Tupperware agents incensed by fakes

2012-05-27 11:49

Cape Town – The country’s 200 000-odd Tupperware agents are angry about the counterfeit products being sold as the real McCoy.

“The products are identical to at least 11 of our top sellers. We suspect they come from China,” said Allan Dando, Tupperware SA's president.

The direct selling group became aware of the problem last October, but it would seem that the counterfeit products entered the local market mid-2011. They are being sold across the country, but are seen mostly in the Eastern Cape.

Tupperware is the only large-scale player in its field in South Africa. Dando declines to disclose how many products Tupperware sells a year, but that the number is in the millions.

He says there are retailers who sell plastic Tupperware-like products, but those represent no problem to the company, because they are not sold as Tupperware.

Tupperware items that do appear on the shelves of retailers like Game and Makro are products on which Tupperware’s copyright has expired.

The current problem is that the word “Tupperware” appears on the counterfeit products and they look just the same but are selling for, say,  R17 and not R175. The quality is moreover inferior, which is hurting the Tupperware brand and its sales.

And buyers of the counterfeit products are approaching Tupperware and demanding replacement of their purchases. These goods are absolute rubbish, says Dando, and the buyers have to be turned away.

According to Verimark chief executive Mike van Straaten, the direct marketing industry is increasingly struggling with fake products. Over the past 35 years Verimark has had a great deal of experience in this regard. Counterfeiting is definitely on the increase.

The answer, he says, is having an effective legal team that can immediately take the necessary legal steps and confiscate the wares as quickly as possible.

Tupperware has managed to have counterfeit goods stacked high in a huge Johannesburg warehouse seized.

Dando says the distributors of the false goods have particularly strong ties to the Eastern Cape – where the products are especially prevalent.

Queenstown alone had eight points of sale.

Van Straaten says counterfeit products, which come mainly from China, are generally flogged in informal markets by street vendors or in so-called Chinese shopping centres. He explains that a distinction has to be drawn between counterfeits, parallel imports and grey products. The latter involves, for instance, the genuine products being stolen and then being sold in an irregular way.

"One cannot permit any counterfeiting to take root. It has to be stamped out, because this type of thing can destroy a brand."

Dando’s big problem is that his sales teams, who depend on Tupperware sales for an income, are being badly affected by the increase in counterfeit sales.

Tupperware provides work for about 200 000 sales people in South Africa. In the past three months some have had no income.

Dando also believes that the weaker sales are not related to the difficult economic environment, but rather to counterfeiting. Tupperware is growing strongly despite the economic pressure because people want to make extra money in times such as these.

“Counterfeiting to a degree makes us the victim of our own success because the counterfeiters know how popular the product is.”

Dando says it's essential for the public to know about the false products because so many people’s financial stability depends on this knowledge.

“Genuine Tupperware products can only be sold by registered marketers and have a lifelong guarantee,” he notes.

 - Sake24

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  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-27 12:54

    Further evidence that China does not create jobs in Africa, but destroys jobs!!!

      ec.dp.9 - 2012-05-28 07:13

      The Chinese are here to take advantage of the absence of any restriction on the number of children one is allowed to have....... they wil bread like flies! and take over and consume EBERYTING in the process. Watch this space in 20 years from now.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-27 12:54

    Further evidence that China does not create jobs in Africa, but destroys jobs!!!

  • Ismail - 2012-05-27 13:29


  • Susan - 2012-05-27 13:43

    I think people have stopped buying Tupperware because it is expensive, now the president is looking for someone to blame....

      Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-05-27 14:37

      Everything you buy on the street is made in China from the Rugby jersey to the tupperware you using. Why do you think its called a fong kong item

  • Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-05-27 14:32

    Further evidence that Zuma needs to break ties with the chinese they stealing jobs here and poaching our Rhino

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-05-27 14:34

    Africa is being passively colonised by China

  • Gerald - 2012-05-27 15:15

    Tupperware PresLes Avon etc are end of the day all pyramid schemes. They will blame a R200 movement on some cute plastic buttons sale. And the amount of times they rip off poor rural stupids? "Dando declines to disclose but that number is in the millions".

  • templar.known - 2012-05-28 08:26

    Let's see: Chinese plastic goods=rubbish Tupperware=rubbish I don't see the problem?

  • revilo.marley.9 - 2012-05-28 09:22

    R17 versus R175! Bring on the "fakes"! What quality in the Tupperware range justifies charging 10x more for a product. And this is the Eastern Cape we are talking about as the problem area. Eastern Cape people can not afford R175 for a plastic bowl. It's not China's fault, maybe Tupperware should launch a low cost range of their items available to those who can not afford the other stuff! Stop complaining Tupperware, compromise!

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