When it comes to China manufacturing its always bad news when products like Fidget Cube, the uber-popular desk toy gets knocked off. Someone not only copied their product but also their product name.
People who participated on Fidget Cube’s Kickstarter page thought they would be the first group of people to receive the coveted little gadget. Unfortunately, there was a production delay. Fidget Cube’s inventors discovered something within the original design they wanted to improve on, and, being the quality conscious people they are, decided they should delay production.
Suddenly, “Fidget Cubes” were for sale all over the web. Amazon.com was (and still is as of this writing) flush with “Fidget Cubes” in a wide variety of colors from China manufacturing. These “Fidget Cubes” were available for about a fourth of the price of the authentic Cube. The interesting thing about these knock offs is that not only did the pictured product and packaging look legit, but the pricing was set to look like the original price, and then was drastically reduced.
This is a company’s worst nightmare. How did it happen? We tried contacting Fidget Cube for details, but the auto response we received was that they are busy filling orders. Therefore, we will take an educated guess.
First, Fidget Cube was being announced and promoted everywhere. As the saying goes- “Any publicity is good publicity”, this time was the exception. The highly-detailed descriptions of the Cubes showing what each feature was and how it worked, made it relatively easy to copy.
Another issue could have been that Fidget Cube did not spend the $190.00 to register their trademark with US Customs. The Department of Homeland Security and US Customs are powerful resources to help companies guard against being knocked off. Having your intellectual property protected is worth doing the research into what it takes to do China manufacturing effectively.
It’s highly doubtful anyone connected with Fidget Cube’s China manufacturing company had anything to do with these fake Cubes. As a good rule of thumb, it’s always in the factory’s best interest to keep the details of the product they are manufacturing a secret. What most likely happened in this case however, is typically what happens when any product is knocked off…someone buys a product off the shelf of a retail store or on a website, and simply copies it.
And with the images and descriptions that were available about the product, an actual sample was not needed. As with most knockoffs, the fake Fidget Cube is of lower quality, much less expensive, does not work like the original, and has much cheaper packaging. The faux cubes could be made relatively quickly because the fakers were not highly concerned about quality. One of the tell-tale signs is the parting lines of the fake Cube. The original lines are almost invisible; the fake’s – not so much.
Though the original Fidget Cube’s Kickstarter campaign was tremendously successful, sales of the authentic cube after Kickstarter fulfillment had to be impacted. And unfortunately, with the delay of the original Fidget Cube, faux China manufacturing had time to get their knock-off cubes to market first.
There will be people who purchased the fake cube thinking it’s authentic and now may very well think the product is a “piece of junk” made in China. Or they might think “for $4.00 this one is good enough” and may never experience the excellent quality of the original.
Get Non-Disclosure Non-Compete agreements signed BEFORE you reveal the details of your product. There are companies out there deathly afraid of being knocked off, but are sending details of their new product(s) here and there, or having websites dedicated to the new product live on the web in advance of availability.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to work through a reputable American-based, full-service China manufacturing company with a trusted, dedicated, full-time staff on the ground in China. A company like ITI Manufacturing can take you through the proper channels and help protect your product from knock-offs. Contact us to learn how we help protect your intellectual property, move your product to market quicker, save you money and headaches, and guarantee no manufacturing defects. Call (281) 242-7030.