Ways to avoid counterfeits on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

This years’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday is fast approaching and consumers need to be on their guard to ensure they don’t get caught out by fake goods.

The value of counterfeit products coming into the UK was worth nearly £9.3 billion, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday simply heighten the problem, warns Alison Statham, Director General at the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).

“The UK is bombarded by counterfeit goods and our manufacturing sector has lost billions of pounds worth of genuine sales, due to fake products. Electronic goods and fashion products are particularly susceptible to counterfeiting at this time of year.

“Consumers are increasingly buying goods online and often unwittingly buy counterfeits. They think they are buying a genuine bargain but end up paying an excessive price for a low quality product. Even worse, when consumers buy counterfeit electrical appliances, they can put their lives in danger because those electrical items will not have been put through all the necessary safety checks.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend deals can also frequently be found on fake websites. Consumers then not only face an increased risk of making a faulty purchase but put their payment details at risk as well.”

Councillor Frank Hont, Liverpool’s Cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “The advice is always to buy from a reputable retailer that you know and trust. That gives you the best chance of getting your money back or a replacement if something goes wrong. Fake goods may look a bargain but they are shoddy and can be dangerous.”

Alison recommended shopping directly through the brands’ website or at a reputable retailer, to avoid the risk of buying a counterfeit product.

Make purchases with credit cards, buy from reputable retailers and whenever possible leave an online review or testimonial for other shoppers. Together this should provide a level of protection and help to guarantee a weekend that is remembered for the right reasons.