Fake Goods – What are fake goods?
Sales of fake goods (or counterfeit goods) are widespread and virtually any product can be faked, causing loss to industry and jeopardising your safety.
- CDs, DVDs, games
- Clothing and shoes
- Handbags and sunglasses
- Watches and jewellery
- Cameras and camcorders
- MP3 players such as iPods
- Perfume and cosmetics
- Razors and toothpaste
- Hair straighteners such as GHD
- Cigarette lighters
- Children’s toys
- Spirit drinks such as vodka, gin and whisky
- Medicines and condoms
- And so on…
These goods are made to look like the real article using protected brand logos and trade marks from reputable manufacturers to trick you into buying them. The reason they do this is simply to make money. These fake goods are often sold at a low price often less than half you would pay for the genuine article. They are not only damaging to the UK industry and brand reputations, but people’s livelihoods are affected by them.
Some people may know that what they are buying is fake and it doesn’t matter to them when they are getting a designer coat for £20 or the latest film release for £3. Thankfully this group is in the minority and usually once you’ve bought a fake you don’t buy one again!
Where do you buy these fake goods?
Counterfeit goods are available from various sources but are you foolish enough to part with your cash?
- Internet auction sites such as eBay sell anything and everything. A positive rating does not necessarily mean genuine products. If the price is too good to be true then often it’s because what’s on offer is fake.
- Internet businesses set up to look like they are selling legitimate items or appear to be UK based. It often turns out your buying from abroad. There is often little you can do to get your money back. Always check for full business details which have to be provided on a website. If there aren’t any, stay clear.
- Car boot sales are rife with opportunists looking to make a quick buck selling fake lighters, CDs, DVDs, games, clothing and cigarettes. You might be paying just a few pounds but more often than not you end up throwing them away when you realise how poor the quality is. For instance, it’s quite common for DVDs to be filmed in a cinema. The picture and sound quality are usually very poor and people can be seen walking in front of the screen.
- Market traders selling cheap clothes that fall apart after a few washes or shrink, and again DVDs and CDs that are never anywhere near as good as buying the genuine product. Think you’ll get your money back? Think again.
- The chap down the pub/at work sending out music play-lists and a selection of film titles you can buy. Where does he get them from in the first place? Filming at the back of the cinema? From illegal internet sites? Do you think they will be as good as the genuine article? Of course not.
It is important to remember that you are not really getting a bargain. Why help line the pockets of criminals? That’s what they want and you’re helping fund their criminality.
What are the risks to you?
Not only are you throwing your hard earned money away but, potentially, you are risking your own safety and that of others. Many fake goods will not comply with British and European Safety legislation.
Across the UK, including Wrexham, Trading Standards have come across an array of fake products which have been found to be unsafe and harmful to you. One of our roles is to make sure that goods meet safety standards. Those which do not are quickly removed from the market place. Those selling illegitimate items may be punished and can face imprisonment and a large fine.
- Counterfeit perfume which can cause a severe allergic reaction and burns your skin
- Counterfeit vodka which contains toxic substances that has left people in a coma
- Fake cigarette lighters; these may have an extended flame or can explode
- Fake hair straighteners which can overheat and burn
- Counterfeit children’s toys where small parts come loose and can cause choking, or which contain too high a lead content in the paint
- Fake medicinal tablets (such as Viagra, children’s vitamins and mineral supplements for dogs). These products do not contain genuine ingredients and have not been safety checked.
The people responsible for making and selling these goods don’t care what happens to you or the person your buying for.
What should you do?
Our consumer help section offers information on buying goods and additional information is available on https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ (external link).
Disclaimer: Wrexham County Borough Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
Be cautious when buying from someone you don’t know and use common sense. If you know the price is far too low then that should set alarm bells ringing. Buy from reputable businesses or follow recommendations from other buyers.
Check that when you’re dealing with a website that you know how to contact them should something go wrong. Look for their contact address.
For items over £100 use a credit card. This gives extra protection through your credit card provider if you have a problem later on.
If you know someone who is selling fake goods report them. You can do this anonymously through us or other anti-piracy groups.
Help us to help protect you.