Beware of counterfeit goods

The internet is full of promising offers. Onlineshops outdo each other with cheap prices and discount campaigns. It can be hard to distinguish which trader is trustworthy and which is not. Our Network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) has some tips on how you can avoid traps and fakes.

 

Report by European Consumer Centres

 

In their new report, the ECC-Net explains what kind of risks are associated with buying counterfeit goods. It's not just luxury products anymore, the segments for cosmetics, medical products, toys are also often affected. Due to insufficient production, it can be very dangerous to use those goods and defective ingredients may have bad impacts on your health.

 

Legal consequences

 

Buying counterfeit products can also entail legal risks for consumers. Irrespective of whether you were aware of the counterfeiting or not, the rights holder (the original manufacturer) is entitled to confront you with claims.

 

For example: You order brand shoes for a very cheap price online, believing that you just found a great deal. However, instead of the shoes you already paid for, you find a letter from customs in your mail. The delivery has been intercepted and will be destroyed. You as the buyer have to agree to the destruction, otherwise you might face a trial.

 

Manufacturers who notice that someone counterfeits their products, usually get a lawyer. They could charge you, as the buyer, for their respective legal costs.

 

10 tips for consumers

 

How do you recognise counterfeits? How do you know whether a webshop is trustworthy? This ten tips from the ECC-Net help you:

  1. Check the identity of the seller
  2. Search other consumers’ reviews
  3. Check whether the website benefits from a trust mark
  4. Assess the general layout of the website
  5. Check your consumer rights on the trader's website
  6. Check the picture of the product
  7. Watch the price of the good
  8. Check the official website of the brand for authorized and black-listed sellers
  9. Pay with a secured means of payment
  10. Pay attention to refurbished products

Falls Sie bereits ein gefälschtes Produkt gekauft haben, empfehlen wir folgende Schritte:

  • Contact the seller in writing. Explain that your order has been confiscated by customs, that you don’t wish a replacement product and thus claim a reimbursement of the total price.
  • Did you pay by credit card? Contact your bank or card issuer and claim your money back via the charge back procedure.
  • File a complaint at the next police station.

If you receive claims from a lawyer due to copyright infringements, feel free to contact us. Regarding the company who sent you counterfeit goods, the ECC-Net can only help with advise. Such traders usually don't react to out-of-court interventions. We therefore recommend that you turn to the police.

 

You can download the full report of the ECC-Net on counterfeit goods for free with this link.

 

Find more information about counterfeitig in our section "Copyright & Counterfeiting".