Hundreds of Counterfeit FELCO secateurs destroyed in Hungary
Like the makers of watches and luxury branded goods, the Swiss manufacturer of pruning and cutting tools, FELCO, is faced with the problem of counterfeit products.
Hundreds of counterfeit FELCO 2 secateurs – a brand icon for over 70 years – have recently been seized and destroyed by the Hungarian custom authorities. A Hungarian customs official – a gardener and FELCO user – spotted the counterfeit tools in a container from China.
FELCO is concerned about the issue and is strengthening its measures to fight against counterfeits.
Hundreds of counterfeit FELCO 2 secateurs have been destroyed in Cegléd, Hungary on December 3rd by the customs authorities. The counterfeit products, which were seized at the Hungarian border, were in a container filled with 1260 counterfeit secateurs and various other goods coming from China. An investigation is being conducted to determine the final destination of these counterfeit secateurs. The steel and aluminum from these counterfeits will be recycled.
The eagle-eyed customs officer and passionate gardener
Point of Interest: The discovery of these counterfeits is due to the keen eye of a Hungarian customs officer, who is also a gardener and user of FELCO products. He recognized the counterfeit tools notified his superiors as well as the FELCO importer in the country. The latter was particularly responsive and contacted the FELCO SA immediately upon receipt of the seizure of the products by the Hungarian customs authorities.
«Making counterfeit products is not limited to watches or other luxury goods. We have to deal with this problem constantly, it has been ongoing for years. The FELCO 2 remains by far our most often copied tool. This seizure alone saved consumers from being potentially swindled out of roughly €20,000», explains Stéphane Poggi, co-CEO of FELCO SA.
Being high value add goods with an image of quality, durability, and reliability, FELCO tools are targeted by counterfeit manufacturers located primarily located in Asia. Often sold at lower prices, these poor-quality counterfeits are distributed in numerous countries, most often in North American and European markets via online sales platforms such as Amazon or eBay.
Strengthen the fight
«FELCO takes an active stand against counterfeit products using various measures online and offline that we are reinforcing now. Knowing that our resources, both financial and human, are unfortunately limited due to our size, we have to be efficient and targeted in our approach», states Pierre-Yves Perrin, Director within the Flisch Group, a holding company that owns both the FELCO SA company and the rights to the FELCO brands. As a lawyer, he is responsible for protecting FELCO’s intellectual property.
FELCO’s international network of importers and retailers already monitors various domestic markets for counterfeit products. Aided by artificial intelligence programs to review 24/7 all international eCommerce platforms and websites, FELCO can constantly monitor online sales. Also noteworthy is the brand’s specific website for the American market, realfelco.com, which helps end users learn how to distinguish counterfeit FELCO products, determine if they have purchased a counterfeit and how they can report it to FELCO SA for support.
Train customs officers
During the next 2 years FELCO SA will run pilot project in collaboration with a company active in customs surveillance. This company will introduce customs surveillance requirements to its members, but more importantly, it will provide specific training to customs officers to teach them to recognize counterfeit versions of specific FELCO products. Initially, this project will focus on specific preselected markets.
FELCO takes the issue of counterfeits very seriously. Counterfeits damage the reputation of FELCO products, the image of the company, while putting consumer safety at risk. This issue is unfortunately growing and the fight against it concerns everyone at FELCO. Therefore, it is imperative that our various internal and external services cooperate closely to maintain pressure on producers of counterfeits.
A counterfeit FELCO can look like the real thing but does not provide the quality and reliability of a real FELCO tool. These counterfeits are frequently sold online at retailers such as Amazon.com. These counterfeits are branded FELCO with the sole aim of deceiving the consumer. FELCO has decided to stand up for its customers. If you believe you have purchased a counterfeit FELCO product, learn below how FELCO will make it right and contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.