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back to article Spot-the-fake site launched

The Trading Standards Institute has launched a site to help consumers spot fake branded goods. The site, Brand-i, lets you search by brand and shows a list of official retailers for that brand. But even a quick check suggests this runs the risk of branding perfectly legitimate small firms as rogue retailers. Search results do …

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Silver badge

Official retailers...

I find official retailers continually frustrating.

Only the other day I was trying to find a particular item, and starting from the manufacturers site I visited the various official retailers. Many of them only carried a small part of the range (sods law means that would not be the part of the range I was interested in) and some of them didn't show anything by that manufacturer at all!

I eventually resorted to amazon and google shopping.

The links to retailers are only any good if the manufacturers actually look after them and check them, something which my experience shows is sadly lacking.

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Facepalm

come on

Anyone who is stupid enough to buy the brand deserves to be sold a fake ... and they are usually better value per pound that overpriced apple shite.

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Anonymous Coward

protecting who?

agreed - this is about protecting the brand-holders, not the customer, (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing).

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Gold badge

Re: Protecting who

I agree. This smells more like something to try to stop people buying Levis in Tesco to support the Levis agreed retailers (and the higher margins that they make in the UK). I don't see any reason to "protect" Sony from people buying Sony kit in Germany and then selling it in the UK.

I can see companies like Scan being left off the list because they buy parts from the "grey" market, despite the fact that they are more trustable and likely to be around longer to honor warrantees than a lot of retailers.

Spot the fakes would be better if it told you how to check (e.g. Sandisk memory cards) and had an easy way to report fakes centrally so that the perps could be stopped.

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Gold badge

@rentaguru

I might agree with you for things like Gooooochy bags or whatever, but they are not the only people with brands.

So if someone goes into a pharmacy with a prescription for a brand of drug, and is instead sold something else which is a fake, it's their own fault for being stupid? (believe it or not, fake drugs with real branding are not uncommon)

What if your server dies and HP says sorry, but it's a fake, nothing to do with them. Then you go to restore from backups, only to find that the tapes are fake, and although they passed verification when they were written, they became useless 3 days later...

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FAIL

That tired old story...

@rentaguru

Go to the Dell website and spec a desktop machine with the same spec (completely) as an iMac and come back to me. You have to spec like for like so that's USB 3 instead of thunderbolt and a 27 inch monitor, bluetooth, wifi, sandybridge etc.... Last time I tried it was 700 quid *more* than the iMac.

And buying a kit of parts from arthur daley's cheap pc emporium is not like for like. If I'm buying a PC I do not expect "some assembly required"

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Stop

Brands

This may be good advice on a lot of items however as an example you have a recommendation by Consumer Reports as being a best deal. I see the need to shop by manufacture that made it.

Ignoring reports that are reputable is asking for trouble.

On the "pro" side a manufacturer that has a 50+ year reputation as best of the best you can hardly go wrong.

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FAIL

Born to FAIL

Is ebay on the list?

They can't say that everything on ebay is genuine (for obvious reasons), but if any sizeable number of people start using this site, it's only a matter of time before someone reaches for the lawyers.

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Silver badge

I wonder if Ebay really cares

When some Hong Kong vendor hawks counterfeit goods, Ebay profits from every sale. Eventually some complaints trickle in, so EBay / PayPal dutifully freezes their accounts, refunds money to people who claimed in time and presumably pockets the rest. The vendor then sets up with a different name and the cycle repeats.

IMO it doesn't appear to be EBay's interests to clamp down too hard because they make money from sales, counterfeit or otherwise. It's certainly not hard to find highly suspect sellers on their site at any given time.

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I was thinking of the legitimate sellers

If not being on the list implies that ebay is full of fakes, it damages the reputation of legitimate businesses using ebay.

Also, I doubt ebay themselves would be too happy about being labelled as the worlds biggest fence - even if they are. They need the average buyer to think counterfeiters are few and far between.

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I approve...

kinda.

Anyone can contact a manufacturer or look on their website to get a list of authorized dealers of particular a product. Putting this information in one place is only useful if someone bothers to update it.

