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YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO FAKES (counterfeit products)

This guide has been developed to give you a quick guide on spotting fakes, what to do if you suspect something is fake and what to do if you buy something that is a fake.


What is an fake?

A fake or counterfeit product is a look-a-like or replica of a (normally) branded product.

A fake is intended to trick you in to thinking you are paying for a genuine artical from the company it is trying to represent.


How do you know if a product on eBay is genuine article or a cheap immitation?

Pricing - Generally you can buy products on ebay for much less than you would in a shop because they are either products someone has bought and no longer wants, or because the runningg costs are minimal and there not many overheads to pay for. However I would say for most of items on ebay, if it's too good to be true, then it generally is! Obviously you will be expecting to grab a bargain, and who wouldn't. But be aware that companies selling products still need to earn money and if the RRP is MUCH less than the asking price for an item, then it may be a counterfeit product. (e.g. Jeans with an RRP being sold 'buy it now' for £19.99 would make no profit at all).

Advert - Look at the advert that is on ebay. Make sure you read ALL the information that is listed and ensure you understand exactly what you are buying. Do NOT presume that because a seller with a shop is using snazzy templates and cool or professional looking graphics that they are selling genuine articles. Fraudsters will try ANY methods to try and convince you that what you are buying is from a genuine source.

Feedback -  Just because someone has negative feedback does not mean that they are a bad eBayer, make sure you have looked at the reasons they have receieved the feedback in the firstplace. Also look for the feedback that has been 'mutually withdrawn' as a lot of people selling counterfeits will eventually convince the buyer to remove the negative feedback from their account by convincing them that their own reputation will be tarnished beacuse they have replied with negative feedback. Remember, when you receive negative feedback, you can always 'reply' to what is posted and show users your own view on the comment made.

Photos and description - Have a look closely at any product pictures. If you are unfamiliar with the brand you're interested in buying, then look at similar or identical items on other well-known and established websites and compare the pictures and descriptions. Things to look out for are any signs of shoddy workmanship e.g. stitching, materials used. Some counterfeits are VERY good immitations and it may be hard to spot the differences, so take your time and don't hesitate to ask the seller questions.

Product Labels - Just because a product has a shop label or tag on it that it is a genuine article. Just as the manufacturers are good at replicating the actual product, don't expect them to not include a convincing tag, sometimes with the proper product details including codes, stamps, embossing all being correct.

Ask Questions - If you feel your are unsure about any aspect of a product you are thinking of bidding on then contact the seller and ask them questions. You may get the answers you are looking for directly from them.

THE BRAND - If you are still not entirely convinced after following these steps then the final step would be to contact the branding company and ask to speak to someone in their counterfiets department. Ask them to look at the product on the internet and normaly they should be able to confirm whether or not the product is genuine.

Things to look out for - poor material, poor stitching or workmanship, care labels, studs (on clothing), metal components, leather stamps, logos, colours


What happens if I receieve an item I have bought and I think it's a fake?

Firstly follow the steps above to ensure the product IS fake.

Now, depending on what type of person you are depends on what action you would take next. The options are: 1) If you are still within the seven day period from buying the product, then you can cancel the contract by sending a message to the seller and send the item back. They are not obliged to refund the cost of sending the item back to them, but they are obliged to give you a full refund. (i would send it back recorded delivery as it is your responsibility to ensure a safe return delivery). 2) If you are outside the seven day period then by contacting the seller they may refund your money depending on their policy 3) if you are outside the seven day period and explain your concerns they may refund your money just to get the issue dealt with swiftly get you off their back 3) Contact eBay and explain your suspicions and ask them to investigate, put in a claim via paypal if you've used it, contact trading standards and report the seller selling products illegally.


Most popular ebook formats explained…

1) PDF or Portable Document Format (Adobe Acrobat)

The Advantages include:

Most computers and systems support PDF e.g. Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix
Adobe Reader is free
Support high quality graphics
Support audio and video clips
You can view the documents in different sizes
Pages can be printed (as long as this hasn’t been disabled by the publisher)
Page flicking is very easy due to thumbnails and bookmarks

PDF can also be viewed on your mobile or palm system via Adobe Ebook viewer. This is similar, but formatted for smaller screen like LCD.

The Disadvantages include:

Publishers can enable the no-printing security setting to help guard their copyright, which means you are unable to print off your document
Some documents are created by the newest versions of Acrobat, which means if your computer is old it may not be able to support the newest versions

2) Word (Microsoft)

The Advantages include:

Is one of the most widely used word processors in the world, so you’re guaranteed most of the population use it
Has all the features that you expect from a word processor
Has the capability, if you’ve got the magic touch to create some very good graphics
You can print off any document

The Disadvantages include:

Security of your document is not as good as Adobe which can make it harder to control your copyright

3) HTML or  HyperText Markup Language

The Advantages include:

It is the basic component of web pages and web-based formats
It can support many features such as graphics, sounds, video, java, animations, flash and much more
If you can’t understand HTML language there are many programs that will help you design your pages and then convert your designs to HTML for you

The Disadvantages include:

HTML documents (ebooks) have no security settings
HTML can be take a while to master if you want to build something up from root language

4) Plain Text

The Advantages include:

Until technology evolves, this is still the most widely used format
This format will take up the least memory of any ebook
The text can be copied in to any type of word processor
You can print the text off in any processor and arrange layout as you wish

The Disadvantages include:

There are no security settings
There is very little room for stylising your document
Will only support text

4) Other Formats and programs include:

Microsoft Reader
Palm Reader
Palm DOC
Instant ebook
Gemstar ebook
Desktop Author
Post Script


I Hope This Helps



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