Today, the majority of shoppers will make a purchasing decision based on the brand name or logo. Perhaps it’s a brand that you have always used, had great results with and trust, or maybe you’re making a purchase because it’s a highly sought-after, recognizable brand name or logo that becomes somewhat of a status symbol. Whatever your reasoning, there’s not much worse than spending your hard-earned money on a product only to find that you’ve been swindled and it’s been fake all along. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to tell whether or not a branded item is real or not.
#1. Buying Online:
Buying online can be a massive trap for counterfeit products, as you don’t get to see the item in person, where you’d normally be able to inspect it in more detail, look at the label closely and feel the materials that it is made from to get a better idea as to whether or not it is genuine. However, there are a few things that you can check when buying online to determine whether or not you’re actually buying from the brand itself, or a copycat. For instance:
- SSL Certification – look for trust symbols on the website that indicate it is legitimate. More often than not a genuine brand website will have SSL certification (the green padlock in the browser bar) compared to a fake one. But, that’s not to say fake websites aren’t secure, as many are. Thankfully there are several things you can do to check a site’s credibility.
- The price – chances are, if you’re buying a branded item that’s priced too good to be true, it might just be because it’s not genuine. Check out how the price compares with what you’d normally expect to pay.
#2. Buying in Person:
The good news is that if you’re buying a branded item in person, you can get a better look at it to determine whether or not it is genuine. For example:
- Logo – the logo on genuine designer brands should look perfect, so even the smallest of imperfections can be a dead giveaway.
- Stitching – if you’re buying branded clothing or footwear, the stitching should be impeccable. Poor stitching is usually a tell-tale sign that an item is a counterfeit copy.
- Packaging – if you’ve ever purchased something from a high-quality brand like Apple, Samsung or Beats, then the one thing that they have in common is high-quality packaging. If you’re buying a high-end branded item, then the one thing to expect is perfectly fitting, sturdy branded packaging. Anything less and it could be a sure sign of brand abuse.
- Spelling – although counterfeiters are getting more and more clever, sometimes there can be spelling errors on the fake products. Don’t just check the logo for spelling mistakes – look at the instructions, tags, or manual.
#3. You Have a Feeling:
Finally, listen to your gut feeling when it comes to spotting counterfeit products. If something feels off about an item, then it’s probably because it’s not genuine.
What do you do to make sure the branded items you buy are genuine?