Gray Market (Counterfeit) Components Websites
Sometimes the counterfeits work well, but often premature failure
is experienced, and the unsuspecting OEMs and CMs are left having
to honor warranties that were based on MTBF calculations and empirical
lifetime testing performed using genuine components. In many instances,
a failed component is returned to the manufacturer that supposedly
provided the part, only to discover that it is a knock-off of something
they make. The intended supplier loses money because some counterfeiter
has part of his market share and the OEM loses money by having to
service fake parts and suffer the bad public relations that results.
A number of websites have popped up to track the gray market
3), but it is a monumental task. Although they admit that it
is only an educated guess, the World Customs Organization estimates
that counterfeiting accounts for 5% to 7% of global merchandise
trade, equivalent to lost sales of as much as $512 billion in 2004.
Seizures of the bogus parts by U.S. customs agents jumped by 46%
in 2004. To put it in perspective, the total gray market for all
goods, not just electronics, is believed to be larger than the total
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