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Tips for avoiding counterfeit goods over the internet

There are many perfectly respectable internet shopping sites that sell authentic goods, but unfortunately the internet is also a highly popular marketplace for counterfeit goods. Here are some tips for avoiding counterfeit goods on the internet.

Does the price set off any alarm bells?

Does the price seem too good to be true? Then it probably is! Ask yourself if there's a realistic price difference between the product you want to buy and the price being quoted by the original sales outlet. But bear in mind that some sellers of pirated goods actually place their items quite close to the price of the original product, precisely so as to appear more genuine – a good way of camouflaging a fake item.

Purveyors of luxury goods seldom sell their products at reduced prices, or at least never at giveaway prices. It therefore pays to be wary if you see advertisements for the apparently same goods at knockdown prices.

Search the internet for the views and experiences of others

Have other people bought counterfeit goods from the same online store? You will often find useful information if you check the experiences of others with regard to particular online stores on chat forums and review forums etc. Discussions often centre on the standard of the goods received, or possibly never received!

Inadequate or incorrect contact details?

Is the online store displaying proper contact information? It should be very easy to contact the owners of an online store. Bona fide online traders automatically provide their current company name, address, organisation number, telephone number and e-mail address. This contact information will also, therefore, show whether or not the online store in question is based in Norway or abroad.

Check the original retailer's website

Many brand name retailers publish their authorised overseas outlets on their websites. Is the online store you are purchasing from on the list of authorised outlets?

Go with your gut feelings

Does it appear likely that the online store actually retails the brand names it is offering? Do the images look impressive? Are there spelling mistakes and poor grammar on the website? If so, you need to be wary. Moreover, some internet shopping sites, or sellers on auction sites, use pictures of authentic items on their websites, but send you a counterfeit version once you have paid.

Ask questions and dig a bit deeper

You have, at all times and in every instance, the right to ask the seller whether the item in question is authentic or fake. Sellers who avoid or refuse to answer such questions, or are difficult to contact, may well have something to hide. Also before you purchase, you should ask whether you can return the item if it proves to be fake.

If you've already received the item and suspect it's a fake, read more here......



Check out the website where you intend to shop

Check whether the online store where you intend to shop is on the list of rogue online stores at the Consumer Ombudsman website.

Howard - The Shopping Assistant can help you with tips on how you can check if an online store is reliable.

Tegn på at vesken er falsk

4 signs that your bag is fake

  • Look closely at the seams. Sloppy and uneven stitching is a sign that the bag is not genuine.
  • Check the materials. If it's leather, it should smell and feels like leather.
  • Rapid wear of handles and seams are an indication that the bag is not genuine.
  • Zips and metal parts should be heavy, good quality and do not fall off after a few weeks.
Last update: 9. December 2020