Over the years we have heard from countless brides that have purchased a wedding dress online and it arrived looking nothing like the picture. It turned out it was a fake wedding dress! This is all too common! These dresses are either marketed as a genuine designer dress or, they’re simply using images from a designer and creating a counterfeit using low-quality materials and selling them cheap. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
We welcome Chrissie Jamieson, the senior director at MarkMonitor to share some top tips on avoiding a counterfeit dress. We hope these tips will help you avoid buying a counterfeit dress.
Among all of the venue viewing, flower arranging and food tasting, picking out a dress is often one of the most exciting parts of any wedding. Of course, many of us love shopping, but shopping for a wedding dress is so much more special — it’s something we want to feel amazing in on the big day, and something that we want to look back on fondly for years to come.
It used to be the case that anyone looking for that special dress would scout the department stores and bridal boutiques until they found the perfect one. But that has all changed since the popularisation of the Internet.
No longer do we need to drive from town to town hunting down the perfect frock. Instead, we can use our computers, laptops and smartphones to look at more dresses in ten minutes than we could previously do in an entire day. Not only can these dresses potentially be delivered the very next day, but particularly savvy shoppers can often find highly discounted bargains through online marketplaces and auction sites.
However, while this might make your purse happy in the short-term, it could prove to be really damaging in the long-term, as many of these discounted dresses will actually be counterfeit. With no way of checking the legitimacy of a dress online, it can be scarily easy for counterfeiters to fool eager shoppers into buying a fake, poor-quality item.
The availability of fake goods on the Internet has grown substantially during recent years, and all consumers, including brides-to-be, are being advised to adopt the same vigilant approach with their online purchases as they would have in the physical world. Online brand protection experts, MarkMonitor, has compiled the following list of top tips to ensure that brides-to-be are extra vigilant when shopping online:
Consumers looking to avoid fake goods will, in some cases, ignore any too-good-to-be-true prices advertised on the Internet, but counterfeiters are becoming wiser and realising that they actually have more chance of fooling shoppers the less they reduce the price. Therefore, it is important to know the genuine recommended retail price (RRP) of the dress and then use this as a benchmark. If there is a discount of any significance — even if it’s just 10% or 20% off — it’s always worth doing some further research to see if these savings are legitimate.
Counterfeiters can be extremely good at creating fake websites that appear genuine, making it difficult for shoppers to make the right judgement call. In cases like this, it’s always worth looking at the website’s ‘About’ and/or ‘FAQ’ sections, as counterfeiters are usually less careful with the detail on these pages. If they do not include vital company information, for example, the delivery details or where the company is based, it is best to steer clear.
Return and privacy policies
Any legitimate website will make these policies clear to shoppers, as they are important for those who need to return an item that is faulty or might not fit. If these policies are hard to find or don’t seem to exist, that should be a serious warning sign of counterfeit activity.
The website URL
Often, counterfeiters will use URL addresses that are confusingly similar to those of genuine brands’ but include subtle spelling mistakes or typo errors, in the hope that customers unknowingly visit these type of sites — a method known as ‘cybersquatting’. Therefore, before buying anything, shoppers should check the URL address of the site they’re on to ensure it is 100% correct. It’s also useful to check the site has a ‘https://’ prefix, which indicates the website is secure.
Finally, for those looking for a bargain through online marketplaces, shoppers should thoroughly check the reviews of the seller they are looking to buy from. If the reviews are overwhelmingly positive then you can assume the seller is trustworthy, but if reviews are mostly negative, it’s worth checking out the other options available.
You can find even more top tips from MarkMonitor in a previous post, “Say I Don’t to a counterfeit wedding dress”.
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