Mother’s Day in the UK is fast approaching and a welcome time to celebrate all the wonderful Mums out there. If you’re planning to treat your Mum with a special gift, it’s important to keep one step ahead of counterfeiters, who use every opportunity to cash in on this special day.
From perennial favourites such as perfume and skincare to electrical gift ideas, let our handy brand protection tips guide you on how to spot – and avoid – buying a fake this Mother’s Day.
Popular Counterfeited Products
Perfume is always a popular gift item especially on Mother’s Day — but the harmful effects of buying a fake can be catastrophic. Causing mild irritation to severe reactions, fake fragrances swap top ingredients for cheap substitutes, with some of the worst offenders containing methanol, human urine and other toxic chemicals.
As recently as December 2022, police raids in Manchester seized a cache of fake perfume with an estimated street value of over £60K. Ripping off leading brands including Chanel, Jo Malone and Hugo Boss, they represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fake brands – and the dangers which a cheap choice can make.
Another top choice on Mother’s Day, the makeup industry remains a buoyant market, with an endless range of products and price points. However, when it comes to choosing what to buy, counterfeit cosmetics don’t undergo the rigorous testing which makes the real thing consumer-safe and properly sourced.
The result: many have been found to contain illegal ingredients, including arsenic, mercury and lead – leading to disastrous side effects including burning skin, swelling and rashes.
Dangerous Electrical Goods
Thinking of treating mum to a hair straightener or the latest trendy hairdryer? Fake electrical items are similarly dangerous, and can cause fires, burns or electric shocks.
Fortunately, popular brands including GHD are increasingly vocal about the risks, including dedicated website checker pages on their official site where you can search for where to buy their genuine products. What’s more, many newer electrical goods now contain unique QR codes, which can be scanned to validate a genuine product.
Besides the inherent risks, it’s also important to note that fake electrical items won’t come with a guarantee – leaving you out of pocket and unprotected when something goes wrong.
How to Spot a Counterfeit Beauty Product
Counterfeit products can be hard to identify. Their appearance can be deceptively sophisticated, while packaging has come a long way. So what should jump out as a red flag?
- Low Price
The price isn’t always right. If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
- Unusual Place of Purchase
Where are you buying? If it’s an unusual point of sale, such as a market stall, be mindful and think twice. Online, the same applies – whether browsing a social media sale or shadowy website. Remember, where possible always buy from a known stockist – or the brand itself.
- Poor Branding
Who is selling it and what does it look like? Obvious spelling errors and poor-quality images are often the clearest markers something is amiss.
- Dodgy Packaging
Does it look professional and good quality? Is there a barcode, batch number, proper instructions and ingredient lists displayed? Is the box sealed? If not, it may be a fake.
What’s at Stake When You Buy Fake
With the cost-of-living crisis upon us, it’s all too tempting to think you’re saving money by buying a cheaper branded ‘dupe’. However, as with any fake, the hidden cost is always worse – making counterfeits a damaging and dangerous choice on so many levels.
The Implications of Buying a Counterfeit:
- Counterfeits are no victimless crime. They undercut real brands and often fund organised crime, from drug rings to human trafficking.
- They are a false economy. While the upfront cost of counterfeits may be cheaper, they are typically poor quality and may even be dangerous to use – meaning you’ll have to shell out again. What’s more, you’re unlikely to get that refund.
- They are risky. With no consumer rights or regulations to follow, counterfeits are a minefield for consumers to navigate – with bad beauty products posing dangers, including skin irritation, poisoning and fire hazards.
With all these dangers, don’t get caught out this Mother’s Day. Remember to always look out for warning signs and shop safely from a reputable retailer. SnapDragon has lots of helpful resources and we help fight counterfeiters across a wide range of industries. For advice on brand protection, get in touch with us via phone on +44 (0) 131 466 9249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org