What I would prefer is side by side photos of the original and the fake, internals and externals. But that is mostly just to satisfy my own sick curiosities rather than to battle counterfeits. If in doubt the manufacturer will just tell you to check the serial number with them, but I don't see how the serial number couldn't be faked to a sufficient standard as well.

Remember when counterfeiters cloned the entire NEC company....

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Childcatcher

Fake = Item without a hugely over inflated price.

Both are most likely made in the same sweatshop. Ask anybody that shops in Primark

So do trading standards get a refers fee? And if you do buy something fake throught this site can you sue trading standards?

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Anonymous Coward

Or...

Remember all those Nintendo DSes that were being imported into the UK, they were coppies, made in the same factory as the original, just with practically no QC, so the PSUs had a habit of blowing up.

This happens in counterfiet drugs as well, with potentially very serious consequences... Also, would you like to have counterfiet car parts? Counterfiet backup media?

Sometimes the higher prices are there for a reason.

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Yes & no....

Brands are most certainly overinflated price wise. However as a long time buyer of far-eastern (first trip back in 2001) knock-offs I can assure you that it's not the case on all products.

Clothing and to a lesser extent footwear is fair game. Not so on electronics, luggage and watches. Example samsonite: a genuine article will withstand the rigours of Indian baggage handlers when the knock off will have turned into a loose assortment of disparate bits. As for watches there are high quality knock-offs but they will still set you back a grand or so (still a bargain over the 5K+ genuine but I digress). As for electronics, I leave that to you. In fact, it's much safer to buy Chinese branded electro-gizmos and "teach them English" than to ever try an imitation 'known brand' knock off.

Are genuine articles over-inflated? Hell yes. Are knock-offs like-for-like replacements? No, not by a longshot. Of course, as long as you accept the risks it's fine but don't be in denial; knock-offs != genuine articles.

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Re: counterfiet car parts?

Last time I checked, there was no means of ensuring that generic car parts actually adhere to any standards (other than not containing hazardous substances, etc.). The difficulty is that when manufacturers used to be allowed to void warranties for cars fitted with parts not obtained via their dealer networks, they used to charge stupid amounts for OEM parts (even more stupid than they charge now). It is often tricky distinguishing between cheap sub-standard copies and OEM parts without the manufacturer's label.

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but what they do need

is a non-shit name

like "COUNTERFEIT WATCH" "THE FAKE DETECTIVES" "KNOCK-OFF NIGEL NAILS NELLY"

okay maybe not that last one.

but seriously, what the fuck is "Brand-i"?

Sounds like a crap brand of knock-off brandy made from ground up kidney stones. "Well I have Ebola now so I might as well drink some Brand-i".

I should work in marketing.

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Prior art

Sorry, a marketing type has already been there.

Netto's own brand brandy is labelled BrandX with a reduced serif on the X. Result looks like BrandY (though the effect is lost with this font). Not sure if the contents taste similar to brandy.

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Bronze badge

Warning

Mr Jobs may object.

Does he not claim rights to the letter i

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Trollface

clone?

the thing about buying copied products like clothing etc.., if when you are offered it for sale, you are perfectly aware it is a copy and it makes no claims to be a genuine product and the price reflects that, then I don't see a problem.

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LPF

What a joke

The supposed fakes, are mostly justa 4th shift , that make the goods in the far eastern sweatshop. FYI most people know they are buying fake burberry , they want the look without having to take out a mortgage!

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Thumb Up

Love it!

"FYI most people know they are buying fake burberry , they want the look without having to take out a mortgage"

What, the look of an ASBO having, Staff' owning, Sess selling, dole bludger?

Don't need a mortgage for that. In fact, it's probably a pre-requisite NOT to have one if that's 'the look' you're after.

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Pint

stereotypes r bad mmky

Not everyone who wears Burberry is a delinquent. My business colleagues and I regularly transact the purchase of a bottle of White Lightning from our local Business 2 Business vendor in the corner shop keeping industry. Then we vertically integrate our Burberry caps onto our skull-based brain carrying units and expand into other markets in the local park. There we use social media based hyperphone sound blasting technology to attract large crowds of qualified sales leads to meet the specification of our Alcohol Consumption Manager and his team of highly qualified corporate hospitality associates.

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This whole thing reminds me of...

