After hours of scouring the net, you’ve finally tracked down that item you’ve long coveted at an insanely good price. The site selling the item seems fine, the item appears to be normal by all accounts, and there are even glowing reviews saying how great the product and site is.
So, you press “order,” and wait a couple of days for your item to arrive. The only thing is when it does arrive and you look at it, you realize you’ve been duped. The item staring back at you is a fake. A counterfeit. And definitely not what you had in mind when you ordered.
Those of us who have found ourselves in this situation will know that the feeling of finding out you’ve bought a fake is usually one of disappointment and anger. Not only is the money we’ve spent as good as gone, we don’t have the item that we so desired.
What then, is the best way to prevent this from happening? Look for signs something isn’t quite right. Below, we’ve highlighted 3 signs that the item you’re looking at online is a fake.
1. The deal is too good to be true
When it comes to buying products online, there’s perhaps no better indicator of something amiss than when a deal is too good to be true. Of course, scoring a Prada bag at 20% off on a legitimate site like a well-known department store’s online store is one thing. But, finding a bargain on a site you’ve never heard of is another thing completely.
It’s therefore important to use your intuition when shopping online. If the stars are aligning a bit too well, it could be a sign that the website is selling counterfeits. Remember, an ecommerce store needs to make money themselves, so if they’re offering a product for substantially less than the general retail price, it could be a red alert.
Don’t be afraid to question why – you, after all, have the power in the situation. If you’re not 100% sure about a site, simply look elsewhere.
An easy way to see if the site you’re considering buying from is selling counterfeits is to use simplyBrand’s Counterfeit Risk Detector. All you need to do is input a product URL, and the Counterfeit Risk Detector will provide a percentage score of how likely it is that the site is selling fakes.
2. The Product Descriptions or Images are Low-Quality
Low-quality product descriptions and/or images are some of the more obvious signs that the product you’re looking at is fake. In terms of a product description, if it’s lacking detailed information, has typos, or is simply copied and pasted from the original product description, these could all be indicators that the product is a counterfeit.
Mirroring images, logo mistakes, low sale numbers and cheap prices from simple search on Taobao.com
For images, keep your eyes peeled for low-quality, grainy images. On the other hand, if the site has just used the same images as the original site, this could also be a sign of a fake! Most legitimate e-commerce stores will take their own pictures of the products they sell, either of just the product itself, or with their own models or mannequins.
3. There are suspicious or no reviews
As mentioned in the scenario we presented above, sometimes a website or product page has reviews, but turns out to be an illegitimate business. Likewise, sometimes there are no reviews, but it turns out to be a legitimate business.
That being said, the presence (or lack thereof!) genuine reviews is a handy way to evaluate a site or product’s legitimacy. If either is lacking, you might want to dig a bit further. After all, when there are countless e-commerce stores to choose from, reviews can be helpful when deciding which site to spend your hard-earned dollars.
But don’t just rely on reviews. The rate of fake reviews is increasing, so it’s vital to be aware that many sites use fake reviews to entice trusting customers like you. Instead, refer to reviews as one of many metrics you use to evaluate a site or product’s legitimacy.
Have you spotted some fakes online, or bought one yourself accidentally? What were the signs it wasn’t the real thing? Share your experiences in the comments below!
simplyBrand is an advanced ecosystem that draws on artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and crowdsourcing to eliminate counterfeit products in digital commerce. To learn more, visit the simplyBrand website.
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