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COUNTERFEITING:
EVERYONE'S PROBLEM

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, why aren't we happy about counterfeit Columbia products? Counterfeiting does a lot more than hurt our bottom line and increase the price of genuine goods. Counterfeit products are made in unregulated "sweatshops" run by organized criminal organizations. While some fake products may seem harmless, counterfeiting has severe effects that ripple throughout the world.

Counterfeit Products Hurt Consumers

When we use our name and trademarks on a product, we are telling outdoor enthusiasts the product they buy will live up to the quality and performance standards they have come to expect from Columbia Sportswear. Counterfeiters use that reputation for innovation and quality to trick consumers into purchasing products that are made from similar looking but very different materials. The “waterproof breathable” “Columbia” jacket you see for sale on a sketchy website may look real, but you are likely to notice a big difference the first time you wear it in the rain! At best, counterfeit workmanship and materials are sub-standard; at worst they can be dangerous. Many types of adhesives, metals and other substances are not intended for use with consumer products, but consumer safety is far from the minds of counterfeiters who simply make lookalike products at minimal cost.

Counterfeit Products Hurt workers

Illegal production facilities are not licensed or regulated and the working conditions are often filthy and unsafe. There is no oversight to ensure these factories comply with wage, hour and child labor laws. For information on how Columbia monitors registered facilities, please visit
www.columbia.com/corporateresponsibility

Counterfeit Products Hurt everyone

Finally, as counterfeit products are made and sold by criminals, local taxes and duties are not paid, environmental and public health regulations are routinely ignored and the profits are often used to finance other crimes and activities that most consumers would never intentionally support.

How to Avoid Buying Counterfeits

Columbia cannot authenticate products for you, so it is best to avoid purchasing products from suspicious sellers. Beware of websites that advertise discounts, etc., particularly if “Columbia” appears as part of the domain name. Counterfeits are also common in overseas “flea markets” or on marketplace and auction websites such as Taobao, eBay and Alibaba. Authorized Columbia retailers are not permitted to sell Columbia products on these sites.

What to Do If You Have Purchased a Counterfeit Item

If you believe you are the victim of a fraudulent transaction, we encourage you to report it to law enforcement. You may also wish to contact the payment processors (e.g., your credit card issuer) to request a chargeback.

You can report counterfeits and other fraud directly to Columbia Sportswear: brandprotection@columbia.com. Unfortunately, we are not able to authenticate products for you.

Suspicious Websites: PDF list.