Columbus — In today’s brand-obsessed culture, a good deal could leave you with bad merchandise. Individual sellers online or untrustworthy businesses may sell counterfeit items, giving consumers a cheap impression of the product, or disappearing if buyers request a refund. When it comes to name-brand products, Better Business Bureau wants to help consumers avoid purchasing a fake.
Here is BBB’s Top 10 Most Common Counterfeit Gifts List:
- Purses, shoes and leather goods
- Smartphones, computer tablets and other electronics, including Beats headphones
- Gift cards
- Software and computer games
- Sports memorabilia and apparel
- Watches and jewelry
- Blue jeans
- Sporting event and concert tickets
Consumers can avoid purchasing counterfeit gifts by being cautious and knowing what to look for. BBB has the following tips to help protect consumers from buying fake versions of popular items:
- Shop in established stores and on reputable websites. Look up reviews and search for the business at bbb.org.
- If you’re shopping online, look for a return policy. If there isn’t one available, simply move on.
- If the website does not have proper contact information or the product is not shipping from within the United States, it is most likely counterfeit.
- Don’t buy online if you are redirected to an external online payment system during checkout.
- Beware of deals that seem too good to be true. If a normally expensive item is being sold for a very low price, it could be a red flag.
- Buy directly from the brand’s store or website. Some items require authorized vendors to sell their merchandise. It’s better to go straight to the source when it doubt.
- Be careful buying brand-name merchandise and big-ticket items from online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist where you cannot inspect the products before you buy them.
- Ask for a certificate of authenticity on autographed memorabilia.
- Have an independent appraisal done to verify the value or jewelry or artwork.
- Buy sports merchandise that is officially licensed by the NFL, NBA or other sports organizations.
For more information on finding businesses you can trust, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at bbb.org.