Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Consumer Behavior toward Counterfeit Sporting Goods

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Consumer Behavior toward Counterfeit Sporting Goods

Article excerpt

We proposed and tested an extended model based on the theory of planned behavior to probe the mechanisms driving the purchase of counterfeit sporting goods (CSGs). Consumers (N = 333) in Taiwan completed surveys, and the results showed that subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and consumers' attitudes had a positive influence on purchase intention. In terms of extended variables, the results revealed no relationship between price-quality inference and consumers' attitudes, whereas risk averseness had a negative impact on consumers' attitudes. Differences were also found between the Internet and street vendors as purchase channels. These findings open a new direction for understanding CSGs purchasing behavior.

Keywords: counterfeit sporting goods, theory of planned behavior, consumer behavior, price-quality inference, risk averseness, purchase intention.

Counterfeit goods are defined as illegally made products that resemble the genuine goods but are typically of lower quality in terms of performance, reliability, or durability (Lai & Zaichkowsky, 1999). The global market for counterfeit goods is estimated to exceed $600 billion and has grown over 10,000% in the past two decades (Chaudhry & Zimmerman, 2013). Although it originated in categories such as luxury clothing and accessories, counterfeiting now affects a wide range of industries (Tuyls, Guajardo, Batina, & Kerins, 2007), and almost all product categories (Shultz, 1996). Of these categories, it is sporting goods that have become one of the main targets of counterfeiting, because the manufacture of sporting goods requires a low level of technicality (Transcrime, 2010).

In statistics on seizures reported by the U.S. customs agency in 2010, counterfeit sporting goods (CSGs) ranked high among all categories of seized counterfeit goods. Athletic shoes topped the list, accounting for 24% of all seizures by value, and sports clothing ranked third by value; in terms of the number of seizures, sports clothing ranked highest (Sports & Fitness Industry Association; SFIA, 2011). The Anti-Counterfeit Group (ACG, 2003) reported that branded sporting companies lose an estimated 11.5% of their annual revenue owing to the impact of counterfeiting. Thus, counterfeiting seriously damages the worldwide sales of different brands of sporting products. Although many brand marketers have taken independent legal action against counterfeiters (Ashuri, 1993), the counterfeiting of sports brands continues to grow rapidly in the global market (Phillips, 2007).

Although this is a serious problem, to our knowledge there has been little discussion of sporting goods as a target of counterfeiting. In contrast, purchasing behavior toward counterfeit goods has been investigated extensively with regard to luxury goods (Yoo & Lee, 2012) and pirated software (Batra & Sinha, 2000). Therefore, in this study we investigated the factors that influence consumers' CSGs purchase intention and decision.

In numerous recent studies, researchers have used the theory of planned behavior (TPB) as a base theory to explain individuals' behavioral intentions (e.g., Alfadl, Ibrahim, & Hassali, 2012; Jirotmontree, 2013; Yoon, 2011). Thus, our purpose in this study was to use the TPB in our investigation of consumer behavior underlying the purchase of CSGs.

Literature Review and Hypotheses

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)

The TPB is a well-researched intention model that has been successful for use in predicting and explaining behavior across a wide variety of domains. According to the TPB, purchase behavior is determined by purchase intention, which is, in turn, determined by subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and attitude (Ajzen, 1991). The links among subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and attitude toward purchases have been fully examined with various products (e.g., Alfadl, Ibrahim, & Hassali, 2012; Jirotmontree, 2013; Yoon, 2011), but not with sporting goods. …

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