Just in 2017, global counterfeit market was estimated to be nearly half a trillion as per the International Trademark Association. Do not look at it as a size of the counterfeit market. Instead, look at it from the perspective of the brands and consumers – that’s how much money consumers and brands are losing in the hands of fake products every year. As you can naturally predict, it’s the most commonly used consumer items that are counterfeited the most e.g. eyewear, electronics, shoes, etc. What makes matters worse is that some of the biggest retailers of the world are favorite platforms for counterfeiters to sell their fake products.
Take a look at the table below and you will be startled at how so many of the large online retailers are desperate against counterfeiters.
So, how do you make sure what you are buying from an online website is not fake? Here are some useful tips.
Tips to Avoid Buying Counterfeit Goods
Know the Seller
The first thing you want to do is verify the seller. Visit the website of the main brand to see if the seller is authorized to sell the products they are selling. In addition to that, you will also have to visit the website of the seller. Do you think they have spent time on making their website look professional? Do they even have a website? If you find anything fishy while researching these things, it is best that you avoid buying from such a seller.
Research the Price
Difference in prices on different websites is a common occurrence. However, these differences are never too big. You will often notice that the price difference is more or less $20 to $50 depending on how expensive the item is. Any prices differences that are bigger than that point to either a fake product or a pre-owned one. Do not rule out the overconfident counterfeiters i.e. those that like to price their products even higher than the actual brand.
Look for Reviews
One way to know the authenticity of the product and the seller is to look at the reviews given by customers who have purchased and used the product. However, not all reviews are truthful. In fact, there has been a lot of criticism associated with Amazon – alleging that the company not been able to stop false reviews from being posted on its website. The best way to tackle this problem is to look for third party, reviewer and neutral websites for real reviews from real customers.
Get Familiar with the Brand
One of the best ways to spot fake products is to know the brand fairly well. When you know the brand and the nuances in its products, you can quickly spot the fake product from those minor differences. On most occasions, fake products have very low quality tags attached to them. The logo of the brand will be messed up and the details on the tag look illegible too. There can be many other such details that help you discern between a fake and an authentic product.
Or How about One Solution to Cover It All
What if you had access to a solution that reduced the amount of work that you had to do to avoid buying fake products? It is good news: Bonafi is a solution designed specifically to take on the problem of fake products and the ever-growing counterfeit market around the world.
What Is It?
Bonafi is a blockchain solution that uses NFC enabled crypto-tags to collect information about the product, sellers, brands, buyers, and anything that identifies the product. It then takes advantage of a smartphone application that users can use to verify a product’s authenticity.
How Does It Work?
Each product that comes out of the factory of the brand has a crypto-tag attached to it. The tag is so small that it can even stick to small items like USBs, watches, etc. Registering the product with Bonafi will store its information in the blockchain. When a retailer or user scans the product, they will know where the product has come from, who made it and who the authorized seller of the product is.
How Does It Benefit Online Shopping?
Bonafi has been evolving quickly as brands, retailers and consumers continue to approve of its benefits. While it was only crypto-tags and a smartphone application at first, the solution will soon see the launch of a browser extension to help online shoppers verify product authenticity before making their purchases.
What Makes Bonafi Work?
Bonafi runs with Bona tokens that end users will have to use for product authentication. Every product authentication will consume some Bona tokens but registering products, writing reviews, etc. will help users earn those tokens too.
You can see that identifying the real products online is quite a challenging task. Even if your retailer agrees to accept your returned items, there is a lot of hassle involved in it. Not to mention, you won’t always know right on day one that the product you have received is fake. Oftentimes, people end up using the product a lot before they realize it is fake, so there is no way they can return it. The best way to solve this problem is to enable users to identify real and fake items right at the time of shopping. That’s what Bonafi aims to achieve and so far the progress has been great.