Female Business Owners Behind Airigan Solutions Working to Raise Awareness of Issues that Allow Counterfeiters
SOUTHPORT, Conn., April 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The entrepreneurs behind the Negg® Egg Products, the world’s #1 egg peeler, today announced they are increasing their efforts to bring attention to the ongoing issue of counterfeit products available on online platforms. The founders of the Negg® are now working with legislators in Connecticut, an intellectual property law firm, and other small business owners to combat this issue. The group recently participated in a town hall dedicated to exploring the topic of protecting intellectual property.
“We believe it is our duty to help other small business owners who are trying to navigate the world of online counterfeits,” said Bonnie Tyler, CEO of Airigan Solutions, LLC and founder of the Negg® Egg Products. “For years, my business partner and I have tried to protect our patented egg peeler and it becomes more difficult as time goes on. It is our hope that by working together with lawmakers and other entrepreneurs we can continue to fight for change.”
Every hour a counterfeit is available online, it hurts authentic businesses’ bottom lines and reputations. Shoppers are being duped with fake products that don’t meet CPSC standards, FDA guidelines or live up to the claim and quality of the brand name merchandise.
Founders of the Rapid Slicer® and Orange Screw participated in the town hall alongside Tyler and Negg® co-founder Sheila Torgan to express their counterfeit concerns to Representatives Charles Ferraro, Cristin McCarthy-Vahey, Jennifer Leeper and Senator James Maroney.
“Our paid marketing assets are essentially free for counterfeiters to use,” said Cindy Fox, inventor of the Rapid Slicer®. “We don’t even know how much we’ve lost because of this problem, but we know it’s significant.”
The group discussed the financial impact the fake products continue to make on their businesses, and the emotional toll the process has then on them personally. Orange Screw Founder Kirby Erdely described the depth of the effect. “My wife’s hand – her wedding ring – is on the counterfeit packaging,” he said. “It involves my family, which hits too close to home.”
One of the main issues all entrepreneurs face is the shipping cost discrepancy. They find that counterfeiters overseas are able to send products to the United States for much cheaper than shipping domestically from one state to another.
For example, a Negg® is priced at $14.95 including shipping, which can be as low as $3.50 domestically. Because of the current postal agreements in place, if someone buys a fake Negg® from overseas, it would only cost them less than $8 in total for the product and shipping. The price point alone can convince a potential customer to purchase the counterfeit, taking business away from the authentic business.
“The U.S. Postal Service spends nearly a half of a billion dollars a year to subsidize the cost of the final-mile delivery services from China into the United States,” said Erdely. “What’s even more astonishing is that these packages go through customs without having an inspection. We just want a level playing field.”
A lawyer from Ference Law shared that online marketplaces don’t have the motivation to police online counterfeiters, so it’s up to the business owners. “When you buy online, you’re likely buying from a third-party seller,” said Managing Partner Stanley Ference. “All you need is an email address for third-party sales, so people overseas are able to easily infiltrate the American market and have access to the subsidized mailing rates.”
Small business owners would like for other countries to be fairly taxed on the shipping costs, which would ultimately deter their selling online.
“Our own product videos are pirated and used by those selling fake Neggs®. Instead of spending time marketing and building our business, we are embroiled in legal battles to take down counterfeiters,” said Tyler.
The business owners were proud to educate local legislators about these issues. The representatives are currently working to get them in contact with individuals at the federal level to continue the conversation and raise awareness.