Consumer Attitudes toward Counterfeit Fashion Products

Consumer Attitudes toward Counterfeit Fashion Products: Does Gender Matter? BY harks Volume 7, Issue 1, Springer’s Consumer Attitudes toward Counterfeit Fashion Products: Does Gender Matter? Jason M. Carpenter, Assistant Professor Department of Retailing University of South Carolina [email protected] SC. Deed Karen Lear, Instructor [email protected] SC. Deed ABSTRACT Counterfeit fashion products pose a serious threat to the manufacturers and retailers of authentic designer products and to the world economy.

While research suggests that gender is related to purchase intention for counterfeit products, the allegations between gender and the antecedents to purchase intention (attitudes regarding ethically, social cost, and anti-big business) has not been explored. The current research uses hierarchical structural equation modeling (SEEM) to examine gender as a moderator of attitudes toward counterfeit fashion products among a sample of U. S. Consumers (N = 305).

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Findings suggest that while gender does not moderate the social cost and anti-big business components of consumer attitudes toward counterfeit fashion products, gender does affect beliefs about the ethically of counterfeiting. Keywords: Counterfeit products, fashion, gender re thwarting economic development and endangering public health and safety (Cryostat, 2007). INTRODUCTION Counterfeit goods are defined as identical copies of authentic products (Alai and Chickasaws, 1999) and account for at least five percent of the world’s trade (IAC, 2007).

An item that bears a brand name or logo without the permission of the registered owner is counterfeit, or —fake. ] Counterfeit products have been found among virtually every type of consumer goods, including electronics, airplane and auto parts, pharmaceuticals, and even food products—sometimes injurious consequences (Phillips, 2005; U. S. Trade Representative, 2007). Thus, counterfeiters Article Designation: Refereed In most countries including the U. S. The trafficking and sale of counterfeit merchandise is unlawful. Second only to CDC and software, luxury fashion merchandise is the counterfeit product category most widely purchased by U. S consumers Jacobs et al. , 2001 ; Cryostat, 2007). Unlike counterfeits, the production and sale of —knockoffs] or —imitations,l which may look identical to designer originals but do not bear the brand name or STATE Volume 7, Issue 1, Spring 2011 logo of another owner, does not violate U.

S. Law. And Steering, 2003), the current study attempts to address this gap in the literature by posing the following research question to guide the inquiry: Deceptive counterfeit transactions occur when the consumer is unaware that the merchandise purchased carries a brand brand owner (Grossman and Shapiro, 1988). However, in many cases, counterfeit merchandise is purchased knowingly by the consumer—a trend known as non-deceptive counterfeiting (Wilcox et al. , 2009).

In nondestructive counterfeiting, the consumer recognizes that the goods are not authentic through information cues such as price, arches location, and materials used (Corroboratory et al. , 1997; Gentry et al. , 2001). Aberrant consumer behavior, which ranges from theft and vandalism to fraud been recognized as widespread among consumers (Fullerton and Pun], 1993; Johnson 1987). ARQ: Do males and females differ in terms of ethically, social cost, and anti-big business attitude toward counterfeit fashion products?

This research will contribute to the growing body of literature regarding the market for counterfeit fashion products and provide insight for fashion brand owners concerned about insulating their brand identity and racket share against counterfeits. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Gender and Intention to Purchase Counterfeit Products The intentional purchase of counterfeit products is widely considered a type of consumer misbehaver, which deviates from generally accepted norms (e. G. , Dodge, Edwards, and Fullerton, 1996).

Research shows that generally, men are more likely to participate in unlawful activities than women (e. G. , Beelike, Schlemiel, Absconder, and Klein, 2006; Haying & Armstrong, 2006). Thus, researchers have begun to explore the relationship between gender and intention to purchase counterfeit goods across various reduce categories. Nag et al. (2001) examined intention to purchase counterfeit CDC among a Singapore sample, reporting that males exhibited a more favorable view towards piracy, and the more favorable the view, the more likely the subject was to purchase pirated CDC.

Similarly, Tan (2002) examined intention to purchase pirated software among Chinese consumers, citing gender as a moderator of attitudes and effect of gender on attitudes toward counterfeit products was not addressed. Over the past several years, researchers have begun to address the demand side of the counterfeit product market. However, much of the extant research remains limited to the context of consumer electronics (e. G. , CDC, software) and to student samples from Asian countries.

