Trading Standards frequently find inferior, illegally copied and, sometimes, unsafe counterfeit goods on sale to the public.
The production, distribution and sale of these products is viewed seriously by Trading Standards who work closely with and receive information from organisations representing legitimate traders. We regularly monitor e-bay and use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover assets gained from engaging in a criminal lifestyle.
The products found frequently found include clothing, DVD's, computer software and more recently, cigarettes.
Spotting a copy
Counterfeit goods can be difficult to identify as criminals are becoming more advanced in the production of copies. Not only are the items made to look similar but in the case of perfume the packaging and actual smell of the perfume are copied.
The Trading Standards service suggests the following advice on how to spot suspect products:
- Where it was sold
Where a garment is being sold can be a useful indication as to its authenticity. If we take the example of Rolex watches, you would not expect to see them for sale at a market or a car boot sale. Companies who hold the Trademark for many goods only licence the sale of the products to certain retailers. So where they were sold can be an important indication. the item is being sold on the Internet check the Brand-i website which lists only authorised suppliers.
- The price
Certain designer garments or sportswear retail at high prices. The counterfeiter realises this and will undercut the retail price. If somebody is offering you an unbelievable deal it probably is that, unbelievable. Other trader ploys used by Counterfeiters are that they are 'slight seconds' or 'bankrupt stock' to justify the lower price. Street sellers selling from suitcases announce the goods are 'stolen' in order to justify their prices. Cigarettes are offered for sale as imported from the continent but turn out to be counterfeit.
- The quality
The quality of the garment will be of a poorer standard to the original. Simple checks of the garment such as the finishing of embroidery, clarity of labels and general appearance of the product all can give indications to its authenticity.
This is a short guide on how to identify a copy. Some companies go further by producing guidance leaflets on their products and how to spot the copies.
We work closely with a number of Trade Organisations in our fight against counterfeiting. The Anti Counterfeiting Group produce information and guidance on the national effect on the problem and the damage it causes to genuine retailer and to the economy as a whole.
How you can help
If you know or suspect somebody of supplying counterfeit items please contact us on 01495 235291 or email email@example.com.
Any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.