The 5 Most Counterfeited Products in the U.S.

March 14, 2011

Shoppers who frequent online auction sites know there's sometimes a danger that the products listed for sale could be counterfeit goods. But experts say the chances of buying a phony product are far greater if you're shopping for certain items that are favorites of counterfeiters. Here are products most likely to be fake goods.

Shoppers who frequent online auction sites such as eBay generally know there’s sometimes a danger that the

products listed for sale could be counterfeit goods. But experts say the chances of buying a phony product are far greater if you’re

shopping for certain items that are favorites of counterfeiters.

Daily Finance recently published a list of the most counterfeited products sold in America, as ranked by financial-news and information website 24/7 Wall St. To come up with the list, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Homeland Security Department's Customs and Border Protection unit, the Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement, the International Authentication Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and PC World magazine.

Not surprisingly, the country that produced the most counterfeit goods seized in the U.S. was China, accounting for 79% of the total domestic value for all international property rights seizures, according to the Daily Finance report.

Though pharmaceuticals weren’t at the very top of the list of the most counterfeited goods, they were close: Slightly more than $11 million worth of counterfeit drugs were seized in 2009, most of which came from China and India.

So which name-brand goods are most likely to be phonies? Here are the Top 5 most counterfeited products, according to Daily Finance.

1. Footwear.

Percent of Total Seizures: 38%.

Nearly $100 million worth of counterfeit footwear was seized entering the U.S. in 2009, Daily Finance reported, with 98% of it produced in China.

2. Consumer Electronics.

Percent of Total Seizures: 12%.

Hong Kong and China produced the bulk of the counterfeited consumer electronics seized in 2009, including cell phones, digital music players and cameras, Daily Finance said.

3. Handbags/Wallets/Backpacks.

Percent of Total Seizures: 8%.

Fake designer bag abound in flea markets, city street vendors and online auctions, and the bulk of them are coming directly from China. According to Daily Finance, the CBP seized $21.5 million worth of counterfeit bags coming into the country, and China exported $19.5 million of them.

4. Apparel.

Percent of Total Seizures: 8%.

Counterfeiters generally target designer fashions, such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Daily Finance said. There was only slightly less apparel seized than handbags, wallets and backpacks. And, like phony designer bags, most of the counterfeit apparel seized was made in China.

5. Watches.Percent of Total Seizures: 6%.Hong Kong is responsible for producing the greatest number of fake designer watches, with replicas of every Rolex model available, as well as Panerai and Omega models, Daily Finance said.

See the complete Top 10 list of counterfeit products at Daily Finance.