21st September, 2010
How many times has someone on the street tried to sell you a fancy designer watch thatÂ you suspect is a fake? Many I suspect. And some ofÂ youÂ may have actually bought one withÂ the view that at least it will save you some cash. The truth is that your actions alwaysÂ result in being penny wise, pounds foolish.
The counterfeit business is growing rapidlyÂ and as a result, legitimate businesses areÂ suffering. A recent market research in Nigeria revealed that there are currently moreÂ inferior products in the market than originals. The research also revealed that it isÂ increasingly becoming very difficult to distinguish the original from the fake.
Based on this research, Consumers’ Advocate reveal to our esteemed readers how to spotÂ the difference between a fake and original of some selected products. So, if youâ€™reÂ looking for the real deal, these are few tips on how to know whether the product youâ€™reÂ buyingÂ is a fake or not?
The easiest way to tell whether a watch is a fake is the price. If itâ€™s ridiculously low,Â itâ€™s unlikely to be genuine.
A Rolex watch should be fairly heavy so if itâ€™s feeling a little light, chances areÂ youâ€™re not holding the genuine article. Real Rolex watches also wonâ€™t make a tickingÂ sound and there should be a hologram sticker on the caseback.
Genuine Cartier watches, meanwhile, will have the brand name inscribed on the movement â€“Â youâ€™ll be able to see this if you remove the caseback. Again, the watch should be quiteÂ heavy and if itâ€™s genuine, it will have scratchproof glass. There should also be aÂ cabochon stone on the winder.
Many women adore designer handbags. But if youâ€™re going to spend big on one, make sureÂ itâ€™s genuine.
The genuine article should be made from top-notch material and if itâ€™s a leather bag,Â make sure it actuallyÂ smells of leather. It should also be fairly heavy and the leatherÂ should be a consistent colour all over. The stitching should also be good quality. IfÂ there are any loose threads or wonky stitching, chances are, youâ€™ve been stitched up!
Real designer bags are also likely to have the brand name in several places and this willÂ be sewn in â€“ not on a cardboard label hanging off the strap. Itâ€™s also a good idea toÂ look for the serial code which is often on a strip of material inside a pocket or theÂ main compartment.
If youâ€™re big on your labels, make sure the designer clothing youâ€™re buying is genuine.
If itâ€™s the real deal, it will be made from good quality material that wonâ€™t stretch orÂ shrink easily and the stitching will also be spot on. So try to examine the item closelyÂ before you buy. Check for spelling mistakes on the brand name too and itâ€™s also worthÂ giving the buttons a once-over to see whether they have the correct logo printed on them.
This is one product that is high in demand and has the most fakes. Please note that notÂ all made in China phones are fakes.
There are indeed good and quality made in China phones. It will surprise you to know thatÂ most Nokia phone are made in China. We have researched the tips you can follow to tellÂ whether a phone of any brand is fake or not.
Price: This should be the first thing you should look at. If the price of the phone isÂ way cheap, half or a even third of the original price, itâ€™s most likely to be a scam.
Weight: Check out the official details of the phone you are purchasing or have purchasedÂ and compare. Fake phones are likely to weigh lighter than original ones.
Colour: Some Nokia phones come only in limited colours so if its an odd colour be wary.
Unofficial Models: The drawback of having so many phone models is that itâ€™s easy forÂ imitations to choose a phone family as a niche and start creating non-official modelsÂ that you cannot find on theÂ manufacturerâ€™s catalogue.
Missing/Added Features: Features are mostly the reason we buy mobile phones so do aÂ cross-preference with the features on the phone with the official specification list.Â Even imitations may copy the feature list, flaws are still present.
Keep your receipt: It will be an evidence to claim your warranty when you find out thatÂ your phone is fake, it will also help you remember the name the store where you boughtÂ your phone. Then, you may report it to the proper authorities
Itâ€™s not always easy, given the increasing sophistication of the fraudstersâ€™ efforts. ButÂ there are tell-tale signs to watch for â€“ most obviously, cork-tampering, the wrong bottleÂ shape, or errors on the label.
Some fraudsters have been known to make surprisingly simple spelling mistakes. Also,Â watch for bottles, capsules or labels that look too new.
It sounds obvious, but unless a bottle has recently been â€˜redressedâ€™ by the chateau, someÂ label damage or staining is normal in older wines.
