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Counterfeits fool UK travellers

24 July 2011 - 14:07 by Sarah Collinson

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A new survey by online shopping service Kelkoo, has found that close to 50 per cent of people who will travel abroad from the UK this summer might return with a fake product.

Four thousand people were questioned as part of the study into the prevalence of counterfeiting in foreign markets and how these goods can subsequently permeate the UK if they are purchased by people on their holidays.

Thirty-three per cent of respondents said that they were unaware of having bought a fake product until it was too late, while the rest of those who did commit to buying a counterfeit said that they were well aware that it was not legitimate but bought it anyway.

The cost to the UK economy which results from the trade in counterfeits both online and off is thought to run into the billions, although a crackdown in the arena of safe shopping online should make it much more difficult to dupe unwitting consumers into accidentally buying phoney goods on the internet.

The real issue here is that, according to the Daily Mail, most people who knowingly buy spuriously branded products do not think that doing so is a particularly harmful action.

Many are not aware that it is actually illegal to bring counterfeits back into the country and that they could face the embarrassment of being searched by customs and having their products confiscated, at the very least.

Of course when fake items are trading online it is even more difficult to determine their origin until delivery has been taken. This is why people are encouraged to only use sites which can guarantee safe shopping online and have a long reputation of providing UK consumers with goods that are officially sourced and of a quality that cannot be matched by the fakers.