Don’t be fooled by fake baby products

Simon Whitehouse, senior director at MarkMonitor, explains how to spot and avoid counterfeit baby products.

There is nothing that compares to the unique combination of excitement, anxiety and joy that first-time parents feel in the build up to the birth of their baby.

Even for couples who already have children, the anticipation of another baby is a feeling unlike any other. In addition to the mental preparation, parents-to-be spend time ensuring that everything is in order for their new arrival – from countless nappies and baby wipes, to the perfect crib and ever-important car seat.

This can be a costly time and as parents seek to get the best for their babies, it is also often a time where sticking to a budget means searching for bargains online. However, with a high number of counterfeit goods on the market and found easily online, new parents need to be vigilant in order to ensure they don’t buy inferior quality or unsafe products.

Here are a few tips to ensure you’re not duped:

Price: Counterfeiters are wising up and realising that sometimes it can be more convincing the less the product in question is reduced. Search around for the recommended retail price (RRP) and even if the product only has a small discount, such as 20%, it is worth checking other elements of the website to see if they stack up.

The site itself: Although some websites look professional at first glance, counterfeiters aren’t always so careful about the ‘About’ or ‘FAQ’ page. Check these sections and make sure you look at the delivery details and note where the company is based, does it match up with the brand’s details? Also, look at the delivery options – less reputable sites won’t bother with this.

Return and Privacy Policies: These should be clear if it’s a reputable site. A bona fide seller should provide an option of how to cancel orders and where to return goods. Counterfeiters won’t usually invest the time to craft a clear, strong privacy policy, so if there isn’t one on the website, be warned.

Check the web address: Impersonation of a brand’s website and what is referred to as ‘cybersquatting’ are on the rise. When doing an initial search for the brand name, check the link and look out for spelling mistakes on both the website and the URL address. If the address begins with https://, the ‘s’ tells you it’s a secure site. Some of the big brands have dedicated pages on their websites so consumers can check whether a seller is authorised.

Online marketplaces: Even if the marketplace itself is a brand you know, check reviews of the seller or try find any forum chats and speak to other retailers before placing that order.

MarkMonitor is an American software company, which develops software intended to protect corporate brands from Internet counterfeiting, fraud, piracy and cybersquatting.

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