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Counterfeit purchase typologies during an economic crisis

Constantinos-Vasilios Priporas (Middlesex University Business School, London, UK,)
Irene Kamenidou (Kavala Institute of Technology, Kavala, Greece,)
Alexandros Kapoulas (City College, An International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Filomila Maria Papadopoulou (City College, An International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, Thessaloniki, Greece)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




This paper aims to explore, and attempts to explain, consumer perspectives on the purchasing of counterfeit brands. The economic crisis has become a global phenomenon, although in Europe it mostly affected the Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe. In times of economic stress, counterfeit products increase their market share.


The study utilized an email-based open-ended questionnaire as its data collection method. The research used a sample of 83 participants belonging to Generation Y (younger and older) and upper-medium- and high-income class brackets.


Purchasing behaviour of counterfeit products during the economic crisis enabled this study to identify four types of consumers. Furthermore, the results indicated that some consumers have significant interest in counterfeits, whereas some consumers show apathy or indifference towards counterfeiting. Furthermore, some consumers believe that the government’s economic austerity policies cause high-level consumption of counterfeits, whereas others consider the authorities to be responsible for counterfeiting, as they do not adequately tackle it.

Research limitations/implications

This research is exploratory in nature and restricted to Greek Generation Y consumers. Suggestions are presented regarding future studies and generalization of the findings.

Practical implications

Implementation of law, joint communication campaigns and social media usage are the major implications for the stakeholders in the marketplace.


This study extends the body of knowledge of purchasing behaviour on non-deceptive counterfeit products by offering empirical findings from Greece, a country facing a severe economic crisis. This is the first study that explores counterfeit buying behaviour during an economic crisis period.



Priporas, C.-V., Kamenidou, I., Kapoulas, A. and Papadopoulou, F.M. (2015), "Counterfeit purchase typologies during an economic crisis", European Business Review, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 2-16.



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