Tips On How To Avoid Buying Counterfeit Luxury Items Online

Tips On How To Avoid Buying Counterfeit Luxury Items Online

June 23, 2021
Rachel Tooley

Counterfeit items are on the rise, with smaller organisations capitalising and profiting from designer replicas within the fashion industry.

Recently, researchers at Frontier Economics predicted that the global counterfeit trade will reach $991 billion by next year. A report recently released from EUIPO stated that 1 in 3 people claim they’re mislead into buying counterfeit goods. Joint studies from EUIPO and OECD (Organisation for Economics Cooperation and Development) estimated that fake goods take up around 6.8% of EU imports – worth 121 billion euros. Furthermore, these goods are items which affect every sector of trade, including fashion and cosmetics. Throughout April 2021, Certilogo itself saw 27% of the authentications processed with their technology proved to be items that were fake.

Over 70% of Europeans shopped online throughout the year of 2020, a huge rise, as a result of the pandemic. It has also recently emerged, that social media has become a benefit to groups working to capitalise from fake items. Research from the EUIPO has found that 11% of digital interactions involving the mention of physical goods and products could possibly relate to counterfeit items. Additionally, the analysis of 1000 online domains, relating to 20 participating brands within their studies, revealed that half were considered suspicious; again, referring to the possibility of counterfeit items being sold amongst these sites. It is estimated around 9 out of 10 counterfeit products are sold online.

Approximately 83 billion sales are lost every year in 11 key sectors of trade, which are vulnerable to counterfeit. It is estimated that 670,000 jobs are lost in these sectors because of counterfeiting, in the EU alone.

The detrimental effect of the rising issue has forced brands to act quickly. Recently, many luxury fashion houses have implemented new systems in an attempt to combat the issue, such as blockchain databases, barcode and QR code verification. Unfortunately, however, high-quality fakes are becoming more and more common on the modern market, making it difficult for consumers to differentiate counterfeit and legitimate items.

The Hoxton Trend is a platform for men who appreciate luxury and premium menswear. With great knowledge of high-end menswear, we have gathered a list of tips and tricks to help consumers when buying luxury products.

  1. Look at your product in detail.

Small details are always important when looking out for counterfeit items. Some of the best ways to spot fake products can be checking the labels in depth – look out for any faults with the print on the labels, or a slight fault in the logo, such as a small missing detail or section of print, fonts that may look too bold or squashed together. Take a look at the stitching on a label, some brands use unusual stitching techniques on their labels to make them easier to differentiate from counterfeits. For a more in-depth comparison of fake and real items, The Hoxton Trend has a variety of YouTube videos specialising in comparing products from certain brands. You can browse our videos by clicking here.

  1. Check shipping times.

Sometimes you can tell if a retailer is supplying their products from a third party, as shipping times may be longer. Of course, if you are further away from the retailer, the shipping will take longer. However, look out for unusually long shipping times such as a few weeks or even a month. This will give you another indication that products may not be authentic, as usually brand would have them in stock and ready to ship within days of the order being placed.

  1. Verification Codes

There is much more technology readily available to help authenticate luxury items. Many brands have now developed barcode or QR code systems, with help from programmes such as Certilogo. Each item will have an individual code which you can scan in to check whether your item is able to be authenticated. You can check out The Hoxton Trend’s guide to using the Certilogo technology on your very own items by clicking here.

  1. Get a second opinion.

A second opinion from people who know about the brands you’re buying can always be extremely valuable, to ensure there is no details that can be easily missed. If you’re not sure who to ask, The Hoxton Trend Facebook group – Hoxton Marketplace, is a great platform where consumers of the same interests help each other out. The group is free to join, it is a friendly community that can help you to check that any potential purchases are legitimate before you buy them. You can visit Hoxton Marketplace by clicking here.

Generally, social media groups can be extremely helpful, in getting second opinions from people who may be interested in similar brands, or pieces, you’re looking into purchasing. Facebook is a great place to find groups and pages which are specific to one particular brand.

  1. Check out specialised forums and websites.

There’s a huge range of sources online created to provide you with information on counterfeit items. Forums such as Authentic Forum or The Fashion Spot Forums are great to participate in discussions and read through advice from people who are in similar situations, or who have more knowledge that can benefit those looking to purchase from a more vulnerable label.