Ask any bride which task is most important while planning a wedding and she’ll say the dress. Traditionally, finding the right gown would involve visiting bridal boutiques and department stores to try on different dresses. Now, brides-to-be can browse dresses online from a variety of shops and have them arrive at their doorstep within days. What’s more, those looking to save money can often find bargain deals on online marketplaces and auction sites.
However, while this may be convenient and cost-effective for brides, it’s also easier to unsuspectingly fall prey to counterfeit items.
Online brand protection expert, MarkMonitor, has compiled the following list of top tips to ensure that brides-to-be are extra vigilant when shopping online:
- Price: Consumers looking to avoid fake goods will, in some cases, ignore any too-good-to-be-true prices advertised on the Internet, but counterfeiters are becoming wiser and realising that they actually have more chance of fooling shoppers the less they reduce the price.
- The website: Counterfeiters can be extremely good at creating fake websites that appear genuine, making it difficult for shoppers to make the right judgement call. In cases like this, it’s always worth looking at the website’s ‘About’ and/or ‘FAQ’ sections, as counterfeiters are usually less careful with the detail on these pages.
- Return and privacy policies: Any legitimate website will make these policies clear to shoppers, as they are important for those who need to return an item that is faulty or might not fit.
- The website URL: Often, counterfeiters will use URLs that are confusingly similar to those of genuine brands’ but include subtle spelling mistakes or typo errors, in the hope that customers unknowingly visit these type of sites —known as ‘cybersquatting’. Shoppers should check the URL of the site they’re on to ensure it is 100% correct
- Online marketplaces: Shoppers should thoroughly check the reviews of the seller they are looking to buy from.
By Chrissie Jamieson, senior director marketing communications, MarkMonitor