KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Most of us want a great bargain, but would you choose a counterfeit product? Spending money on those fake products, whether you buy them knowingly or not, comes with risks.
Adweek reported that in 2016, counterfeiting was a $460 billion industry worldwide. There are ways to spot counterfeit items.
Jackets, hoodies, jeans and dresses are among the items that counterfeiters sell as designer when they’re not. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, says 20 percent of the items the agency seizes are apparel and accessories. Sometimes they’re tough to spot, but in general, sloppy workmanship is often a clue. Cheap fabric, poorly sewn hems, and cheap buttons and fasteners are some of the warning signs.
Like most counterfeit items, though, the price is generally the dead giveaway in spotting fakes. A $600 designer jacket will not be sold for $60 unless there is something shady happening. Many designers rarely allow their items to be sold at discounts because they believe it cheapens the brand. Resellers of luxury goods will verify the authenticity and offer guarantees.
Consumer electronics are a prime target for counterfeiters. Eeverything from hoverboards to surge protectors are fair game. The CBP says 12 percent of counterfeit items its agents seize fall into this category. Some people even seek out “knock-offs” thinking it is basically the same item at a lower price. That’s generally not true. The fakes tend to malfunction. At the worst, users can be injured if the electronics malfunction.
Quartz magazine reported that counterfeit watches and jewelry are the new counterfeit handbags. The CBP reports that 11 percent of the counterfeit goods it seizes are in this category. There *are* ways to “sort” the *real* from the fake.
Pay attention to stone size. Giant gems at bargain prices are generally fake. Look carefully at the setting. Real gems are not placed in a cheap setting. As far as watches, a real top-of-the-line watch has a smooth sweep to the second hand. it does not jerk.
The United States prides itself on safe pharmaceuticals, but that may not be the case as counterfeit, expired and stolen medications make their way into the supply chain. The CBP reports 8 percent of its seizures are counterfeit medications. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid websites that don’t require prescriptions for medications that normally do require them.