The general rule of thumb when buying desirable goods is that if the deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.
And this is not only true of items we buy online but also when it comes to buying fakes on holiday.
Some tourists are happy to snap up a fake designer handbag or wallet from a street seller, so long as it is a good fake.
But fake goods are illegal in the UK and EU and there is a huge drive to get them out of circulation and catch up with the gangs who make a fortune out of selling them.
Just recently other goods have also been found to be fakes, apart from designer clothing – including cigarettes and even wine.
Here are some tips to help you avoid unwittingly buying a fake and parting with your hard-earned holiday spending money in exchange for a dud.
- When buying designer clothing, check the finish of an item – fakes will have poor stitching, labels which might not be printed as well as originals, poor quality buttons, zips, and fabric
- Fake handbags are almost becoming a collectors’ item in themselves but anything bought from a street seller, market or cheap shop is unlikely to be genuine, so if it is cheap or a lot less than it would be normally, it is most likely fake
- Fake watches are harder to spot, but generally the appearance and weight of a fake item is a giveaway, so if a watch or item of jewellery has very little weight to it or there is something not quite right in its appearance eg slightly asymmetrical numerals on the dial, a cheap look to it or a cheap strap or fastener, be suspicious, especially if it is much cheaper than normal
- Fake diamonds are now being produced as synthetic diamonds and have their own market value. But if you are offered an item of jewellery as a genuine diamond, the depth of the stone and the cut is the give away, as well as the quality of the setting. Diamonds have a very bright, almost silvery grey tinge to the facets of their sparkle, which usually involves other colours such as blue or pink – whereas fake diamonds can look very convincing, but tend to be one colour when they sparkle and also have a softer, whiter sparkle than diamonds. If a stone is set in a cheap setting rather than gold or platinum, this is also a sign that it is not a diamond.
- Fake wine is usually given away by the label – which might look like a genuine label, but check the quality of the paper and the printing on the label – thin paper and poor quality printing suggest your bargain wine might be fake.
- Cigarettes and tobacco are also hard to spot as fakes – and can be dangerous to use as other substances might be added to the tobacco to make it go further. The wrapping again is the giveaway, so take a genuine box of your brand with you which you have bought from a reputable retailer in the UK and compare with the bargain cigarettes you have found on holiday.
- Electrical goods – if branded electrical goods are being sold on market stalls and in the street rather than in appointed retailers, the likelihood is they are fake or worse still, might be faulty goods which have found their way back into the market. Only even buy items like mobile phones, PCs or hi-fi equipment from reputable sources – fake electrical goods can cause fires and may even explode during use, causing injury.
- Toys – if you find that desirable toy on market stall abroad and it is much cheaper, then again it is likely to be a fake and may even be dangerous. All toys in the UK and EU receive a kitemark and if the kitemark is missing or looks poorly printed, then avoid and save up and buy the toy from a reputable retailer, otherwise it might contain sharp or loose wires inside or components which could hurt your child.
If you have injured yourself abroad at your holiday hotel, get in touch with a holiday claims lawyer today.