While some fake goods are easy to spot, others are near-identical to the genuine article. So are you confident you could spot a counterfeit – and have you seen any lately?
As the Christmas shopping season approaches, Harrow Council has caught a cowboy trader selling fake Toy Story merchandise.
After delving into the store a little deeper, more than 1,000 knock-off toys and games were found on sale. Trading Standards officers have since slapped the shop director with a £2,000 fine for selling illegitimate merchandise and compromising safety.
What gave it away? Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4 isn’t even scheduled for release until June… 2019.
Toy Story merchandise fraudster heading for infamy and beyond! https://t.co/MTOHaL83Qh
— GetWestLondon (@GetWestLondon) September 21, 2017
But if it wasn’t for that slight oversight catching the eye of Trading Standards, would you have been able to tell the difference?
Counterfeit toys and other products are nothing new, but the issue does creep back into the spotlight every year as the Christmas gift-giving season gets closer.
Back in December 2015, Patrick spotted Star Wars knock-offs with names such as ‘Toby-One’ and ‘R2-3PO’!
While it isn’t exactly an epidemic, we’d still recommend everyone shopping for gifts this year keeps an eye out for potential dodgy goods, whether it’s in-store or online.
And if you aren’t quite sure what to look out for, our Consumer Rights pages are home to a wealth of advice and tips, including:
- Watch out for items that are suspiciously cheap
- Check the packaging – be wary of low-quality wrapping or lack of official logos
- Ask whether the store offers an after-sales service or guarantee
- Check the background of the trader/store for customer reviews.
While some fake products may be able to do enough to convince you they’re genuine, there’ll always be a few that are, shall we say, a little easier to identify.
— George Martin (@GeorgeRobMartin) October 4, 2017
Have you spotted any fake products on the shelves? Do share your photos with us if you have any.