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iPad ‘brandjackers’ are here. Knock off tabs are the hottest devices in black electronics market right now. Brand police MarkMonitor discovered more than 23,000 listings for suspected Apple iPad and Android counterfeits tabs in one day alone, as well as over 6,600 “cybersquatted” web sites flogging the dodgy devices.

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This looks suspiciously like a Samsung Galaxy 7 inch tab knock off…

And the grey market sites are proving a hit – quite literally – with 75 million people visitors to sites per year. The sites included both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer and five top tablet brands were checked.

And little wonder cheapie tabs are on the up. iPad 2 doesn’t come cheap and starts at AU$579 for 16GB model, and goes up to $949 for 64GB from Apple.com.

10 inch Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer all retail at around $500 here and tablets look to be the hot Christmas pressie this year, set to total 63.6 million units by year end a whopping 261.4 percent jump from 2010 , according to Gartner research.

Apple’s iPad is projected to account for 73.4 percent of all tabs bought.

“Online brandjackers pay close attention to market trends, especially those involving well-known brands, and are quick to put those trends and brand names to their own use,” said Frederick Felman, CMO of MarkMonitor.

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Click to enlarge

“As we head into the holiday shopping season, consumers should beware these ‘brand impersonators’ who are hidden in plain sight while brands need to be extra vigilant in foiling those who seek to profit at their expense.”

The online tablet business is booming, and brandjackers are profiting richly as they target consumers searching for bargains, the brand police warn.

Almost 20% of the listings promoting clones used branded terms so that consumers searching for the genuine brand would find the clone tablets listed alongside the branded goods.

 

Suspected counterfeiters often employed tactics to seem legit included using photos of branded goods in listings without mentioning the brand or blurring the brand names in photos.

In contrast, gray market sellers priced their genuine goods at a premium to authorized channels, with prices averaging 15% higher than manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and, in some cases, almost 50% higher in geographies where the genuine product is not yet available.

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