Valentine's Day is just around the corner and while some have it all figured out, others still may not know what to get their significant other. If you are in the latter group, you are in luck: this weekend, small businesses and major retailers alike are having eye-catching sales on luxury gifts for that special person in your life. Unfortunately, counterfeiters are also trying to take advantage of the holiday.
While many of these small businesses do sell genuine products, some businesses are selling the counterfeit versions - especially online. These businesses may not even know that they're selling counterfeits: when they source goods from "trusted" distributors, they may be tricked into thinking that the fakes are original. Unfortunately, some of these business owners have not educated themselves on how to detect fake products, and ultimately, the consumer gets duped.
Over the years, Sproxil has been helping brands protect their products by enabling consumers to verify that the items they are purchasing come from a genuine, legitimate manufacturer. We've learned a lot about how to detect fake luxury items. With that said, here are seven ways to spot fake luxury products:
- The anti-counterfeiting golden rule: If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Check the website of the brand or check their authorized retailers' websites to compare pricing.
- If a brand name item is not purchased from an authorized retailer, there is a chance it may be counterfeit. Most fashion designers sell their products through major retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macys, and Neiman Marcus. If you decide to purchase from retailers not publicly authorized to sell the brand, there is a good probability that it may not be original. However, many smaller retailers do buy direct from fashion designers or from bigger retailers, so don't jump to assumptions so quickly!
- The quality isn't the same. If the material does not look or feel like its high quality, genuine counterpart, it's likely counterfeit. However, really good versions of knock-offs do exist and stolen products can hit retail shelves, so it's important not to view this as the only way to determine a product's authenticity. Be on the look out and educate yourself by checking brand websites and blogs on ways to determine a product's authenticity via inspection.
- There are typos. Be wary of wrong spelling on the labels of products as this could be a major indication of a counterfeit item. Also be mindful of the term "100% genuine" on the label as it may indicate the opposite.
- The packaging is different or of lower quality. Luxury Fashion designers take their time to make sure every single detail is accounted for. If the packaging is miscolored, not well put together, unfamiliar, or just seems off, that may be an indication that the product itself is not from the brand and is counterfeit.
- The buttons are not engraved. While not all fashion designers do this, most use customized engraved buttons on their clothing. Some designers are even famous for specific features (like Christian Louboutin's red-lacquered soles) so make sure that those details are there.
- Uneven and incomplete stitching. The original products typically have more stitching per inch than their fake counterparts.
While consumer education is really important, even the most expert shoppers can get fooled by a counterfeit. With Mobile Product Authentication™, Sproxil partners with brands to make sure that their customers only spend their time and money on the real thing.
Do you have any creative suggestions on how to detect counterfeit luxury items? Share with us in the comments!