Beware of Counterfeits and Cheap Alternatives

Beware counterfeits and cheap alternatives when it comes to your kitchen cupboards (and BICs).






PG Bison has a long-standing reputation, for producing high-quality products, achieved over many years. Continuously investing in world-leading technologies, manufacturing facilities, product ranges, marketing materials and relationships has helped build its brand, while ensuring people can depend on its products to perform as expected. But, as with most market-leading branded products, there is always the lure of cheaper alternatives and counterfeits.

For some time, cheap alternatives and counterfeit decorative board products have been available in the South African market. Although PG Bison has warned consumers against buying knock-off PG Bison products, the company has again been made aware of instances where homeowners have been deceived into having counterfeit products installed – particularly gloss-finish cabinets – under the pretext of it being genuine product, only to then have the product fail after a few months. Failures include colours fading or changing, especially in sunlight (particularly gloss whites, which turn yellow), bowing, and boards demonstrating low-performance characteristics (for example, screws and hinges pulling loose due to sub-standard board used for the substrate).




PG Bison boards are manufactured in South Africa and adhere to stringent international quality standards. "Our boards must conform to precise international parameters, such as internal bond strength (IBS). IBS is a property that determines screw-holding and ensures the cabinetry doors do not pull off their hinges. We have had a few calls in the past few months from people who have experienced various product failures and have been misled into thinking they had purchased PG Bison MelaWood SupaGloss. When we inspected the kitchen, we discovered it to be counterfeit product," says Justin Berry, Executive: Marketing and Strategic Development at PG Bison. "It's tragic for the homeowner to invest in improving their kitchen, and value of their home, only to experience product failure. We strongly recommend that homeowners, installers and designers double-check product stamps and labels to ensure they get legitimate PG Bison products."





How to identify the real deal

Berry says there are several things to look for when purchasing PG Bison products that can potentially assist in preventing customers from becoming victims of passing off (somebody falsely representing their goods or business as that of another person). "Across our product ranges, the board edges are stamped with our brand names. Boards will always carry the specific PG Bison brand, whether MelaWood, Formica LifeSeal Worktops (this is printed on the underside of the worktop), BisonLam, SupaMatt, SupaTexture or SupaGloss," he says.

"While not failproof, another thing to look for is board size. Our decorative boards come in standard sheet sizes, the vast majority of which are 2750mm x 1830mm (9ft x 6ft). Some imported decorative boards are 2440mm x 1220mm (8ft x 4ft) or 2800mm x 2050mm. But that is not to say you will not find a counterfeit board that is 2750mm x 1830mm in sheet size. PG Bison boards also are a standard thickness of 16mm, while imported products can range from 15mm to 18mm. We often find 15mm board sold as 16mm board; this impacts the hinge potholes and screw depth, thus ultimately impacting the finished door quality," says Berry.







"Another way to identify PG Bison boards is by checking the colour on the back of the board. PG Bison's boards will always be the same colour on the reverse as on the front side of the board, while some imports or counterfeits have a white backer. It is also worth checking the finish," says Berry. "On our SupaGloss boards, we use our Peen texture, which is a lightly stippled texture, and on our SupaMatt boards, we use our Natural Touch texture on the reverse side, which is a soft matt finish. On some counterfeit products, the reverse side is very smooth with a silky satin finish. That's not a finish we use on our decorative products."

PG Bison urges contractors and homeowners to check the boards supplied against the samples provided in the PG Bison sample boxes to ensure the surface finish and colour they ordered match the PG Bison product they selected.




Why counterfeiting is a problem

Copying the trademarks, brands and colours registered and owned by a company is illegal. Buying counterfeit products supports criminal activity – essentially the theft of a brand or trademark. But beyond this, counterfeit products pose several risks to various stakeholders. "As we have seen with the homeowners who call us after a product failure, there are quality risks when you buy knock-off products, which are usually inferior to the real deal," says Berry. "The homeowner has no recourse if the product is a fake, whereas when you buy a genuine PG Bison product, we stand by our products and their quality."

Buying PG Bison products ensures product availability and colour and design consistency, whereas customers who have purchased counterfeited products may struggle to match their boards should they ever need repairs or extensions.

There is also a risk to the reputations and businesses of installers, contractors, and retailers if they are found to have used or sold counterfeit products.







"Buying counterfeits has long-reaching consequences," says Berry. "At PG Bison, we continuously invest in our manufacturing facilities, product ranges, marketing material, technical support and customer relationships to ensure our products remain the trusted brand across Africa. When our trademarks, brands and products are counterfeited, it places our customers at risk. If the counterfeit market continues, it will also put our investments, local jobs, and the local manufacturing economy at risk. If you have any doubt about whether a board you have purchased is a genuine PG Bison product, do not hesitate to contact your local PG Bison sales representative, and we will help you confirm if it is the real deal. PG Bison's regional sales contact details can be found on"








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