When Amazon announced it was launching an internal Counterfeit Crime Unit in July, it sent a message to those sellers proliferating fake goods. If the world’s largest online retailer is aiming for zero counterfeit and inferior quality products on its website, there is an equal zero tolerance policy towards those who sell and manufacture them.
But Amazon is not the only outlet for such goods. Many shoppers view buying fake luxury items as a harmless or ‘fun’ way to bag a bargain. How bad could it be buying a fake logo bag from Burberry, Chanel or Louis Vuitton? Or a fake Canada Goose parka from an obscure Chinese website?
22m British buy fake items online British consumers are unknowingly spending 3.2 billion pounds on fake designer brands, according to data released by H&T Pawnbrokers, with one in three Brits buying fake products online.
The data reveals which brands top the list of replica searches by analysing Google data in the UK for ‘fake’ alternatives of given brands: Yeezy, Balenciaga and Rolex top the list, with 15480, 15370 and 14010 monthly searches respectively.
Yeezy, Balenciaga and Rolex the most sought after fakes
Sarah Buck from H&T said in a statement: “Counterfeit designer goods are becoming increasingly common, particularly within the online second-hand market where consumers cannot see the items before they purchase them. Although clothing is the industry worst hit by fake products, replica jewellery is on the rise and Rolex is the most counterfeited watch worldwide, where there is clearly a demand with over 14,000 searches a month in the UK.
We would always recommend customers to do their research and buy from trusted sellers. Check reviews and see if they have past experience of selling and try using sites which authenticate products for you so you don’t need to worry about authenticity. At H&T we carry out thorough checks through our expert valuations team to ensure quality with our products every time so we can confirm if your item is the real deal.”
Of course the buying of a fake Gucci or Chanel bag is not just about buying luxury at bargain cost. The production and sale of counterfeit goods is a global, multi-billion dollar problem and one that has serious economic and health ramifications for Governments, businesses and consumers.
Counterfeiting is everywhere - it can affect what we eat, what we watch, what medicines we take and what we wear - and all too often the link between fake goods and transnational organized crime is overlooked in the search for knock-offs at bargain-basement prices.
Tips for spotting a fake
- If the price you have been offered seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Always research the price before purchasing.
- Look for spelling mistakes on labels, logos and instructions.
- Paperwork is no guarantee for authenticity as is it can be easily forged.
- Always get a receipt and check the returns policy.
Image via H&T Pawbrokers