How Good Is Too Good Identifying Counterfeit Items

Buyers often look for items that carry the name brand of a specific designer. These labels communicate the value, quality or popularity of the item to consumers, giving them greater confidence in their purchase.

Popular designers or brands are often known by their logos or other unique visual characteristics. While these signature graphics or colors make products immediately identifiable, they ‘re also targets for counterfeiters who seek to make money by unscrupulously copying the originals.

Some buyers seek out these counterfeit items deliberately, hoping to appear more sophisticated or wealthy than they really are. Others simply don ‘t know enough about a product to be able to discern fake from real.

Whether you want an “authentic replica ” or simply want to avoid one, you should first read these important tips for identifying counterfeit items in stores and online.

Look with Your Hands

The high prices of designer items are often attributed to the high quality materials and workmanship that go into the product. Counterfeit items are usually made of plastics or imitation fabrics that are easy to detect by touch, especially in accent pieces like straps, buckles and stitching.

Many designers include details like embossed or engraved logos, serial numbers and even authenticity cards. This is also true of items like computer software or expensive multimedia sets. This helps give buyers confidence in their purchase, and may also include information on warranties and other assurances.

Look with Your Brain

Do some research on your potential purchase, or items like it, before you start looking for the best deal. In some cases, especially online, people sell items that don ‘t exist or aren ‘t meant for the market they ‘re selling in. They might identify these as exclusive items that you wouldn ‘t be able to get elsewhere.

Examples are bootleg DVDs of films that haven ‘t yet been released or foreign electronics that are incompatible with your hardware. If you can ‘t get an item from a reputable seller, it probably won ‘t be a purchase worth making.

Check out the seller ‘s background too. Online, this is especially easy to do, because buyers often leave feedback on their experiences with sellers and their products. By law, online vendors are required to have their contact information listed, so be sure to look for this detail.

Online sellers typically write descriptions of their items and include pictures. If any of the language, images or feedback on a seller indicates products that are less than reputable, look elsewhere.

Look with Your Gut

Your gut feeling may be your best indicator of whether or not an item is authentic. Items that are priced far below market, or just seem “too good to be true ” are likely to be counterfeit. Likewise, sellers who avoid questions about authenticity or use phrases like “genuinely compatible, ” “authentic reproduction ” or “legal in many areas ” should be avoided. Not only could these vendors be enticing you with sub-par products, but they could be luring you into illegal transactions.

Counterfeit items are essentially illegal because they are breaking copyright laws. While purchasing knock-off handbags or sunglasses is rarely prosecuted, bootleg media and pirated software can get you into trouble with the law.

Aside from the risk of civil liability, counterfeit goods carry no warranties and leave you without recourse if a product is seriously defective. Counterfeit items are poor investments, with little or no likelihood of increasing or even retaining their purchase value.

Buy with a Smile

Many vendors are genuinely selling designer goods at low prices, and you can still get great deals on brand-name items. When you know what you ‘re looking for and the vendor you ‘re buying from, you can easily avoid being fooled into purchasing fake goods.

If counterfeits are your goal, though, be prepared for lesser quality and usability to accompany the lower prices. In fact, prepare to invest in some good glue and a sewing kit to ensure your counterfeit items last long enough to be worth your while.