How can you tell fake “UGGs” from Genuine UGG® Australia Boots? Or when is an UGG not an UGG? To add to the confusion “UGG” is a word in general use for a certain style of Australian Sheepskin boot. So merchants selling products as “UGG Boots” aren’t necessarily selling legitimate UGG® Australia Boots (a Deckers Corporation brand). An annoying number of “UGG” retailers bring out models that look like UGG Australia boots and have similar names.
My feeling is that though it might not be illegal, it is certainly very misleading, and if the purpose is to dupe customers into thinking they’re buying the genuine article when they’re not, then it’s wrong. Lots of customers have been duped by the offer of bargain “UGG boots” and lots are really confused by what’s out there. So how do you tell a retailer is selling genuine UGG® Australia Boots? Lets deal with a couple of issues first.
“Australian Ugg Boots” are not UGG® Australia
Let’s first clear up one thing – the generic Australian makers of “Ugg” Sheepskin boots, often trading with websites ending in .au and registered to Australian Companies. These guys are generally okay and sell, in the main, good quality sheepskin boots – they often describe their boots as “100% Australian made Uggs”, “Australian Ugg Boots” and the more responsible ones specifically dissociate themselves from UGG Australia® and Deckers Outdoor (the brand owner) in the footer or on the About Us page so customers don’t get confused. These guys have been selling these types of sheepskin Ugg boots for years and as long as people understand these products are not the UGG Australia® brand then its fine in my book.
Sellers of Chinese UGG fakes/copies are not UGG® Australia
This is where UGG buyers can get seriously stung and have been (see all the responses below). There are a HUGE number of websites cropping up on the Google Adwords system (Googles “sponsored” ads) offering UGG Boots that are in fact low quality fakes/copies of UGG® Australia boots.
These websites do nothing to dissociate themselves from UGG® Australia and deliberately set out to trick people into thinking they are buying genuine UGG® Australia products when in fact they are cheaply-made, low quality Chinese fakes shipped direct from a counterfeiting factory in China.
Furthermore there are many many cases of customers being overcharged on their credit card, being asked to pay twice, not receiving any product or receiving incorrect colours and sizes. Packages coming from China are often stopped in Customs – some are seized as brand fakes and for others the recipient will need to pay import duty. All a shock if a customer things they are buying legit UGG® Australia boots. As we have seen in the stories below, after sales service is nonexistent and returns, exchanges and refunds are near impossible – often the websites even demand a hefty restocking fee! These chinese websites only aim it to make money quickly and they are run by people who have no interest in serving customers – in most cases they are breaking UK and US law and many are run by criminal gangs.
The intention of this article is to warn customers that these websites are out there on the “Sponsored Ads” offering fake products and customers should AVOID them. I have a list of these fake UGG websites at the end of this article which I will maintain as we discover new sites. If the website is on the list my strong advice is AVOID.
So how can I spot a fake UGG website?
Here is my checklist from all we have found out so far:
1) UGG® Australia brand – it might be a really obvious point but it can identify about 80% of fake UGG sites. The simple rule is … if the product is not described as UGG® Australia then it’s not that brand! Do not be tempted by the fancy pictures because they may well be pictures of genuine UGG Australia boots being used – some fake sites have even taken the images directly of UGG® Australia’s main site! Don’t be fooled by the descriptions either – if you see a product described as “UGG Classic Tall” or “UGG Cardy Boots” it is not the same as the “UGG® Australia Classic Tall” or “UGG® Australia Classic Cardy”. The products on these sites are made to look UGG Boots, some are even photographed standing on boxes that appear to have the UGG® Australia logo printed on them and most are not the genuinue article at all.
2) Do a domain check – So the website does say UGG® Australia or has what appears to be the UGG® Australia logo but I’m still not sure? Next step is to do a simple domain check to find out who registered the domain, in what country and when the domain was registered. If the registrant is in China (country code CN) or the domain has been created within the last three months then my strong advice is AVOID. These fake sites are often only live for a few weeks so they appear to be very recently created. If the domain is held by a proxy service or c/o a domain regsitrant like networksolutions then my advice is AVOID as this registrant is trying to hide their identity. On a good honest domain regisistry entry you are looking for a persons name or company name, a real local street address with postcode/zip code and local phone number.
3) What are the other identifying features of fake UGG sites?
Shipment Times: This is a good give-away! Check the shipment times on the FAQs pages. If they cannot offer a quick shipping option like overnight shipping it may indicate the product are being shipped from China.
Support methods: If the website does not offer a local phone number and only offers an input form for support or a simple to set up e-mail account like gmail of yahoo or IM support then AVOID. Legitimate UGG Australia retailers tend to be much more established sites with proper support methods, local contact numbers and local addresses.
Poor English: If some of the text on the FAQs pages and product pages seems a little odd then take that as a warning sign that the creator cannot speak english – a translation programme may have been used to create the text.
Cheap Prices: Remember the odd addage if its too good to be true it generally is. Put it this way UGG® Australia is a premium brand sold only though major outlets and established websites you have heard of before. If you are asking the question “is this website legitimate?” you probably already know the answer!
Are genuine UGG Australia now made in China?
Finally a question I’m asked a lot and one that confuses a lot of people. The answer is “YES BUT”. YES UGG® Australia, like Converse, VANs and many other footwear products today, are now made in China BUT under working conditions and quality standards supervised by Deckers. Many branded goods are now assembled in China and many attract brand fakers. Expensive branded goods in short supply will always attract people wanting to make a fast buck with fake product!
There is a BIG difference here between the fakes and real products – Deckers UGG® Australia uses 100% A1 grade Australian Merino wool and each boot is made to the stringent standards that Deckers expects and supervises. This is a common practice with designer goods – they are then shipped to legitimate UGG® Australia retailers worldwide and sold to the public with all the workmanship guarantees and returns options you would expect with a premium brand.
The Chinese rip off sites are an entirely different kettle of fish. They produce inferior UGG® Australia copies which do not use the same quality materials like nylon instead of wool and sheepskin and poor construction methods or standards – which means the products quickly loose shape, rub and fall apart.
Though both are “made in china” they are two totally different products. If nothing else – let’s be clear on two points.
UGG® Australia do not allow their legitimate products to be stocked in China and sold direct to the public.
“UGGs” shipped from China may look legit but they are NOT UGG® Australia products – they are ALL poor quality copies.
If were just about to buy a product and you have googled the website’s name and got to this article then I hope we have saved you from disappointment. If you have fallen for the “UGG boots” scam then read below about a few sucessful people who have managed to get their money back. It is possible but you will have to register a dispute with Paypal and/or contact your bank.