The 10 Most Common Types of Counterfeit Products

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Most of us want a great bargain. But are we willing to steal or hurt someone for it? What about die or get sick from it?

Choosing counterfeit products, whether you buy them knowingly or not, comes with risks.

“The dangers of buying counterfeit products aren’t always obvious,” notes U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which seizes all manner of such goods in its role as an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “There are economic impacts, legal implications, and health and safety risks that are important for you to know before you buy.”

The best way to fight back is to educate yourself about some of the most commonly counterfeited products.

Following are 10 types of products that are consistently counterfeited, shown by the percentage of each among CBP seizures in 2018. Take note of them and use caution when buying something on this list if a price seems too low to be believed:

  1. Wearing apparel/accessories: 18% of all counterfeit products seized in 2018
  2. Footwear: 14%
  3. Watches/jewelry: 13%
  4. Handbags/wallets: 11%
  5. Consumer electronics: 10%
  6. Consumer products: 8%
  7. Pharmaceuticals/personal care: 7%
  8. Optical media: 2%
  9. Toys: 1%
  10. Computers/accessories: 1%

Have you encountered counterfeits among your purchases or intentionally sought out cheap knock-offs? Share your experience in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.