Other signs are unusually high fill levels, corks with an incorrect vintage stamp,Â bottle-markings that donâ€™t match the label, and â€“ for old reds â€“ an unusually deepÂ colour, an unexpectedly young taste, or a wine that doesnâ€™t throw sediment.
The truth is that those that couple laptop are smart in their act. Except with theÂ assistance of a computer engineer, it will be almost impossible for you to know a fakeÂ laptop by just looking or examining it.
What they do is to simply change the configuration to be less that what the label claims.Â Our best advice is for you to purchase your laptop from accredited dealers.
With your receipt, you should be able to return it back to them if you later discoverÂ they sold you a fake.Â If you must buy your laptop from just any shop, then check forÂ spelling errors. This may be your best bet in knowing if it is fake.Â Also, ensure thatÂ you are the first to run the window. If you switch on the laptop and the window is readyÂ for use, drop it fast because it has been tampered with.
As for laptop chargers, reports indicate that in the last couple of years, the NigerianÂ market has become flooded with low quality laptop chargers and more worryingly stillÂ counterfeit laptop adaptors.
You may well ask how is it possible to tell whether a laptop charger is of low quality orÂ is a fake. Fortunately for customers it is actually quite straightforward to identify theÂ vast majority of fake laptop chargers.
Firstly, you will probably notice that the laptop adaptor is considerably lighter inÂ weight than your original laptop charger.This is because the quality of the internalÂ components used inside the laptop adaptor and the quality of the plastic used to mouldÂ the laptop adaptor body are of inferior quality.
Secondly, it may sound ridiculous but because English is not the native language of theseÂ cheap Chinese factories, you will often find that counterfeit chargers will have spellingÂ mistakes on the laptop adaptor label.
We have seen instances of â€˜safety markâ€™ being spelt incorrectly on the laptop AC adapterÂ label for example. Lastly, you may also notice that the laptop charger label will appearÂ less glossy than that on your original charger and may even not have been stuck onÂ straight.
This is because whereas in the original OEM factories all the production process isÂ automated, fake laptop chargers are made with several of the process involving manualÂ labour, and this includes sticking the laptop adapter labels onto the laptop chargerÂ body.
Counterfeit sunglasses are likely to feel cheap and the designer logo will look cheaplyÂ printed.
The hinges will also be flimsy and poorly aligned. And be wary if the glasses say theyÂ were made in China or Taiwan.
The real thing, however, will feel heavier and more solid and will come with luxuriousÂ packaging, including a box, case and tags.
Be warned that counterfeit sunglasses usually donâ€™t offer adequate protection from theÂ sunâ€™s powerful UV rays.
Most times we get to know that a battery is fake after we have bought and usedÂ it. ThisÂ knowledge is often too late because our money would have beenÂ wasted.
When it comes to detecting a fake battery, its really about the packaging.Â If theÂ packaging is color faded, and or blurred, run a mile. The problem starts when you startÂ to see names like Sony, Duracell, Tiger Head, Tudor or Eve ready.
With these well known brands one is easily tempted to part with cash and expect a goodÂ battery life span. Nope.
They are all counterfeited to the point where itâ€™s hard to get the real thing. PackagingÂ can reveal the worst fakes.
Some tips to look out for are:
â€¢Loose plastic covers
â€¢Badly constructed packaging (cheap card etc)
Most genuine rechargeable AA batteries are a maximum of 2700 mAh meaning their strength.Â Fakes often make claims to be 3800 or 4000. Avoid these ones at all costs. They wonâ€™tÂ last a week.
If youâ€™re hoping to boost your film collection, watch out for counterfeit DVDs.
These will usually have poor sound and picture quality and even though theyâ€™ll be cheap,Â they often wonâ€™t be worth the price.
If the DVD in question is marked Region 0 or Region Free, itâ€™s likely to be a fake – theÂ majority of genuine recently released DVDs are encoded for a specific region (Region 1 orÂ Region 2).
Whatâ€™s more, the disc itself is likely to be coloured, rather than silver, if itâ€™s aÂ fake, and there wonâ€™t be a title printed on it.
As for the cover, make sure there are no spelling mistakes and check the images areÂ clear. The cover should also contain a security hologram.