Concurrently, the effect of gender on the intention to purchase counterfeits has been examined, with most studies reporting that males are more likely to purchase counterfeit products (Ban and Voluptuous, 2007; Mores and Change, 2006; Kong et al. , 2003; -ran, 2002; Nag et al. , 2001). This is consistent with earlier research showing that while both sexes participate in aberrant consumer behaviors, the types of behavior tend to vary by gender (e. . , males are more likely to vandalize retailers than females) (Levy-Laborer, 1984).

To date, the effect of gender on specific antecedents to purchase intention has not been examined, leaving us with questions as to why males may be more likely to purchase counterfeits. Responding to numerous calls for further research into consumer demand for counterfeit goods (Bloch, et al. 1993; wee, et al. , 1995; Penn 2 Culture filters consumer perceptions about both gender roles and appropriate consumption behaviors (Bell, Deviant, and Gerhardt, (2005).

This may, in part, explain why recent studies are incongruent guarding the effect of one’s gender on intention to purchase unlawful fake examined ethics, social cost, and anti-big business attitude in the context of pirated CDC among a sample of Chinese consumers, reporting that young males are more likely to purchase counterfeits. While the effect of gender on purchase intention was addressed, specific relationships between gender and the antecedents to purchase were not.

Mores and Change (2006) examined ethical decision making in the context of pirated software among a sample of Chinese consumers, reporting no gender-related difference in views of piracy. However, exults suggested that females may be more likely to engage in software sharing (piracy). Among a sample of Slovenian, men were found to have significantly more positive attitudes toward counterfeit t-shirts and software than women, but with regard to a fake luxury watch, attitudes were similar between the genders (Vida, 2007). Suggest that while Chinese consumers displayed less favorable views of counterfeits as compared to their U. K. Counterparts, gender did not affect intention to purchase among Chinese respondents. In contrast, gender served to moderate purchase intention in the U. K. Sample, with ales being more likely to purchase counterfeit sunglasses. Yet, a recent study of consumers in Glasgow revealed that gender had no effect on consumers’ intention to purchase counterfeit Gucci and Role watches (Ban and Mounting, 2009).

In a 2009 study of New Slanderer, women tended to have a lower tolerance for what the researchers described as —black market] goods, which included counterfeit fashion products as well as various types of stolen goods (Cola, Simon, and Mackenzie, 2009). That study also found that females generally needed a greater financial incentive than males to engage in Ethics and Counterfeit Products Consumer ethics includes the moral rules, principles, and standards directing behavior regarding selection, purchase, and sale of goods or services (Munch and Vittles, 1992).

Consumers who value honesty, politeness, and responsibility are more likely to hold negative attitudes toward counterfeit luxury products (De MOTOS, et al. , 2007; Papua and Dixie, 2009). Nag et al. (2001) found that conversely, the less honest the subject was, the more likely to tolerate counterfeit goods. Interestingly, U. S. Consumers may hold divergent ethical views of counterfeits based on the product category. For example, many consumers live that buying fake pharmaceuticals is unethical, but consider viewing bootlegged movies as acceptable behavior (Chuddar and Stumps, 2009).

When looking at the gender variable, researchers have found differences in purchase intention based on nationality (Chap, Minor and Moldboard 2006; Amine and Shin, 2002). A 2005 survey revealed a surprising tolerance for counterfeit goods in the U. K. (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), finding that one-third of respondents admitted that they had purchased a counterfeit product at some point (Bryce and Router, 2005). The same researchers found later that among a similar ample of U. K. Exponents, males were more likely than females to purchase counterfeit computer games, but not more likely to purchase fake fashion items (Router and Bryce, 2008). Ban and Voluptuous (2007) conducted a cross-cultural study of consumer attitudes toward counterfeits in the U. K. And China, using sunglasses as the focal product category. Most consumers hold protected values – those which they claim are absolute, and cannot be traded off, such as a prohibition against stealing (Baron 1999). However, research suggests that numerous consumers are willing to exchange those protected values for a discounted price on odds (Baron 1999), including counterfeit products (Cola, Simon, and Mackenzie, 2009). While some research indicates that consumers who are more lawfully-minded tend to hold less favorable views of counterfeiting and are less likely to purchase fakes (Cornell, et al. , 1996), others have found that respect for the law is not a reliable predictor of counterfeit purchase intentions (Cornell, Wanted, and Checking, 1996; Cola, Simon, and Mackenzie, 2009).

