What are counterfeit goods?

Information about counterfeit goods and how to avoid buying fakes.

A counterfeit product is:

  • Any product (including packaging) which has an unauthorised trademark  which is identical, or cannot be distinguished from a valid registered UK or EC trade mark for the same type of product.
  • Any unauthorised use of any trademarks such as logos, labels, or stickers.

Most common fakes

  • designer bags
  • designer clothes
  • designer shoes or boots
  • electrical devices
  • toys and other goods for children, such as wheelie suitcases
  • watches, jewellery
  • purfume, cosmetics
  • headphones
  • alcohol and tobacco
  • CDs, DVDs, films, music
  • computer software and games
  • vehicle parts
  • pharmaceutical goods

How to avoid buying fakes

Top tips to avoid buying fakes include:

  • be suspicious about bargains - if something seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • find out if you have any guarantees or after-sales service
  • examine the quality of the goods, check labels and packaging for misspellings and poor logos
  • take extra care at street markets, car boot sales or in situations where it may be difficult to get in touch with the trader after the purchase
  • be aware of fakes sold on internet auction websites, do your research - for example check online reviews
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