Counterfeit products attract 71% of the population in Madagascar!

25/06/2019. The people of Madagascar have been renowned for their great wisdom for many centuries. Our ancestors, elders and state authorities at every level have instilled in each of us that imitating the individual property of others is an act of theft, and that it can be punished by the laws in force. However, in the society in which we now live, do Malagasy people still not take into account the lessons of their ancestors and elders? Or do they prefer the easy way out as with counterfeit products and brands? Stileex Post is therefore committed to focusing on counterfeit products in Madagascar, in the opinion of the Tananarivians.

Buying counterfeit products in Madagascar: the majority of Tananarivians assume it

In fact, 71% of the Tananarivians interviewed in our survey admitted having already purchased counterfeit products. For the remaining 29%, they refuse to buy or just use them. Thus, we asked these Tananarivians why they are reluctant to do so. According to 59% of these respondents, counterfeit products are always of poor quality, in Madagascar or elsewhere. 32% of them also think that they have no real interest in buying this kind of luxury products and technology.

Obviously, the cost of living and purchasing power (4%), or respect for the law (1%) and the fear of favouring criminal networks (1%) weigh heavily in the judgement of the good citizen of Tananarivo who refrains from acquiring counterfeit products.

Mobile telephony and lingerie are the most sought-after

We are in the 21st century, and communication is one of the primary axes of the society in which we live. Everyone feels the need to have at least one mobile phone. And since today, the Tananarivian is still looking for the latest in new technology, but with a limited budget, 29% of the citizens of the capital of Madagascar can only enjoy the use of counterfeit phones.

Mobile telephony is the most popular counterfeit product in Madagascar
Mobile telephony is the most popular counterfeit product in Madagascar

But it’s not just mobile phones that attract. According to the statistics we collected from the 22% of the city’s inhabitants, blouses, lingerie and other clothing accessories are very popular.

At first glance at the results of our surveys, figures of 11% reveal that Tananarivians also buy counterfeit electronics and household appliances, as well as beauty products (14%). So far, 8% of the citizens of Tana illegally buy CDs and DVDs as we say here “pirated”, even though artists, producers, and even local authorities are working together to fight the scourge of piracy.

Reasons influencing the purchase of counterfeit goods in Madagascar

The inhabitants of the City of Thousand no longer really care about the real product and the counterfeit one. Half and even more (57%) think that there is no difference between counterfeit and real products in Madagascar. A good reason according to them to buy reproductions.

Other Tananarivians, at 29%, justify themselves by mentioning the difference in prices, where the counterfeit is much cheaper. And even 10% of those surveyed offer counterfeit products as gifts. Let’s not forget those people who always want to wear and have branded products, but who don’t want to spend anything… they account for 4% in total.

We’re turning a blind eye to counterfeit goods in Madagascar

You will be surprised to see that a person can pay up to 400,000 Ariary just for the purchase of a single counterfeit product in Madagascar. According to the figures in our hands, 4% of the citizens of Tana spend a maximum of between 200.001 Ariary and 400.000 Ariary.

But on average, a little more than a quarter of the population (27%) pays between 60,000 Ariary and 100,000 Ariary. The 21% even dare to go a little higher, up to 200.000 Ariary, if some, at 23%, prefer to stay on a ceiling of 60.000 Ariary. For smaller portfolios (25%), they only pay between 10,000 and 30,000 Ariary.

During the last 12 months, a little less than 6 out of 10 Tananarivians, i.e. 58% of those surveyed, bought at least one copied product. The citizens of the City of Thousand are very keen on imitation products, as confirmed by the 39% of the inhabitants surveyed who have already acquired between 2 and 5 products in one year. Only 2% of the people met have obtained a maximum of 10 different products in one year. Essentially, foreign brands and products are the most appreciated and obviously the most copied, rather than “vita Malagasy” products.

It’s hard to tell if it’s counterfeit or not

It should not always be believed that the people of Tananarivo buy anything and everything of their own free will, especially counterfeit goods. In fact, according to the citizens of Antananarivo who answered our questions, almost all the residents of the capital (85%) have already bought counterfeit products, but without knowing it.

The 41% of these citizens have already experienced the same story several times, while 44% have experienced it only once in their lives. On the other hand, there are also 13% of the city’s inhabitants who claim never to be able to afford one or more reproductions without knowing it. This doesn’t mean that they don’t offer themselves copied products.

But fortunately, Malagasy art products are not especially targeted by buyers, although it must be admitted that producers and sellers of counterfeit products in Madagascar do not hesitate to imitate and copy the original works of their own colleagues.

It is sometimes difficult not to recognize counterfeit products, especially since in Madagascar there is no lack of inspiration.
It is sometimes difficult not to recognize counterfeit products, especially since in Madagascar there is no lack of inspiration.

Tananarivians are very confused about counterfeit products in Madagascar

In the capital of the Big Island, or even in the whole of Madagascar, the definition of what counterfeiting really is is still rather vague for Malagasy people. Worse still, the people of Tananarivo cannot yet conceive of the various aspects, especially the negative ones, brought by counterfeit products. You just have to see the answers on the downloadable computer graphics above. According to the people of Tananarivo, counterfeiting is :

  • dangerous to the law: 25%
  • poor working conditions: 18%
  • Anyway, you can see it’s a fake: 17%
  • fuel the underground economy and traffic: 13%
  • degrade the brand image and steal from companies: 9%
  • job destruction: 9%
  • buy a poor quality product that won’t last long: 6%
  • a way to fight against the high cost of living: 3%

At the judicial level, the people of Tananarivo do not at all appreciate the risks to which they are exposed by buying, selling or producing counterfeit products in Madagascar. In our survey, on a scale of 1 to 10, just over 7 people, or 71%, were convinced that counterfeit producers are the most at risk. But we should not close our eyes to the sellers (25%) and the buyers (4%), since they are also part of the traffic.

Few are still aware of the risks involved in counterfeiting
Few are still aware of the risks involved in counterfeiting

Counterfeit products are mostly on the street

You have surely noticed that in the city centre or in the outskirts, street vendors are not lacking. They compete for the best places in the streets, alleys, and even on the sidewalks to sell the most fake products.

And according to the Tananarivians who were surveyed, a quarter (25%) buy counterfeit products from small street vendors. These various copied products are also on sale in Chinese shops and Malagasy shops (38%), most of which are franchises. We have already seen above that citizens (17%) buy reproductions in the different markets of the city.

To conclude this survey

At first glance, the scourge of counterfeit goods in Madagascar is still far from being eradicated. This is also why the 63% of Tananarivians surveyed accused the State of not making any efforts. The remaining 36%, apart from the 1% who expressed no opinion, think that the authorities on the Big Island are joining hands to fight counterfeiting. I am personally touched first of all by the hope that the population (even if not all of it) gives to the State. But also the efforts that the latter is making for its people. Of course, the purchasing power of the average person is constantly decreasing, and the pace of life is becoming more and more difficult. But that does not mean that we should lower ourselves to counterfeit products in Madagascar. It all starts with good civic education.


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