The Ultimate Identity Theft Ring !
All of us have heard about identity theft, where a person steals the identity of another, usually for financial gain. Years of a persons good reputation of promptly paying bills, managing money, and trying to be an overall good American Citizen, are stolen over a short period of time. This also happens to some businesses, mainly product manufacturers, they are being increasingly victimized by a type of identity theft, one that substitues a cheap fake product in lieu of the real thing. Not only does the manufacturer not make a profit on the sale of the fake product, their Brand Name reputation is now on the line for an inferior (maybe deadly) product that thier company never manufactured or authorized anyone else to make. Most of the time these products are manufactured in plants overseas and shipped into this country. While these counterfeits products show up from many brands, such as Gucci and Rolex, the consequences however are much less deadly than in the electrical and lighting industries. Once viewed as a “victimless crime”, product counterfeiting is big business, estimated to cost the US economy between $200 billion to $250 billion dollars a year and is responsible for the loss of 750,000 American jobs. How do these products get into the US markets, or get to the end users who purchased them?
The Value of Buying from Authorized Distributors!
Authorized distributors are wholesale distributors who have established an agreement to purchase directly from a specific lighting manufacturer. They must meet the manufacturer’s standards from sales to service in order to receive an authorized status. Most wholesale Lighting distributors are authorized through many lighting manufacturers to purchase products direct and resell them in to the local markets. The manufacturers provide specialized training and technical expertise to the staff and customers of these authorized distributors. The manufacturers also keep authorized distributors apprised of any product recalls and facilitate return of this material to the manufacturer. Authorized distributors ensure manufacturer warranties will be honored and have the flexibility to replace defective products promptly and efficiently.
When buying from an unauthorized distributor, you are buying from a distributor who is generally buying products from national surplus or liquidation dealers. Unsuspecting end users have no way of knowing the source or integrity of these “gray market” products, and no knowledge of where these products originated, or whether or not they have a valid warranty or factory support if a problem arises after the sale. Were these products from a closeout? Were these products manufactured only for export? Have these products been recalled for a safety related issue? Were these products even acquired legally, Or worse yet, are they counterfeit? In most of these instances the manufacturer has no legal liability for property losses or safety and health issues caused by these fake products. Nor do they have any responsibility to stand behind the performance or integrity of products sold by unauthorized dealers.
Counterfeit Electrical and Lighting Products?
Everyone at some time has joked about the $20.00 Rolex watches or Gucci purses, but counterfeit lighting products? Counterfeit electrical products ranked fifth on the U.S. Customs list of 2008 counterfeit seizures, with a 43% increase from 2007 to 2008. Categories of electrical products identified as high risks for counterfeiting by the Electrical Safety Foundation International include fuses, electrical receptacles, ground-fault circuit interrupters, lamps, electronic lamp ballasts, dry cell batteries, lithium-ion batteries, smoke detectors, power strips, surge suppressors, and electrical extension cords.
Counterfeit products usually have fake UL labels !
Counterfeit Christmas lights are just the tip of the iceberg in the fast-growing crime of counterfeit electrical products. Often carrying fake Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) labels, counterfeit holiday lights, extension cords, and multiple-outlet power strips pose a threat to consumers for their potential inability to meet electrical safety and fire codes. Counterfeit electrical lamps and ballasts may have unsafe mercury levels, inferior components or fake (UL) labels, which could cause electrical fires or health issues. A high profile counterfeit case in June 2006 was the discovery that over an 18 month period, an estimated half million or more counterfeited circuit breakers marked as a major manufactures’ breaker were shipped through these gray market channels and sold in the U.S market. These counterfeit breakers were identical to the originals except for one thing; they lacked the proper circuit protection, making them not much more than an on/off switch. It is possible that many of these fake breakers are still installed in homes or businesses across the country, with the occupants of these building possibly in iminent danger. A counterfeit lighting product in the best case situation can be an inconvenience with shortened product life and money wasted, the worst case scenario can lead to fires, shocks, or explosions that can cost workers their lives and produce considerable property damage and liability exposure.
How to Protect Yourself :
Purchasing your products from an authorized distributor of the brand you are purchasing helps protect you from these out-sourced and potentially dangerous products. Buy products from reputable firms. Check Underwriter Laboritory’s website at www.UL.com and the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition website at: www.IACC.org for listings of products discovered to be counterfeit. Be wary of name brand products sold at below market prices or firms offering below market pricing.
Frontier Lighting is an authorized distributor for hundreds of the industry’s leading manufacturers
Frontier Lighting is an authorized distributor for hundreds of the industry’s leading manufacturers, including Osram Sylvania, Lithonia, Advance, TCP, Simkar, Stonco, Dual Lite, Daybrite, Philips, Sea Gull, Progress, RAB, Atlas and more. Frontier lighting is Osram Sylvania’s Largest Independent Lighting Distributor in Florida, and one of their top tier distributors in the United States. Visit our on-line superstore at: http://www.frontierlighting.com/vendors.jsp to find a partial listing of the authorized manufacturers we represent. Frontier Lighting is proud of the manufacturers we represent and distribute, and we would be glad to provide you with a letter of authorization from these manufacturers. Before you buy, ask your supplier for a letter of authorization for assurance that you are receiving the quality of products you are expecting to receive and that you are paying for. Since 1987, Frontier Lighting has been a customer focused wholesale lighting distributor serving the commercial and industrial markets with quality lighting products, outstanding customer service and cost effective lighting solutions. Frontier Lighting also supplies all the lighting needs you may have to keep your business or commercial facility in top shape, including specialty lighting, hard-to-find light bulbs and ballast, standard and long life light bulbs, LED Lighting, fluorescent and hid ballasts, replacement sockets, replacement lenses and globes, indoor, outdoor, and landscape light fixtures. Frontier Lighting has the right light for you and provides free daily delivery to businesses on Florida’s west coast and central Florida including; Clearwater, Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, Venice, Lakewood Ranch, Ft Myers, Naples, Tampa, and Lakeland, Tampa Bay and the surrounding metro areas via our fleet of delivery vans and Frontier Lighting ships lighting products daily across the USA via UPS and selected freight carriers.