Similarly, mere attitudes toward the lawfulness of counterfeit luxury brands and the legality of purchasing them are not valid predictors of purchase intention Papua and Dixie, 2009). From the activity (consumers) (Munch and Vittles, 1992). Similarly, some consumers justify purchasing counterfeits by characterizing their own behavior as less unethical that that of the seller (Cornell et al. , 1996; Papua and Teat, 2009). According to one cross-cultural study, most consumers branded products is neither ethical nor legal (Ban and Voluptuous, 2007).

Tan (2002), Mores and Change (2006), and Ha and Lennox (2006) determined that students who Judged counterfeiting as morally wrong were less likely to purchase such goods. Recently, Kim et al. (2009) investigated influences on oral Judgment and intention to purchase counterfeit products among U. S. University students and confirmed the earlier research, finding that individuals who believed that purchasing counterfeit goods was morally wrong were less likely to intend to buy them.

Moldboard and Home (2005) found that the higher the subject’s level of consumer ethics, the lower the subject will evaluate products known to be counterfeit. Along those lines, Penn and Steering (Bibb) found that the higher the consumer’s ethical disposition, the more likely they would be embarrassed if discovered wearing counterfeit fashion products. The theory of cognitive dissonance provides Justification for behaviors which contradict the individual’s attitudes and beliefs, and may, in part, explain this apparent paradox (Send and Churchgoers, 2006).

A consumer’s decision to exhibit deviant behavior is believed to be intertwined with the consumer’s ability to rationalize the behavior (Stratton, Vital, and Belton, 1994). Those with a greater ability to rationalize their deviant behavior have been found to be more willing to purchase counterfeit fashion products (Vida, 2007). One way consumers rationalize acquiring goods unlawfully is by denying that there is tangible victim associated with the conduct (Stratton, et al. , 1994). Organizational victims, including retailers and brand owners, may be difficult for some consumers to perceive as victims.

Indeed, purchasing fakes far less acceptable when the victim is an individual as compared too corporate entity (Cola, Simon, and Mackenzie, 2009). This is in accord with earlier findings (e. G. , Albert-Miller, 1999). Researchers of late have cited an apparent erosion in the general population’s view of the seriousness of the offense of counterfeiting (Papua and Dixie, 2009). One study found that rather than level of personal integrity, one of the strongest influencer of intention to purchase counterfeit goods is the relative ease in obtaining them (overcoming time and geographic barriers) (Penn and Steering, Bibb).

Router and Bryce (2008) noted that based on the public nature of the places where respondents admitted to purchasing fakes, there seems to be a shift in attitude toward viewing counterfeits as acceptable. Indeed, that study revealed that consumers of legitimate products are not distinct from consumers of counterfeits, as Overall, consumers tend to believe that those who actively benefit from unethical behaviors (counterfeiters) are more unethical than those who passively benefit 4 nearly a third of those who admitted to purchasing fakes within the past year had also purchased legitimate branded products, as well (Router and Bryce, 2008).

Many counterfeit organizations are associated with organized crime and terrorist groups (IAC, 2007; Kelly, 2005; Noble, 2003). According to the Secretary General counterfeit products and organized crime (Noble, 2003). Additionally, counterfeiting has become a favorite method of funding for radical fundamentalist groups such as AAA Qaeda and Hezbollah (Noble, 2003; Norton, 2002). The Basque terrorist group EAT is also known to sell counterfeit handbags and clothing around the world and online (IAC, Bibb).

Media reports indicate that the FBI investigated the link between the sale of counterfeit merchandise in New York and the terrorists involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (Stern, 1996). Remarkably, AAA Qaeda terrorist training manuals seized by U. S. Officials recommended selling counterfeit merchandise as a meaner of funding their operations (IAC, Bibb). Social Cost and Counterfeit Products Consumers often buy fake products to reap the benefits of a brand’s prestigious image without paying for it (Cornell et al. 1996; Grossman and Shapiro, 1988).

Branded products are known to communicate meaning about the user’s selfsame and enhance their self-concept (e. G. , Turnoff and Tama, 1972; Invest & Shaw, 1987). One study shows that consumer response toward counterfeits is more favorable when the product is a luxury item intended for use in public, such as a fake Role watch, compared to a necessity fashion product, such as tennis shoes (Chap, et al. , 2006). In looking at demographic variables other than gender, the Chap, et al. Study revealed that more highly educated consumers are less likely to

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