How to protect yourself from designer knock-offs - Fashion - Life and Style - The Independent

How to protect yourself from designer knock-offs

On the occasion of the Sixth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, which opens in Paris on February 2, here are some tips on how to avoid getting ripped off in fashion.

1. Shop the label from its own store or website or from a renowned department store or multi-label online outlet such as netaporter.com. If you can't buy the product directly from the designer online, check the brand's stockists to get a list of the brand's approved stores.

"Never buy luxury items on the street or from a random site online," says Joanna Douglas, editor at women's community website shine.com. Search engines cannot screen for sites carrying knock-offs and the pictures you see may vary from the actual item you receive. Do some research ahead of time to know exactly what your item should look like. If a vendor only accepts cash, this is also a red flag. Keep receipts and use a credit card so you have a record of your transaction."

2. Ask for guarantees.

"The seller should provide a guarantee their product is authentic," says knowledge-sharing site bukisa.com. "If you don't see that information online, contact the website and ask them for a guarantee the merchandise is authentic. The guarantee should include the option of returning any goods within a certain time period. Buying from a third party should be avoided. If buying from a third party ask for this authentic guarantee and return policy."

3. Check the labels, tags, stitching, lining, materials, and packaging in person wherever possible.

"If the materials seem cheap, rough, unevenly dyed or woven, or poorly made, the item is probably a fake," says Bridget P. Allen on ArticleSet. "Furthermore, take a close look at the craftsmanship. Check the seams, buttons, zippers, and any other items that can give an item away as a fake. With bags and shoes, look at the quality of the leather. Furthermore, the lining of a bag can tell you more about the quality of that particular purse than anything else, so be sure to take a peek inside."

4. Be realistic. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

"Designer bags cost a lot of money because they are well crafted and they're status symbols," say the editors at wikiHow.

And even if it seems tempting to buy a well-made imitation of the designer item of your dreams: "Counterfeits are illegal, and they are typically made under poor and unfair work conditions," writes Douglas. "They lessen the value of the brands you're essentially trying to support and negatively impact the overall global economy - the counterfeit industry removes tens of thousands of jobs and costs an estimated $600 billion of legitimate revenue a year. Not to mention you'll be missing out on the thrill of owning the real thing and have no warranty."

5. Pay extra attention when planning on buying any of these items, identified as the top 10 most counterfeited items of 2010 by consumer site SiteJabber:

1. UGGs
2. Coach handbags and leather items
3. Tiffany's
4. Athletic jerseys
5. Perfume
6. Nike sneakers (especially Air Yeezy and Air Jordans)
7. Ed Hardy and Juicy brands
8. Watches (like Rolex, Omega, and Tag Heuer)
9. North Face
10. DVDs (especially box sets of TV series)

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Energy Markets Analyst

    £400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

    Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Nursery Manager

    £22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

    Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week