Be Careful Buying These Products From Anywhere But the Source Gariella November 23, 2014 Lifestyle In our increasingly-connected and otherwise globalised society, we are constantly in search of bigger and better deals on anything we need to buy. Particularly when it comes to the tangible, branded and non-essential, shopping around online and in stores before making a decision is a wise choice. By doing some simple comparison shopping, we can often find a variety of different prices and places, and can then pick the best deals out there. Unfortunately, some products and marketplaces are hotbeds for counterfeit and faulty merchandise, so we need to be aware of this – particularly during the holiday season. If you are planning on shopping for select products in the near future, then you need to be careful about where you buy them. Below, we’ll give you a list of products that you must insist on buying either from the manufacturer direct (through warehousing and distribution programs) or through an authorised reseller. Jewellery So many people love to give the gift of jewellery, and why not? A time-honoured keepsake of our affection and appreciation, jewellery will stand the test of time and demonstrate commitment in a way that many other tangible items cannot. Unfortunately, there is a lot of counterfeit jewellery on the market; buyer beware. We highly recommend that you avoid buying jewellery from mall kiosks, through any online source that is not an established, well-known vendor, and at any flea markets. Even antique shops can be hit or miss, so be careful out there. A low-cost jewellery loupe can be a great way to catch potentially fake jewellery in person; you can quickly learn more about how to use a loupe and spot fake items. Consumer Electronics There is now a multi-billion dollar business in counterfeit consumer electronics, many of which are hard to detect at close glance from their legitimate counterparts. Complete warehousing and distribution channels exist to sell and ship this merchandise from Asia to points all across the world, and it can be difficult to guarantee that your items are legitimate (to learn more about how intricate logistics networks can be, click here). Some items are listed for sale online as shipping from Asia; avoid these at all costs. Other forms of counterfeit electronics make their way into the countries where they’ll be sold, and wind up in some fairly legitimate markets. You can avoid this fate by doing a quick Google search to see who is an authorised reseller or retailer of your desired electronics. Footwear Last but not least, you have to keep a close eye out for counterfeit apparel when shopping online and in select stores, and this particularly applies to footwear. Due to the high mark-ups on most brand-name shoes, countless factories are producing knock-off Nikes, Reeboks and other brands of shoes, and selling them to wholesalers and suppliers all over the world. In order to avoid this, be sure to either buy from these companies direct (many have retail outlets scattered throughout the country), or find a reputable athletics or footwear store in your neighbourhood through which to make the purchase. If you find a deal online and it seems too good to be true, then it probably is: steer clear.