For those of us based outside the UK, today is celebrated as Mother’s Day. However, as many of us shop online to find that perfect gift for mum, it’s worth remembering that it is also a prime time for counterfeiters trying to con shoppers into buying fake products.
Shockingly, it’s the most common Mother’s Day gifts, such as cosmetics, fragrances, jewellery and labels that are among the top ten most investigated counterfeit products, according to the IP Crime and Enforcement Report of 2017/18.
It’s important that consumers are wary of where they are shopping and what they are buying for Mother’s Day – and any other type of gift for that matter – because, aside from being incredibly frustrating to discover what you’ve got is not actually the real deal, there are various health and safety risks with counterfeit products too.
Here at SnapDragon, we understand the frustration of counterfeits and all the risks that come with them. This is why we have created this small guide to help you shop wisely for Mother’s Day and avoid the counterfeits that are surfacing onto the market today.
Learn how to spot a fake
Counterfeits are designed to be convincing, which makes it difficult to differentiate between a genuine product and a fake one. However, when you are aware of some of the signs to look out for, it may make telling the difference that little bit easier. It’s usually the smallest of details which sets the fake and genuine items apart.
Notice the stitching that is used on bags and clothes, for example, as many brands may use certain colours of thread. Stitching on genuine products tends to be straight, neat, equal and have no fraying.
Many labels contain small details like numbers, words or logos, which can be massive clues to what is real and what is fake. Some brands might also add ‘secret ingredients’ onto labels, for example certain features that are only visible under a special light.
Shop at reputable businesses
It’s hard knowing where to shop for genuine products, especially when the IP Crime and Enforcement Report of 2017/18. report highlights that ordinary shops are the top most investigated locations for counterfeit products. Fakes can make their way onto the shelves of the most prominent shops. So how is it possible to trust any?
Finding a trustworthy online shop can be even harder, with hugely reputable online marketplaces coming under fire for not doing enough to crack down on counterfeit goods sold on their site.
When online shopping, make sure to check out the reviews. Are there lots of reviews, and, if so, are they mostly positive? This is often a good sign that the product is trustworthy.
If in doubt leave it out
If something about a product seems just a little bit too good to be true, like the price, for example, perhaps it is. This is more often the case with online shopping. Online shoppers can spend some time browsing for a product trying to find the best deal but could end up landing on a website where the product is a lot cheaper than it is on other websites. If you are in doubt about the authenticity of a product, leave it out and report it.
Finally, consumers should spend some time researching a product before setting out to buy it. Research reviews, the price and how it’s supposed to look. You can seek further information from the original manufacturers of the product can also give you some peace of mind. Nowadays, there are plenty of resources available like comparison photos and videos, to help consumers avoid counterfeit products.
What to look out for
Unfortunately, it’s the products you are likely to buy for Mother’s Day that are among some of the most copied.
Fragrances make great gifts for Mother’s Day. But consumers must shop for fragrances wisely, as The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) reveal that their members are continually exposing large amounts of fake perfume, some of which have contained toxic amounts of methanol and in some extreme cases urine.
Consumers can easily be lured into buying counterfeit high-end make-up products because the price of the real deal is steep. But counterfeit cosmetics, can be the most detrimental to your health, with harmful ingredients added to them that can cause swelling, rashes and even cancer.
Electrical Safety First (ESF) report that over 30% of consumers are purchasing electrical counterfeit goods, such as hair dryers and straighteners from online marketplaces. Shockingly, only 6% of these consumers could distinguish the fake product from the real one.
In some countries, counterfeit accessories like jewellery, watches, handbags and purses are openly sitting on streets, available to purchase. These are not to be trusted. Designer brands including Micheal Kors, Nike and Cartier are some of the most copied brands. Consumers should shop in official brand shops to ensure complete authenticity.
What we’re trying to say is don’t risk it. We all want to treat our Mother’s to the best we can afford, but her safety should definitely come first. Don’t let the counterfeiters win!
SnapDragon helps to tackle counterfeiters across a wide range of industries, with a 98% success rate. If you would like to discuss protecting your brand online, get in touch with us via phone on +44 (0) 131 466 9249 or email at email@example.com.
By Rachel Jones