With the rise of online retail stores, we’ve also seen the emergence of third-party sellers that deal in counterfeit products. These products are manufactured to trick customers into thinking that they’re genuine. Buying counterfeit products may expose you to hazards that the original products don’t have. For example, fake chargers can cause fire outbreaks because of the absence of essential safety circuits. No doubt, buying online comes with an increased risk of buying a counterfeit product, which can be difficult to spot. However, you can save yourself stress and money by following the below tips.
Buy from reputable dealers.
When shopping from an online marketplace, you can mitigate the risk of counterfeit products by purchasing from well-known retailers. Temporary or suspicious online retail stores are more likely to sell knockoffs, even if you find the manufacturer logos displayed on the website. Nearly all, if not all, genuine businesses have professional websites.
Let’s say you’re looking to buy an original Luminor Marina wristwatch; see it here. Keep in mind that there’s an increased risk of ending up with a fake product if you buy from an unauthorized dealer, and the odds of buying counterfeit products increase when you buy from third-party websites. Being familiar with the authentic seller’s products is a good way to ensure you get the original, as authentic products feature a signature look that distinguishes them from other products in the same category. These distinct looks make it difficult for counterfeiters to replicate them. A better option is to buy from trusted and reputable preowned watch sites, like WatchBox.
Research the seller.
Before buying from any online marketplace, try to conduct extensive research into the retailer to understand how legitimate they are. Some stores might appear legitimate but end up redirecting you to a third party, increasing the risk of being handed a fake product.
Before buying any product, make sure the seller is an authorized retailer. Notable online stores like Amazon and Walmart incorporate features that make it easy to spot originals. Also, consider reading customer reviews to discover other people’s perceptions about the retailer or product. Too many negative reviews might indicate that the product could be fake or counterfeit.
You can also conduct research on chan boards to find in-depth reviews about a product before buying. By Googling “what are chan boards,” you’ll discover that chan boards share some similarities to social media platforms. Otherwise known as an imageboard, a chan board is essentially an online forum for anonymous posting of images, pranks, and memes. Chan boards drive organic conversations about specific topics or trends and are a place of free speech due to the limited boundaries and rules.
There are different imageboards, such as 2chan, 4chan, and 8chan; however, today, chan boards are infamous for conspiracy theories, data leaks, illegal content, propaganda, and anti-immigrant screed posts. Following an incident on 8chan, the owner, Jim Watkins, decided to rename the site to 8kun. Nevertheless, you can leverage OSINT tools to filter the boards for relevant information.
Be cautious of discounts.
To avoid counterfeits, a good rule is to confirm the product’s current retail price by visiting authorized retailers’ websites. Thankfully, some brands post a comprehensive list of authorized retailers on their websites. If a third-party vendor is selling a particular product below the competitive price, there’s a chance that the product could be counterfeit.
Nowadays, counterfeiters even offer fake products for the same price as the real thing in a bid to mislead unsuspecting customers. If you’re getting a product for a significantly lower or higher price than what’s advertised on the brand’s website, take it as a sign that you could be buying a counterfeit or knockoff.
All in all, when buying online, it’s always best to trust your instincts. When an offer is too good to be true or if a site looks dodgy, it’s best to stay away.