By Mr Electric Birmingham on 14/11/2017

If the price is (almost) right, it could be fake
Most fake electrical goods are for sale just below the recommended retail value. This hoodwinks shoppers that are too savvy to fall for the cheap deals. Make sure you do your homework, if you decide to buy products below high street retail prices.

Don’t just go by the seller’s word for it – or the reviewer's!
Be careful of a product with solely glowing reviews, There is always going to be someone who does not like the product. Even if it is just the colour

Research the seller
Make sure you know where the supplier is based, a ‘co.uk’ URL doesn’t guarantee the website is UK based. If there is no address supplied, or there is just a PO Box, be wary; many fake electrical goods are manufactured overseas, where they will not be safety tested and are produced as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Be on your if words qualifying an item’s authenticity are used
If the seller claims the product is ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ double check the source. Most reputable retailers don’t need to sell their products like this. Why would a reputable company use such terms?

Spot the lock to pay safely
Look for websites that allow you to pay safely – these have a padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in your payment details. If you can’t see it, do not enter your payment details.

How to spot if you’ve bought a fake item

Inspect all the packaging and item carefully 
Look out for the tell-tale signs of flimsy packaging and substandard printing, such as spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. If you’re questioning the packaging, compare your item to an online image from a trusted, high street retailer.

Look for CE marks and legitimate safety certification label 
All electrical products will have one or more safety certifications on their label if made by a legitimate manufacturer. If the certification mark is present only on the packaging, but not on the product itself, there's a good chance the product is fake.

Make sure everything that should be there is there 
Fake products may not include supplementary materials such as a manual or a product registration card or even all the parts!

The plug is important
If you’ve purchased your product from a UK retailer, look to see whether the appliance has a three-pin UK plug or charger.

Most of all trust your instinct – you’re probably right
If you are still uncertain about your product for any reason, you’re probably right to be wary. Visit the high street to compare your product to those on sale in store; if your item varies in any way do not use it.

Can you spot the fake?

Using our tips, can you tell which of the two chargers above is genuine, and which is fake? Even with all the correct information, it can be incredibly difficult to tell – 3 in 5 people couldn’t tell the difference.

If you suspect you’ve ended up with a fake despite your best efforts, see below for our advice.

What to do if you’ve bought a fake item

Act immediately
If you have proof your item is fake, contact the supplier immediately stating your case and demand an explanation; if there has been a mistake made, now is their chance to clarify.

Demand a refund – but stay civil and calm
You have the legal right to a refund if you’ve bought something that’s fake. Despite this, it can be difficult if you’ve made the purchase from an unknown source so be sure to pay with PayPal or your credit card, as your purchase will likely be insured.

If the seller refuses to give you a refund
If you are not able to settle the dispute yourself, contact the retailer that manages the marketplace (such as Amazon) as they are able to intervene on your behalf. If they are unable to help, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03444 111 444 for advice.

Alert other consumers – provide feedback 
If you can, leave feedback to warn future shoppers about the situation and potential problems, but do stick to the facts and make sure any claims are accurate.

Don’t ignore it - report it 
If you know your product is fake, report it to Trading Standards so that they can take action against the seller; selling fake products is illegal and puts people’s lives at risk.

Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SpotTheFake!

IMPORTANT!!!

If you suspect a product is dangerous to use, or it if it is a fake copy of a well-known brand, it is illegal. Contact your local trading standards office or Citizens Advice straight away. If you have any suspicions about a product’s safety, or if you think it’s a fake, don’t use it.

For further safety tips visit Electrical Safety First

Electrician in Birmingham:Mr Electric, Unit 9 Ariane, Lichfield Road Ind. Est, Tamworth, Staffs, B79 7XF 0121 2850136 Covering Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Halesowen, Walsall, Tamworth, Nuneaton and surrounding areas.