How to Spot Counterfeit and What To Do About It
Counterfeit products have become a major problem for brands, businesses, and consumers alike. That is especially true in the age of online shopping and eCommerce, where it can be difficult to distinguish between an authentic and a fake product.
Fortunately, there are ways to identify counterfeit products before you buy them. Here are a few tips for spotting fake goods.
Be on the defense
The best way to spot counterfeit products is to always be on the defense. In other words, you should always be on the lookout for fraudulent products. Although constantly being on the defense might sound exhausting, it’ll be worth it when you have a genuine product instead of a fake.
While many businesses have anticounterfeiting solutions in place to protect their assets, you shouldn’t take that for granted. Always take the appropriate steps to ensure you’re getting a quality product, even if it takes extra time and effort.
Check the seller’s reputation
Before making any purchase, try to research the seller. If there have been reports of counterfeits or scams associated with the seller, move on to another. Sites like Amazon and eBay have detailed customer reviews and ratings that can provide valuable insight.
Take the time to read customer reviews to get a clear seller overview. In many cases, reviewers will comment on the company’s quality or customer service. However, when reading reviews, be wary of any that are overly positive or have a “rose-colored glasses” perspective, as they might not be legitimate.
Look for official logos
Most legitimate products feature logos or labels from their manufacturers. If the product you’re considering doesn’t have official graphics from its maker, it’s likely counterfeit. You can also check to see if the logo has been printed onto the package or is simply a sticker added later.
A professional logo should have a smooth, grain-free appearance. Blurry and crooked logos are typically a dead giveaway that a product is fake. Likewise, low-quality product images online are another indicator to look out for. In addition, a painted logo that flakes or wears off quickly suggests a product isn’t the real deal.
Examine product materials
When looking at physical items like clothes or electronics, examine them closely for signs of counterfeit materials. Many counterfeits are made with cheaper alternatives like plastic instead of metal parts or synthetic fabrics instead of natural ones.
If you’re ordering online, reviews or product descriptions are the best places for information about the materials. For example, if a product appears metallic but doesn’t list metals or mentions plastic in the reviews, it might not be what it seems to be on the surface.
Consider the price
Counterfeit products are often much cheaper than their genuine counterparts. The lower price is because manufacturers don’t need to meet certain standards of quality or safety regulations. Even a high-quality fake isn’t necessarily the equivalent of the product it imitates.
Unfortunately, purchasing something when you think it’s a good deal can be tempting. If you come across a product with an unusually low price tag, it might be best to check its authenticity before making your purchase. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Check listings for errors
If you’ve ever received an email from a scammer, you probably know how easy it can be to spot a fake. Grammatical errors, incoherent word usage, or blurry images are all signs that what you’re reading isn’t what it says it is. In that same regard, it’s crucial to read each listing carefully if you’re ordering items online instead of in person.
On the surface, some product descriptions or advertisements might look professional and legit. However, upon closer inspection, many of those same ads are riddled with typos, broken links, and grammatical errors. These errors are an excellent indicator of fraud.
Spotting counterfeit goods can be tricky. If you’re still unsure whether or not an item is genuine after doing your research, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the company or seller with questions or concerns. Ultimately, always trust your gut when it comes to your purchases. Following the tips here is the first step in protecting yourself and your wallet from those who might take advantage.