When we think about counterfeit products, images of cheap handbags, watches, and sunglasses instantly come to mind. In reality everything from clothing, to medicine, to critical military equipment are being counterfeited and sold as legitimate products every day. Sadly, DLP projector lamps are no different. Over the last few years Chinese counterfeiters have dumped an abundance of knock-off DLP projector lamps on the market via websites like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. Counterfeit DLP projector lamps are not just about the manufacturer loosing revenue, counterfeit DLP projector lamps can present health, safety, and monetary risks to the unsuspecting customer.
Over the last decade we have seen an explosion in counterfeited products. The combination of overseas manufacturing, a global economy, and the internet have created the perfect environment for counterfeiters. To make matters worse, there is big money in counterfeiting products – it estimated that this underground industry generates over 600 billion dollars a year for dealers. The profit margin is higher than many legitimate business options. Sadly, when a counterfeiter is caught the punishments are usually minimal. But there are real, long-lasting consequences for the unsuspecting customers of counterfeit DLP projector lamps.
Counterfeit DLP projector lamps can be dangerous. Counterfeiters are in it for the money – if a counterfeiter can produce a DLP projector lamp cheaper by cutting corners on safety mechanisms then they will. Counterfeit products are not evaluated for safety therefore you don’t know what you are bringing into your home, school, or office. There are documented cases of counterfeit DLP lamps blowing up inside of high definition television sets. There are documented cases of the plastic casings melting to DLP projectors thereby preventing the lamp from being removed. Without safety regulations who’s to say that a cheap DLP projector lamp won’t burst into flames during your next sales presentation? The thought alone of hot flying glass, mercury, and fire should be enough to steer clear of these low quality products.
The brand names, trademarks, and patents of a company are considered to be intellectual property. Companies spend a lot of time and money to develop and market their brands to the public. When a counterfeiter creates a quick imitation DLP projector lamp and sells his low-quality product under the cost of the legitimate product he is setting off a chain reaction of problems that are harmful to the original business.
First, by cutting corners, the counterfeiter is creating an unrealistic pricing point in the mind of the consumer. Second, the counterfeiter is forcing the original company to either compete by cutting jobs or by cutting quality. Third, when the counterfeiter’s cheap replacement fails, the customer associates the lack of workmanship with the original company and not with the counterfeiter.
Counterfeit DLP projector lamps are bad news for everyone involved. As a consumer, it is up to us to avoid counterfeit DLP projector lamps and products. The only way to minimize demand for counterfeit products is to avoid buying them all together. The next time you are in the market for a replacement lamp for your DLP projector remember these steps:
- Do your research – If a product’s price appears to be too good to be true then it probably is
- Purchase from a reputable source – Companies that have built long term relationships with their customers are the least likely to carry cheap counterfeits
- Ask about the return policy – Any reputable company will have clear guidelines for how they handle returns. If they boast a “no refund” or “no return” policy then run for the hills!
Now that you are equipped with the proper knowledge – have fun shopping around!