...a market stall in Turkey I saw a few years ago. The sign outside read "Genuine FAKE Rolex watches sold here!"

Who's protecting the genuine fakes, eh?

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Coat

Brand-i

Isn't Brand-i what they drink in the Wist Middlunds especially around Dudloi?

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FAIL

No offical retailers for

iphone

blackberry

or HTC

So no official mobile retailers then...

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Anonymous Coward

soooo...

I paid for this shit?

in that case

Step 2: Charge 'official retailers' to be on the list and send me a percentage

This whole bloody internet is going to the dogs recently

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Trollface

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

A quick Google reveals that there are several companies operating from Marland House, 13 Huddersfield Road, Barnsley, which is the address given on the Brand-i web site. Street View shows an accountant's offices.

I'm sure that Brand-i are 100% genuine and above board, but it would be nice to be able to confirm that.

Perhaps somebody could create a web site...

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Anonymous Coward

right

I'm gonna buy the .co.uk and spoof a site onto it, who's with me?

(the .com seems to be owned by Japanese domain speculators)

I have no idea wth is going on with the .net ... ooooh handbags ... hang on they looook ... duuubious

This is going so well

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Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

This site is a fake.

Every search I have done just now has come up blank, therefore I conclude that this site is a counterfeit, tricking you into thinking it's a real site with search results for you.

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Silver badge
Devil

Not very good

As an example, any fanbois looking for their latest apple product should go to http://www.sistersboutique.co.uk/ or http://itunes.apple.com . http://www.johnlewis.com/ is not listed so should presumably be avoided at all costs.

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Not even good

I can find the rather dubious Asos, but not the original (in both senses) Assos.

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IT Angle

Assos?

Is that some sort of OS/2 clone?

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Bronze badge

Fakes

The far east are world class fakers. Take the example of the Chery QQ - A near-perfect clone of the Daewoo/Chevrolet Matiz. In fact, GM proved that a door from one would fit the other without modification!

I remember a family member buying an ipod nano in their choice of colour from a UK based seller on ebay. It turned up with 1/2 the advertised capacity, a badly aligned apple decal on the rear (like something out of an airfix kit after a bottle of brandi), The OS was not the menu driven UI that Apple provide, but some icon based UI (that IIRC, was actually quite innovative).

They wouldn't refund on our dispute, because they had advertised it as "Apple IPod Nano - Style", and it was only the fact that the capacity was not as advertised!

Don't recall seeing a fake server, but I have seen pictures of a fake Acer Aspire One (even using the same font).

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Too early

My main gripe is that they should have saved the launch, press release, interview on Today etc until they had some content on the site. No point dragging people in when there is nothing there because they won't come back.

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Childcatcher

Waste of effort

I doubt you average chav really cares if something is genuine of fake, as long as it has the brand name stamped on it somewhere.

I never understand why people want to wear tops with "bench" or "lonsdale" or whatever stupid word written in big letters on them.

I find most goods, genuine branded or not, to be a load of shite nowadays.

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Boffin

Some manufacturers are more interested in stopping

the "grey market" than fakes.

Why? You buy a fake macbook at £250 and you get what you pay for - a fake. If you buy an imported Macbook Pro at $1200 or £750 Apple get very upset that you didn't take their exchange rate of $1200 to £999.

As others have mentioned, Levis are bad at this too. This is what they want to stop, not just fakes. If anyone is as stupid as to buy a fake at a fraction of the price without suspecting it, they probably won't notice when their £10 rolex breaks.

What consumers need dealt with is the crooks who sell fakes at "almost" real prices - high enough that it could be real. If someone wanted £600 for that Macbook, that would be more deceptive.

Conclusion: leave the obvious fakes and go for the ones that are trying to fool us.

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FAIL

Plonkers!

Total losers - their site doesn't even come up now, I just got a 509!

Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

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FAIL

Accident waiting to happen

I get the feeling this websites going to get abused by every man and his dog, it's already obvious certain company’s are trying to get sales from irrelevant searches and it's only been up five minutes

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The old back dor con trick

This is nothing more than free publicity and portal to major websites. As the small time websites make up most of the global internet i cannot understand how they will reduced 99% ofbogus websites.The Trading Standards Institute will do nothing but take a grain of sand out of a desert.

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