Roger Community Auction opens week after federal agents seized c - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Roger Community Auction opens week after federal agents seized counterfeit merchandise

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A week after federal agents seized more than half a million dollars worth of counterfeit merchandise from several vendors, the Rogers Community Auction opened for its normal Friday sale.

After more than 50 years, what many still call the Rogers Flea Market has grown. It now covers more than 120 acres. It's open every Friday and it's free.

"On a good Friday, like today, when the weathers great we average between 80 and 90 percent full on vendors, which is somewhere around 1,300 to 1,400 spots. About 350 of that's under roof," said Wade Baer of the family owned business.

During a search last week, federal agents found several vendors peddling counterfeit merchandise.

On the list of rules for vendors, number one is they won't tolerate counterfeit products, but with so many vendors it's difficult to check everything.

"We get around and check what we can. It's very hard for us to police for it because we don't know everything that is counterfeit because of lot of it looks very good," Baer said.

Some vendors have been coming here for years and they are glad the market is working with authorities to crackdown on the phonies.

"Definitely that is the right thing to do. You can't be passing off stuff as something that it isn't," said antique vendor Charles Mustake of Negley, Ohio.

Jeff Farmer, who deals only in officially licensed tee-shirts and other merchandise, also appreciates the effort to get rid of the counterfeiters.

'It really helps to justify my prices on quality as compared to just something cheap," Farmer said.

The federal agents took down fewer than a dozen vendors out of more than a thousand and Baer says the market is really made of good people selling honest merchandise for an honest price.

When it comes to the fakes and knockoffs he has one piece of advice.

"Anything that is name brand and very under priced, it's probably a counterfeit. That’s what the feds told us to look for," Baer said.

Some of the suspected items that were confiscated included batteries and perfumes which the agents said could contain chemicals harmful to humans.

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