisend and Farid Tarrahi (2019), "Does Counterfeiting Benefit or Harm Original Products? A Meta-analytic Investigation", Journal of Marketing Behavior: Vol. 3: No. 4, pp 293-333.

Publication Date: 29 Jan 2019
© 2018 M. Eisend and F. Tarrahi
Counterfeitingexperienceproductpricepurchase behaviormeta-analysis


Login to download a free copy
In this article:
Conceptual Background 
List of Studies Included in Meta-analysis 


Does the counterfeiting of branded products benefit or harm the original products? As prior research does not converge to a single answer to this question, this study undertakes a meta-analysis of previous research that accumulates 460 effect sizes from 108 independent studies. The meta-analytic results show that experience with counterfeit products makes buyers more likely to purchase counterfeits than the genuine article. Hence, we conclude that counterfeiting likely harms rather than benefits genuine products. With an eye to reducing the negative impact of counterfeits, the meta-analysis also analyzes how marketing activities can reduce the number of purchase experiences consumers have with counterfeit products. The findings have implications for brand managers and manufacturers regarding how to combat counterfeiting. Rather than focusing on reducing the opportunities available to consumers to purchase counterfeit products, marketers should instead provide consumers with more opportunities to try, rent, or otherwise experience original brands. Furthermore, the findings show that by raising consumers' awareness of the lower quality of counterfeit products and by adjusting the price advantage of counterfeit products, companies can considerably reduce counterfeit purchasing behavior. Emphasizing brand image or the importance of the unique attributes of the genuine product, on the other hand, plays only a minor role in reducing the purchase of counterfeit.