WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The holiday shopping season is here, and the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) is warning shoppers about the abundance of counterfeit goods online, issuing tips to help unsuspecting consumers identify fake goods.
Holiday sales are expected to increase this year, and more consumers are turning to online marketplaces to make their purchases1. Yet nothing can ruin the season of giving more than a present that reveals an unwelcome surprise.
"Counterfeiters will stop at nothing to make a profit, and they will use the holiday season as an opportunity to take advantage of shoppers who are hoping to find the perfect gift for a loved one," said Bob Barchiesi, President of the IACC.
Often times counterfeit products are made with dangerous material such as lead, which can cause bodily harm, especially to children. Counterfeiters duplicate popular gift items such as such as toys, electronics, cosmetics, footwear and apparel.
"Because counterfeiters do not follow industry guidelines, they manufacture products with cheap, substandard and dangerous components. Exposure to these fake items can cause serious injury," said Mr. Barchiesi.
To help consumers identify fakes, the IACC recommends following the "3Ps" rule. Consumers should look at:
- Price. Unusually low prices are a red flag. If the price is too good to be true, then it is most likely a counterfeit.
- Packaging. Stay away from products that are shipped without packaging or are packaged poorly. If it does come in a package, check if the identifying logos or watermarks are missing on the packaging.
- Place. Be wary of which sites you shop from. Fake websites are designed to look professionally made by mimicking the design and typography of the real brand. Always fact-check the "FAQ" or "About Us" tabs for inconsistencies.
The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is worth nearly half a trillion dollars, with e-commerce constituting a significant portion of these transactions.2 These purchases pose a risk to both businesses and consumers. The IACC works to combat counterfeiting and piracy around the globe.
The IACC (www.iacc.org) is a Washington, DC-based not for profit organization representing the interests of companies concerned with trademark counterfeiting and the related theft of intellectual property. The members of the IACC include many of the world's best-known brands across all product sectors. The IACC has played a leading role in the development of cross-industry voluntary agreements, to address the illicit trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods online, including its IACC MarketSafe and RogueBlock initiatives.
1 National Retail Federation Holiday Spending Survey, 2017
2 OECD & EUIPO "Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact," 2016
SOURCE International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition