Counterfeit Nike shoes
More and more often, branded products sold online turn out to be counterfeit. This harms consumers all over Europe.
The daughter of Mister Hager (name changed by the editors) desperately wanted a specific pair of Nike shoes with high heels. Her father wanted to fulfill her wishes and therefore looked for them via a search engine. The search led him to the website "goforkicks.com". He ordered the shoes for 146,99 US dollars and thought that the online shop was situated in the US.
Not USA, but China
As the shoes weren't delivered, Mr. Hager contacted the online trader. He then got an EMS tracking protocol which showed that the shoes would come from Minhang, China. According to this protocol, the attempt to deliver had failed. To be absolutely sure, Mr. Hager also visited the website of the Austrian Postal Office. As it turned out, Austrian customs held back the shoes. This happens regularly when customs notices branded products which could be counterfeit. The holders of trademarks - like, in this case, Nike - fight counterfeit products that are using their names illegally.
Letter from customs
Consumers who ordered those products get a registered letter from customs: They should either prove that the product comes from a reliable source or agree to the demolition of the product. Mr. Hager got such a letter and unavoidably agreed to the demolition because how could he prove that the shoes are not counterfeit? He then requested from goforkicks.com the refund of the purchase price that he had paid with credit card.
Mr. Hager got no answer and turned to the European Consumer Centre. We found out that the website goforkicks.com is registrated in the US and sent a letter to the operator. We didn't get an answer either. But we gave Mr. Hager the good advice to request a chargeback of his credit card payment, which he did and luckily got his money back.
Investigate before you order
To avoid bad surprises when shopping online, special caution is required. First, you should check if an online shop has a disclaimer. If not, that's a bad sign. Within the EU, online shops are obligated to have a disclaimer. In general, it is useful to know where a trader is situated before ordering. If the only contact detail is a mail address, the shop does not appear very professionally. The website www.whois.com helps to find out where a website is registrated (state) and by whom. Search engines help to check out webshops: Many trademark companies warn against online shops that offer counterfeit products.