Further, a new survey conducted by Red Points, the brand protection firm, found on average consumers have spent $265 more on sporting gear and equipment during quarantine than they otherwise would have. The survey also revealed half of consumers have purchased counterfeit items within the category, both purposefully and accidentally.

Of those who purchased counterfeit items within the sporting goods category the company fund nearly 30 percent had purchased cardio equipment, 22 percent purchased yoga and flexing equipment and 19 percent purchased apparel and accessories.

“I was shocked by 50 percent of people buying counterfeits and secondarily shocked that almost 30 percent bought it knowingly,” said Daniel Shapiro, vice president of strategic partnerships and brand relationships at Red Points. “They looked at it, they knew enough about the brand to know whether it was real or not. and they bought it anyway.”

According to Red Points, there has also been a surge of new counterfeit sporting items entering the marketplace since quarantine began. Notably, the company saw a 110 percent increase of counterfeit detection from April to June, when compared to pre-COVID-19 months. The counterfeits have been found across online marketplaces and social media.

“In this case, counterfeit is taking 28 percent of their business from a brand,” Shapiro said. “This is a call to action to brands that says if you’re not protecting your brand aggressively, either through your own team or through hiring a partner like us, but not doing something in this particular time could cause you to go out of business. I’m so nervous that some of these small brands won’t be here tomorrow if they’re going to give up 20 percent of your business to a counterfeiter.”

But losing sales is not the only way counterfeits hurt a brand. Red Point’s research revealed that 22 percent of people who purchase a counterfeit hold that brand responsible for not taking action against the seller when they are disappointed by the product. According to Red Point’s data, these consumers are also susceptible to writing negative reviews on a brand’s website when they are unaware the purchased item was unauthentic.