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Gray Wail

Executives at GT Bicycles were ecstatic when Moscow businessman James Avchuk offered to help them break into the burgeoning Russian market for
oakleys sunglasses upscale Western goods.

A deal was quickly struck, and in mid 1995, Santa Ana based GT began shipping 2,600 pricey mountain bikes.

cheap fake oakley sunglasses is now suing Price/Costco, alleging that the giant retailer conspired with Avchuk to
fake cheap oakleys illegally steer bikes into its stores. The
oakley sunglasses discount lawsuit highlights the bitter infighting between upscale manufacturers, many of which limit sales to pricier shops, and discount chains, which are scrambling to sate consumer demand for hot name brands at bargain basement prices.

As its name suggests, the gray market operates somewhere between the black market, where goods change hands illegally, and the general retail market, where most products are sold. Unlike the costly and growing counterfeit market, which involves imitations, the gray market involves legitimate goods.

Most gray market transactions are perfectly legal. Manufacturers complain that this undermines their pricing strategies.

Consumers can get burned when they buy a computer or automobile designed for another market because regulatory requirements vary from country to country. And, the Better Business Bureau cautions, not all gray market goods carry warranties.

But despite the cautionary notes, the gray market is thriving because consumers want to buy quality products at rock bottom prices.

"Brands are the sprinkles on top of the ice cream cone," said New York based retail industry newsletter publisher Alan Milstein. "They’re the colorful stuff that makes the rest of the cone look good."

Manufacturers go to great lengths to protect their pricey images. Some use detectives to police distribution channels, while others imprint secret codes on their products to trace leaks. And it’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to pull out its checkbook and buy goods that somehow end up in a discount store.

Companies such
cheap oakleys as GT maintain that it’s outright fraud when discounters work in concert with middlemen to get their hands on their exclusive goods.

Retailers such as Price/Costco won’t discuss their role in the gray market. But in court documents, they say they’re merely catering to customers by selling goods at the lowest prices possible.

Yet even executives at upscale manufacturing companies acknowledge that the gray market provides an instant barometer of how status conscious consumers view their goods. "I guess if that time comes around, I’m even more worried."

Manufacturers and retailers typically enjoy a symbiotic relationship. But the gray market can be a touchy area, and both sides resort to cat and mouse games as they scramble to turn a profit.

Executives at No Fear once tracked a truckload of sealed containers from their Carlsbad headquarters to the Port of Long Beach, where a crew scurried to unload the apparel before shipping the empty container off to India.

"We fight tooth and nail to keep our product out of certain stores," Moates said. "You really have no
replica oakleys other choice. Once your trademark loses its purity, the value goes down."Even as they fight to control where their merchandise is sold, some manufacturers express a grudging admiration for the gray market’s inherent efficiency.

"We’ve had a product introduced in the Chinese market that resurfaced a couple of months later in Sweden," McCracken said. "Go figure. It’s
cheap oakley sunglasses wholesale all operating right below the surface, and if you factor in the supposed tariffs and freight charges, it’s hard to believe that they can make a profit."Articles Connexes:

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