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Xerox tightens grip on counterfeiters

Vendor programme targets suppliers of fake spare parts

Xerox tightens grip on counterfeiters
Smith says fake goods are not just an OEM issue as they also impact governments, channel and consumers.

After conducting raids in China and Dubai earlier this year that turned up more than 55,000 boxes of counterfeit parts made for its products, Xerox has become one of a growing group of IT vendors to tighten grip on fake products with rigorous anti-counterfeiting initiatives.

And the scary part, according to Xerox, is that those 55,000 boxes, which were slated for distribution in the US, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Russia, Brazil and South America, are just a drop in the bucket, given the size, and continued growth, of the counterfeit market within the printing and imaging industry.

"Globally, the size of the counterfeit market is reported to be between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. And that's just within our industry sector," said Kevin Weaver, vice president of Brand Protection at Xerox, citing research from The Imaging Supplies Coalition. "And do we expect it to increase? Yes, we do."

To help curb that growth, Xerox in May this year introduced the Genuine Xerox Rewards Program, which rewards customers for validating the authenticity of their Xerox products online.

"It's not unlike a frequent flier programme, where you sign up and every time you fly you get points equivalent to the number of miles you have flown," explained Christian Redder, marketing manager at Xerox. "If you get a Xerox printer, you register the printer -- which means you effectively sign up for the program -- and we start you out with 1,000 points."

In June this year, Dan Smith, head of Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa region of Xerox's Developing Markets said in an interview with Channel Middle East that: "Counterfeit production is not just an OEM issue. It impacts governments, resellers and customers due to lost taxes and investments in poorly made products. Purchasers who think they are cutting cost with counterfeit items are instead jeopardising the safety of their equipment and the quality of printed materials."

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