By Michelle Sordi
Global counterfeit activity is growing in almost every industry, and forestry tools are no exception. The illegal reproduction of chainsaws is a particular concern given the serious hazard it presents to consumer health and safety. Counterfeiters are not accountable to the same industry standards for process and product safety features as legitimate and authorized manufacturers.
Modern chainsaws should be equipped with a kickback guard and chainsaw brake to reduce and avoid major injuries due to unexpected movements. The overall chainsaw design should also allow the stop control to be easily accessible so that the engine can be stopped quickly in an emergency. When manufactured illegally at inadequate facilities, counterfeit chainsaws are either poorly designed or they are missing these safety features entirely.
This dangerous trend is a growing concern in the industry. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has estimated that about three to seven per cent of the total worldwide trade is represented by counterfeit products. In addition, if the current development rate remains unchanged, the Business Action to Stop Counterfeit and Piracy organization expects the number to grow significantly to 10-15 per cent by 2015.
Since 2006, Husqvarna has sustained an anti-counterfeit program to protect the public from the dangers of poorly manufactured tools. By working with an international network of local sales organizations, distributors and dealers, Husqvarna aims to prevent counterfeit products from reaching consumers by combatting illegal reproductions. To keep these dangerous products out of consumers’ hands, Husqvarna offers the following information to better understand how counterfeiters operate and how to avoid purchasing a fake chainsaw.
Counterfeit products are marketed and sold as genuine branded merchandise. Given that counterfeit activity is often managed by an established criminal network, these products are very likely manufactured in poor working conditions in countries where safety and labour regulations are either nonexistent or challenging to enforce. In the case of Husqvarna products, the majority of counterfeits are manufactured in China, and manufacturers often receive orders from an overseas buyer. These buyers will then pose as Husqvarna employees or dealers and distribute the counterfeit tools to consumers.
The quality of counterfeit chainsaws has improved over the years, making it sometimes hard to distinguish one from an authentic product. The point of sale, price, product appearance and origin are ways to tell the difference between counterfeit and genuine chainsaws:
Point of Sale: Genuine power tools are only sold through authorized channels such as dealers and retailers. Products sold by non-licensed channels, such as an unauthorized website, can easily lure people into mistakenly purchasing counterfeit products.
Price: In most cases, if the price of a product is substantially lower than regular price, it is likely a counterfeit chainsaw.
Product appearance: The look, quality and content of counterfeit packaging will not have the same professional finish as genuine products. Products are unlikely to have unique or up-to-date serial numbers and may have misspelled the brand name. The product colour may not be as vivid as the brand name and the product may feel lighter, as cheaper parts and materials were used in the manufacturing process.
Origin: The product’s origin may help you detect a counterfeit. The most counterfeited Husqvarna chainsaw models – the 365, 372XP and 395XP – are all made in Sweden. For these products, a “Made in China” statement is one indication that the product is counterfeit.
Tips for purchasing chainsaws
Always buy from an authorized dealer and never from an ambulant seller – and remember to be cautious when shopping online. It is best to purchase the chainsaw in person when possible.
- If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you are feeling suspicious or unsure, contact the brand directly to verify the product before purchasing it.
- If the product is promoted as new, yet smells of petrol, it is likely to be counterfeit.
- If you have discovered that your new Husqvarna product is not genuine, Husqvarna may be able to assist you in your claim against the company or person that sold it. Contact your local dealer for more information or visit Husqvarna.ca.
Michelle Sordi is the Director of Marketing for Husqvarna Canada. She leads brand and product marketing initiatives from the corporate head office located in Mississauga. For more information on counterfeit forestry tools visit Husqvarna.ca.